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September 21st, 2017

Keep Your Ride Hummin’ With These Motorcycle Maintenance Musts

You bought a motorcycle so that you could cruise around, enjoying the scenery.

That’s tough to do when your bike is sitting idle in your driveway because it’s broken down  –  due to a lack of routine maintenance.

If you want to keep your motorcycle in good working order so that you can enjoy it to its fullest, you have to take care of it.

Here are some tips for showing your ride the TLC it requires.

Kick the tires

A flat can sidetrack your Sunday afternoon jaunt pretty quickly.

You can avoid this if you check your tires periodically.

  • Air pressure. Because heat will increase the pressure, do this inspection when your motorcycle is cooled down. If needed, fill the tire to the PSI recommended by your owner’s manual.
  • Treads. Make sure the depth is appropriate.
  • Overall condition. Any cracks, cuts, uneven wear, bulges, separation or punctures will mean you need to replace the tire.
  • Valve system. The core and cap should be intact and in good working order.
  • Spokes. Do they need to be tightened? Are any missing?

Check your owner’s manual to determine how frequently you need to check the tires.

Hit the brakes

Safety should always be your top priority.

Don’t wait until your motorcycle is making screeching sounds before you check the brakes!

  • Pads. Most motorcycles have a handy indicator light that lets you know when it’s time to change them. Make sure the wear on the pads is even.
  • Fluid. It’s common for motorcycles to have a sight in the master cylinder that lets you easily gauge when it’s time to top it off. Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual to get the right type.
  • Pressure. You can do this by giving the brake lever a squeeze to make sure everything feels normal.
Check the oil

Oil is vital to the life of your motorcycle. It’s important that you stay on top of oil changes and make sure that the levels are always within the normal ranges.

  • Your manual will tell you how often to change the oil.
  • In the meantime, keep your eyes open for leaks or drips after you’ve been running the motorcycle.
  • When you’re checking the oil, it’s a good idea to take a look at the other fluid levels, too.
Clean the air filter

There are a variety of different types of air filters. No matter which kind you use, it needs to be inspected and cleaned or changed periodically for your bike to function at its highest level.

Don’t forget the battery

Getting stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery is a drag. Don’t let it happen to you.

Before you head off, always make sure the battery is good to go.

While you’re at it:

  • Check out the other electrical functions like all the lights and the horn.
  • Consult your owner’s manual to see how often you need to replace your spark plugs.
Review your insurance

In the midst of your various maintenance checks, don’t forget to make sure your motorcycle insurance is up-to-date and that you have enough coverage.

Your perfectly maintained bike won’t be worth much if something were to happen and you couldn’t afford to replace it because you didn’t have adequate insurance!

Which motorcycle maintenance tasks do you perform regularly? And which do you put off?

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