If you are new to owning a motorcycle, or perhaps the bike you owned before was an old beater that had seen better days. It would be best if you were learning about the care and maintenance for your new bike. Modern motorcycle maintenance is not complicated, it is not much different than a car. But there are some essential things to look for. Small changes can significantly influence your safety. It is good to make a maintenance schedule, and a checklist to go over before each trip.
- Insurance: The most important thing to have for your bike is insurance. Insurance takes care of your bike all day and night. Motorcycles are involved in more collisions, and they are frequently stolen. If you haven’t done so already, have a look on the internet for big bike insurance and find the coverage that works for you.
- Change Oil: As mentioned earlier, it is good to have a maintenance schedule. One of the main things on that schedule should be oil changes. There are different schools of thought on the frequency of oil changes. And if you run synthetic, there are even more opinions. But oil changes are cheap, so there is no reason to put them off. 5000 kilometers between changes should be long enough.
- Check the Tires: This is something you need to do every time you are about to ride. You never know if you have gotten a foreign object, lost air, or some other issue has developed. If your tires are old, you might want to check the tire code. Make sure you have sufficient tread as well.
- Maintain the Chain: your chain takes a lot of abuse, and it gets full of junk after a while. Always use a high-end chain lubricant. You should also check the tension from time to time. And changing the chain is a good idea. After you have about 30,000 kilometers, you should start to consider a change.
- Air Filter: Your bike needs to breathe; it means a lot to the performance. Check your air filter to make sure it is clean, and if it is the replaceable kind, change it out when you do an oil change.
- Forks: Many people don’t know that their forks also need some attention. Fork oil gets old too. It is a good idea to change it out occasionally; it will extend the life of your seals and improve your ride. You might consider changing the fork oil whenever you swap out a chain.
- Keep it Clean: One of the primary agents of destruction for a bike is dirt. Dirty bikes age fast. Foreign substances on your paint help break it down. And the same is true for leather and chrome. When you wash your bike, protect it with the appropriate products. And whenever possible, get it out of the sun.
Most people find the care and maintenance of their bikes is part of the joy of ownership. It is an opportunity to indulge yourself in your prized possession. Riding a bike is a much more Zen experience than driving a car, and if you take good care of your machine, it will keep you smiling for years.