Motorcycle Maintenance: What You Should Know

man with glove checking motorcycle for maintance checklist

You may have noticed that your bike requires more frequent service than your car when it comes to owning a motorcycle. Additionally, riding season doesn’t last all year long for most riders, so there may be some time when your bike is sitting idle. This is why a preventative maintenance schedule is critical for the care of your bike. If you are a first-time owner, you may be wondering, how do you maintain a motorcycle, and how often should a motorcycle be serviced

The following motorcycle maintenance checklist will ensure that your bike is always ready to ride, and you can be confident that you, your passengers, and other riders on the road will be safe. 

1. Change Your Oil

You certainly do not want to impact the performance of your bike or its longevity negatively. Failure to regularly change the oil can do just that. You should not only change the oil before riding season begins but also after riding several thousand miles. Your owner’s manual will tell precisely how often it should be changed as it depends from bike to bike. 

2. Check the Tires

Tires are critically crucial to the safety and performance of your bike. Be sure to not only check the tire pressure but your tire tread as well. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council Tire Guide, under-inflation can cause sluggish handling and internal damage, while over-inflation can reduce the available traction. The air pressure should be measured when the tires are cold and not immediately after a ride. Inspect your tire tread based on its wear bars, if it appears worn or has bald spots, be sure to replace both tires at the same time.       

3. Clean or Replace the Air Filter

Your bike’s air filter is in place to protect the motorcycle’s engine from dust and debris. Once your air filter becomes dusty or clogged, it either needs to be cleaned or replaced.

4. Keep your Chain Clean and Lubed

man keeping motorcycle chained lubed for maintance

If your motorcycle’s chain isn’t coated in oil, it could lead to corrosion and mechanical wear. You will also want to clean it when it gets dirty. To clean it, elevate the rear wheel and put the bike in neutral. Coat the dirty chain in a cleaner and let it sit for five minutes to let the grime loosen before you scrub with a gentle cleaning tool.  

5. Check Fluid Levels

Beyond your oil, you also want to be sure you regularly check and maintain other fluids such as coolant and brake fluid. When a motorcycle sits for an extended period, it could cause fluids to start to leak. Before you start your bike up for a new riding season, be sure to check the fluid levels and add more or flush out the existing fluids to replace them. 

6. Regularly Clean Your Bike

Nothing feels better than seeing your bike shine, but keeping your motorcycle clean isn’t only important to you – it also helps a great deal for maintenance purposes. For example, it is easier to see a loose or missing nut or bolt on a clean bike. 

7. See a Professional

With some practice and a few maintenance essentials, you should be able to complete many of the items on this checklist on your own; however, it certainly doesn’t hurt to see a professional mechanic from time to time. If you aren’t sure about what should be done in bike servicing with a mechanic, be sure to have them check your engine. It is a good idea to clean the carburetor, spark plugs, and choke regularly.

Your bike is important to you, and this motorcycle maintenance checklist will help you to keep it running for as long as possible. Follow these tips, invest in a quality insurance policy, and you will be provided with all of the protection you need to hit the open road. 

Did you know that Cost-U-Less also provides motorcycle insurance? Start your free California motorcycle insurance online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you.