Five commonly overlooked motorcycle maintenance tips enhance the performance of your pricy ride. Even though each bike comes with a manufacturer recommended motorcycle maintenance schedule, there are still some things the owner must do as well.
1. Moving Parts need Lubricants
No, we’re not talking about the cables but instead the brake pedal, stand and other parts that move in and out of position. When was the last time you loosened the stand, cleaned out the road grime and applied a fresh bit of grease? The same goes for the shifter. The Motorcycle Cruiser recommends doing this each winter, when inclement weather keeps the bike grounded for a few months.
2. They also need a Torque Wrench
Another one of the overlooked motorcycle basics involves the re-torquing of loosened fasteners. When you ride, the vibrations gradually loosen the parts on the bike. Perhaps not so much as to make the mirrors and motor mounts fall off; still, it might be enough to create the possibility of movement. Remember to check the user’s manual for proper torque instructions before you get busy!
3. Baby the Battery
The Midlife Riders know that battery checks are among commonly overlooked motorcycle maintenance tips. You already know to only fill the unsealed battery’s chambers with distilled water, but do you keep a close eye on its charge? Do you hook it up to a charger when you don’t have a chance to take out the bike for a week, two weeks or even longer? By the way, how clean is the top of the battery?
4. How tired are your Tires?
It is common knowledge that proper tire inflation is a must. Car owners know that correct tire inflation increases safety, shortens braking and saves a bit of fuel to boot. The same goes for motorcycle tires as well. Yet when was the last time that your motorcycle maintenance schedule included an evaluation of the tire tread? The Total Motorcycle explains that when “tread depth is 1-2mm it is time to replace.” Sitting on under-inflated tires for a prolonged period of time is another good reason to replace the tires.
5. Bleeding Brakes
A motorcycle maintenance schedule might suggest bleeding the brakes once every 24 months. This rule is not set in stone. In fact, if you notice that the brake fluid is brown rather than clear, it is high time to invest in a basic bleeding kit and get started. Follow the instructions on the kit and make sure to have ample amounts of paper towels to immediately wipe up any splashes.