You own the road. That’s why you bought a motorcycle in the first place. The freedom that comes with riding is unlike any other; the open sky, the wind between your knuckles, the escape from society. However, with greater freedom comes even greater responsibilities. Read on for important tips on DIY motorcycle repair, maintenance, and how to keep your bike rollin’ forever.
Follow Ownership Manual Recommendations
I’d be willing to bet that the people who built your sled know a little more than you when it comes to the inner workings of your bike. You wouldn’t deprive a horse from water during a long ride, would you? The same principles apply when it comes to maintaining a healthy bike. Always refer to the manual’s recommendations, which advise you on oil type (weight), service procedures, maintenance schedules, and more. Use it or lose it, man!
Break Your Engine In Right
The most critical miles on your horse are the first few hundred. If you mishandle or abuse your bike during these early stages, you’ll regret it later. Each bike comes with its own set of procedures for engine breaking. Some may be as ambiguous as “Take it easy,” while others may be more specific with complex directions that involve RPM limits and the like. Nevertheless, chill out and let the wind do the talking.
Change The Oil
This one’s a no-brainer, right? Wrong. So many riders become so busy staring at the endless sky that they forget to regularly change their oil. See your sled’s manual for specific instructions on how to do this and for scheduling intervals.
Air Em’ Up
Keeping the right tire pressure will help save your bike’s chassis. It’ll also help save you money at the pump. Who doesn’t want that? But the most important reason why you need to maintain the correct tire pressure is because it’s downright dangerous to ride on soft tires. Soft tires mean less traction, and less traction could lead to an accident. Be safe and keep those tires checked!
Grease Your Bearings
Some riders think that only motocross bikes need greasy bearings. That is not true! Whereas the sealed bearings are relatively maintenance free, exposed areas like suspension linkages need regular care. Keep em’ greasy, and your ride stays sleazy.
Check Your Drivetrain
Oiling your bike and greasing your bearings make up two-thirds of your sled’s overall health. But to keep your bike running smoothly at optimum performance, you need to keep up on the drivetrain (the chain, belt, or shaft that connects the engine to the transmission). A worn out chain, tethered belt, or beat up shaft can ruin your bike. Check these for excessive oil deposits regularly; if you’re not sure what to look for, take it in to a motorcycle repair shop for a checkup.
Ride Right, Ride Smart
Gunning the engine in order to feel your sled’s awesome power race through your spine is one thing, but blatantly breaking local speed laws and general rules of safety doesn’t make you cool. Nobody wants to share the road with a clown. Additionally, you’ll get years more of pleasure out of your bike by treating it good. Always obey traffic laws and just ride smart. Your motorcycle repair shop will love you for it.