DIY Motorcycle Maintenance
Keeping your bike in its best condition is crucial. Normally, you ask your mechanic to do the routine motorcycle checkup. It costs a considerable amount.
Fortunately, there are some maintenance tasks that are easy and you can do it yourself. This will help you cut down in maintenance cost significantly. Just always keep your motorcycle manual available as your core reference during any routine tasks.
Here are some of the basic motorcycle maintenance works that you can certainly do at your own garage.
This is one of the most basic tasks that you can do your own. All you need is few gadgets to do it without a mess. You need a motorcycle stand, funnel, socket set, strap wrench, and drain pan.
Remove the cap to the oil tank. Put the pan under the drain bolt, then use the socket wrench to remove the bolt. Let the oil drain out. Clean the drain plug and replace it before you refill the oil tank with fresh oil, and you are done.
The procedure is similar across most motorcycle brands, but it can vary according to model. It’s important to check the owner’s manual and know the right type of oil for your bike.
Since you are changing oil, you might as well change the oil filter as well. Some bikes have canister filters that you will need to open to remove the cartridge inside, while others have a simpler screw-on one-piece filter.
Once the filter is changed and the tank has been refilled, start up your motorcycle and check for leaks. After you stopped the engine, let it idle for a few minutes to let the new oil flow through the filter.
Changing Brake Pads
If you can do oil change, this is easier for you. Brake is your first safety precaution when riding. A brake that is not working properly will put your life in grave danger. So, keep it on its best shape always. Replace the brake pads/shoes if the visible vertical groove on it can no longer be seen.
Always confirm the type of brake fluid you need and check it regularly. Be careful though when you push the piston in on the caliper. It might displace fluid in the reservoir on your handlebar for the fronts and the side for the rear. A brake bleeder kit also comes in handy for draining any fluids.
Replacing Air Filter
The air filters in your bike keep dust and dirt from getting into the airbox. However, this tiny stuff still made it into the internal components of motorcycle. This means you need to replace or clean it regularly. During spring months, you might have to replace or clean air filter more often.
To clean air filter, you will have to remove either the seat or the fuel tank. Clean it with a soft brush or compressed air, wipe it with a solvent and then reapply oil.
You should check your tire pressure every week. Tires that are inappropriately inflated cause accidents. This could affect the braking and handling of the bike. The lack of pressure makes the tire wall less than firm enough to efficiently deal with the forces that are exerted on it.
Over-inflation, on the other hand, could affect the handling and also bring down the contact patch with the road, resulting in inadequate grip while braking.
Your owner’s manual will have the information regarding the correct pressure for your tires. To achieve it, use a good quality pressure gauge. Just remove the cap to the tire valve stem and apply the gauge. Also, always check the tread depth and condition of the tires.
Incorrect chain tension can cause premature wear of the gearbox and sprocket. It may also result to unsmooth gearshifts and can also reduce the life of your drivechain.
Check your manual to learn how to adjust the chain to the correct tension. Your owner’s manual typically also has information on torque settings for every bolt and the amount of force to be applied for re-tightening each of them.
You can set the tension while having some load on the motorcycle. You can ask one person to ride on your bike while you are doing the work. The chain with tighten up once someone is on board. Also, while at it, lubricate the chain since it will help prolong the chain’s life.
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