Routine Motorcycle Maintenance Checklist
Motorcycles have hundreds of moving parts, and many of them are critical to keeping your machine in prime, safe condition.
The most important way to keep your machine in top condition is to follow a regular maintenance schedule. You probably already know to change the oil and the air filter, but here’s a checklist to take care of some other (often overlooked) basic motorcycle maintenance tasks.
Motorcycle Maintenance Check 1: Tires
Motorcycle tires take a beating from direct contact with the road and trail, and experience all sorts of wear from acceleration, braking and turning.
Having good tread and correct pressure are crucial to keeping your motorcycle’s tires healthy. Underinflated tires can lead to irregular wear patterns, and tires that are extremely low can come off the rim. Your motorcycle’s tires have wear indicators to help you see when it’s time to make a change. Check the tread on the tires often, and use a pressure gauge to stay on top of keeping the pressure level correct in each tire before each ride.
Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it attracts water and mixes it in. It’s also sensitive to sunlight. Bleeding and flushing out the braking system helps keep your bike’s brakes in peak condition, so you can keep on riding safely.
Brake components can wear quickly on a motorcycle, so it’s important to stay on top of brake pad wear before it turns into severe rotor damage. Knowing how to change the brake pads on a motorcycle can help you save money on costly repairs down the line. Make inspecting the brake pads part of your motorcycle’s routine maintenance schedule, and learn how to swap them out when it’s time.
Motorcycle Maintenance Check 4: Cables
Overtightened cables across your machine can create a wide range of problems.
A throttle cable that’s too tight can make it hard to turn the handlebars into full lock without pulling the cable and revving the engine. Clutch cables that are too tight pose their own set of problems. You could find yourself in a situation where your bike’s clutch is partially engaged all the time, which will burn the clutch up in a hurry. Inspect your motorcycle’s cables and make adjustments as needed.
Motorcycle Maintenance Check 5: Chain
You don’t expect something like metal to wear out quickly, but it happens to motorcycle chains, which stretch and wear with every ride.
There are many other maintenance tasks to keep up with on your machine, including changing the oil, keeping the battery healthy and fixing broken parts before they create more problems. But don’t overlook any of the maintenance tasks listed above. Create your own maintenance checklist, set a schedule and stick with it!