In this article, we are going to share some valuable tips for mastering your own motorcycle maintenance. But keep in mind that the particulars of each task can differ depending on your specific motorbike model. Thus, prior to commencing any maintenance, it’s highly advisable to consult your owner’s manual. There, you can find precise information on such key aspects as the locations of filters and plugs, the necessary disassembly steps to access these components, appropriate quantities and types of fluids, recommended intervals for fluid changes, and the specific torque values for reattaching bolts and nuts securely. If your bike lacks a center stand, utilizing a rear stand device is also crucial for stabilizing the bike in an upright position.
1. Change the oil
To ensure your engine’s optimal performance, periodic oil changes are essential. Typically, it is required every few thousand miles — consult your owner’s manual for precise intervals.
Start by running the bike for approximately five minutes to warm up the engine. This reduces oil viscosity, facilitating smoother drainage. With the engine turned off and the bike standing upright, proceed to remove both the drain plug and the oil fill plug, allowing the oil to flow into a designated drain pan. Occasionally, removal of fairing components might be necessary to access the drain plug. Don’t forget to also extract the oil filter.
Note: This process might get a bit messy; consider using aluminum foil to shield the engine and exhaust from potential drips.
Once the oil has completely drained, replace the old oil filter with a new one. Reassemble any previously removed parts, and, using a funnel, refill the engine with the appropriate type and quantity of motorcycle oil, as specified by the owner’s manual. Finally, reseal the oil fill cap. Ensure proper disposal of the used oil by taking it to a motorcycle shop or a designated municipal facility.
2. Change the air filter
If your motorcycle’s air filter, designed to prevent debris from entering your engine, becomes congested and dirty, your bike’s performance will suffer. Swapping out an air filter isn’t a difficult task, but it can be time-intensive. At times, the air filter might be readily accessible, while in other instances, disassembling the gas tank and other components might be needed. Once you gain access to the air box, proceed to remove and replace the air filter. Then, reassemble any components you had taken apart.
3. Ensure correct tire pressure and tread depth
To assess a tire’s pressure, locate the valve stem positioned on the wheel’s interior, remove the cap, and affix an air pressure gauge onto the valve stem. Compare the pressure reading with the recommended level, which can be found on the tire’s sidewall. Utilize an air compressor (often available at gas stations) to inflate the tire to the proper pounds per square inch (PSI). Release some air if you’ve overinflated. Once finished, replace the valve stem cap.
To evaluate tread condition, inspect the tire’s wear indicator — a small rubber protrusion situated within the tire grooves. If this protrusion is at the same level as the surrounding tire rubber, it signifies the need for a tire replacement, a task best left to a professional mechanic.
4. Change the coolant
When the time comes to replace the coolant — an essential fluid for preventing engine overheating, freezing, and corrosion — begin by removing any parts that obstruct the access to the coolant drain bolt. Position a drain pan beneath the engine and remove the bolt to facilitate drainage. For complete draining, also remove the radiator cap. After completing these steps, reinstall the drain bolt. Employ a funnel to fill in the system with the appropriate volume of the new coolant. Replace the radiator cap and reattach any removed parts.
Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes before turning it off. Once the bike has cooled down, remove the radiator cap and inspect the coolant level. If it doesn’t reach the level from the owner’s manual, add more coolant.
5. Maintain a chain clean
The majority of chains nowadays are O-ring ones, which need less cleaning compared to the older unsealed chains. Nevertheless, it’s essential to clean the chain when it becomes notably dirty or at the mileage specified in your owner’s manual.
How to clean the motorcycle chain:
- Raise the rear wheel of your motorcycle and place the transmission in neutral, enabling smooth chain movement.
- Employ a soft bristle brush to eliminate grit and grime from the chain.
- For lubrication, rotate the rear wheel while applying a specially formulated chain lubricant.
- Aim to achieve an even coating of the lubricant to get the lube beyond the O-rings and into the chain joints.
- Allow the chain to sit for approximately five minutes before using a paper towel to wipe off any excess lubricant.
If you don’t have free time or desire to maintenance your motorcycle by yourself you can always seek help from a reliable specialist. It will be easier with our CryptoMoto motorcycle and biker app using a map or a list of all nearby workshops or individual mechanics. Download and dive into the exciting motor world!