Saving money on maintenance if you own a motorcycle is always a good idea. Fortunately, there are some tasks you can carry out quite easily yourself rather than finding a mechanic to do it for you.
These will prevent your bike from niggles and other problems over time and ensure you spend less at the garage in future.
Here are some of our favourite DIY tips for motorcycle owners of all ages.
1. Warm-Up First
Most experienced motorcyclists know this tip and practice it properly. When your bike has been sat for a while and cooled down, the engine oil sinks to the bottom of the sump.
You should never start your bike and immediately begin revving the engine. Instead, let the engine idle for about 30 seconds to a minute so that the oil can heat up and begin to flow, lubricating the various motor parts.
As with cars, tyre pressure and tread are important on a motorcycle and it’s a good idea to check things out every so often.
You should have a manual that tells you what the right pressure is but you also need to check for general damage such as wear and tear. Two tyres are more hazardous than four so even minor problems can cause safety issues for bikers. Here’s how to check your tyre tread:
3. Check the Chain
The bike chain is an integral part of your motorcycles machinery and it needs to be just right – neither too loose nor too tight.
The simplest way to check is to find the lowest part of the chain and lift it with your fingers. Any give of about 1.5 inches is about right. At the same time, check that the chain is lubricated properly.
4. Liquids and Lubrication
Motorcycles have all sorts of liquids to lubricate the engine parts, wheels and chains. There are reservoirs in different places so check your motorbike manual to find out where these are so you can keep levels topped up.
5. Light Checks
It’s illegal to ride your bike if the lights aren’t working properly. You can easily check these before you head out onto the road, including your brake and front beam as well as indicators.
If a police car stops you for not having working lights, you can get an on the spot fine. Lights are fairly simple to replace on most models and they don’t cost very much.
6. Motorcycle Brakes
Again, similar to cars, brake pads can wear down and make your bike less safe on the road. You should check the brake fluid as well as the pads to ensure everything is working efficiently.
7. Changing Air Filters
Air filters maintain a steady flow around your engine and improve efficiency. When they become dirty and clogged, it’s time to replace or clean them.
This might seem complicated but it’s relatively easy even for a novice. Filters themselves are not too expensive and it’s less costly than getting a garage to do it for you.
8. Check the Nuts and Bolts
Finally, most motorcycles have several nuts and bolts and these can sometimes come loose. This maintenance routine is essential but also very easy – all you need to do is put your bike up on it’s stand and test the wheel nuts, the side panels and anywhere else you see a nut, tightening those that are a little loose.