DIY Motorcycle Maintenance

If you want to keep safe and save yourself a little bit of money on your motorcycle, there are a few ways that you can easily maintain your bike.  Depending on your bike, these tasks may vary, so you should consult your owner’s manual before you do it.

1. Change the Oil–your oil should be changed after several thousand miles in order for your engine to run properly.  Make sure, that before you change the old, you take a short five minute ride, just to warm up the engine. This will help the oil drain easier.  Turn off the engine, stand your bike upright, remove the drain and oll plugs and let the oil drain into a pan (make sure to remove the oil filter as well).  Once you have it drained, replace the oil filter, put back the parts you removed and refill using a funnel.

2. Replace the Air Filter–your air filter is what keeps debris out of your engine.  It is important that it isn’t dirty or clogged because then your bike won’t run properly.  Generally, changing the air filter is easy. But on some bikes, they can be hard to get it. Removal of the gas tank and other parts may be necessary to access the air filter.

3. Maintain Tire Pressure and Tread–Checking a tire’s air pressure is simple–you just need to locate the valve on the inside of the wheel and press an air pressure gage on the valve stem. The correct PSI for your tires is located on the sidewall of the tire.  Fill the tire so it meets the correct PSI, do not over inflate. Checking your tread is easy as well, there is a wear indicator (a rubber knob located in the grooves of the tire). If you find that your tread is low, your tire should be replaced by a qualified mechanic.

4. Change the Coolant–Coolant is important to your motorcycle because it prevents your engine from freezing or overheating.  To change the coolant, remove any parts or bodywork to gain access to the coolant drain bolt. Using a drain pan under the engine, remove the bolt and make sure you remove the radiator cap.  Once drained, replace the drain bolt and use a funnel to refill.

5. Keep a Clean Chain–When your chain gets really dirty or at the suggested mileage for your make and model, you will need to clean the chain.  Use a gentle bristle brush, while the rear of your bike is elevated and the transmission is in neutral. To lubricate the chain, apply chain lube.  

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