Motorcycle Maintenance Tips To Keep Every Ride Smooth And Safe!
Motorcycle maintenance is probably a little more important than car maintenance, just because the risks are so much higher. If you were to experience a mechanical failure in a car the most likely result would be having the car roll to a stop. A mechanical failure on a motorcycle however?
That may see a rider flying off their bike to a hard thud stop on the asphalt. Likely followed by an ambulance ride to the hospital. So, let’s avoid that scenario shall we? Read the helpful tips below to keep your motorcycle in tip top condition and feel safe and secure on those lone wolf rides along your favourite roads.
First and foremost you will want to check your motorcycle tyres. Tyres do an amazing job at keeping our motorcycles sticking to the road even while we are travelling at super speeds and hugging tight turns at angles that expose even more of the tyre to the road. This flexibility is what makes motorcycle tyres more susceptible to wear and pressure changes, than what car tyres are. To keep track of your tyre pressure, invest in your own quality quage, as the one at your local petrol station won’t be in the best condition due to overuse by dozens of drivers everyday, making accuracy a problem. When you check your tyre pressure take the time to check over your tyres for uneven wear or damage as well as anything unusual such as nails or screws in the tread, as well as cuts or chunks of missing rubber. Being aware of the condition of your tyres will allow you to replace them when needed to avoid potential accidents.
Perhaps the most important part of the engine is the oil, as even the most high-performance engines will not operate without oil. The oil on your bike is pretty easy to check though so rest assured. The oil level viewing window is usually located on the side of the crankcase with ‘low’ and ‘full’ easily visible. Just make sure to keep your motorcycle on a flat surface when checking the oil to get a clear indication of where the level actually is, as having your motorcycle on a slant will affect the reading. Top up your oil as needed and try to check the oil level at least once a week so you can spot any engine troubles early on. An engine that needs its oil topped up more often than once a month is not in optimal condition and will need to be checked out by a mechanic.
Brake fluid and pads.
The brake fluid can easily be checked via the relevant windows or indicators. When you check the level make sure to also check the cleanliness of the fluid as well. Clear, green or amber coloured fluid is fine, however, if your fluid looks murky grey or black it will need to be changed. It is also worthwhile to check brake pads anytime you check your fluid as worn out pads can damage your discs which can be costly to replace.
Your motorcycle tyres, oil, brake fluid and brake pads are the first things you will want to check as part of your regular maintenance checks. Further checks you can make are checking over the levers and controls which should have lube applied regularly to ensure they are smooth to operate with a quick snap back on the throttle when opened and released. Foot pedals should also be checked to ensure they pivot easily without binding or squeaking. Adding some all-purpose lubricant will help keep foot pedals in great operational condition. Finally, lights and indicators should be regularly checked to make sure they are working properly, as the consequences for broken lights and indicators can be much more dire for motorcyclists than it is for car drivers. Check the front brake lever and the rear brake pedal independently. Any issues can generally be fixed by replacing bulbs or fuses. Following these tips will help keep your machine in optimal working order and yourself safe and confident while riding.