Basic Motorcycle Maintenance You Can Probably DIY
Just like a car, maintaining your motorcycle is the key to keeping it healthy for years to come. GEICO wants to keep you and your bike safe, so it made a list of some basic motorcycle maintenance that you can easily do yourself.
Cleaning your chain
The good news is that most chains that modern bikes use don’t require too much cleaning. You should still routinely check to see if you should clean your drive chain though, and the easiest way to do that is by looking at it. If it looks dirty, it probably is, and you should clean it.
Cleaning up your chain isn’t that complicated either. Start by putting your bike in neutral and then elevate your rear wheel. A motorcycle stand helps for that, but it isn’t required. Then, with a brush, you just gently clean the grime and dirt off of the chain.
After that, you’d want to lubricate your chain. Be sure you have motorcycle specific lube. This process is as easy as cleaning the chain. Evenly apply the lube onto the chain and then let it sit for about 5 minutes. After that, clean up and wipe off the extra lube. This maintenance routine should keep your drive chain operating smoothly.
Changing your coolant is easy to do too. First, you need to gain access to the coolant drain bolt, and it could be hidden under some bodywork. Remove that bodywork if necessary and then place a drain pan under the bolt. Remove the drain bolt and let the coolant drain out.
This should take a while, but you want to be sure that everything drains. After you’re sure that everything’s been drained, put the drain bolt back on and then just pour the new coolant in. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to see how much coolant you need to pour in.
Maintaining tire pressure
Having uneven tire pressure can lead to a terrible riding experience, so it’s important to maintain an even tire pressure. You can do that easily by checking each tire’s pressure.
To check the tire’s pressure, you’ll need an air pressure gauge. First, find the valve stem that should be on the inside of the wheel. Remove its cap and then put the air pressure gauge on it.
Be sure to do this for both tires, and if they have uneven pressures, you can fix that with an air compressor and inflating the tire that has less pressure than the other one. If you over-inflate a tire, let some air out of it. After you’re sure both tires have the same air pressure, replace the valve stem and you’re done.
Air filter replacement
This isn’t a hard task, but it’s a tedious one. That’s because most air filters are located behind a lot of other parts and bodywork. You’ll have to remove them all to get your hands onto your air filter. Replacing the filter itself is simple, just remove it and install the new one.
Don’t skip replacing your air filter either. Sure, it’s time-consuming, but if you don’t, then your bike’s performance will suffer.
Like changing oil for a car, it’s not hard to change the oil for your bike. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to see how often you should, but it should be a routine job that you can do if you have to.
According to GEICO, start by taking your bike out for a quick 5-minute ride. This will loosen up your oil so that it’ll drain faster. After you turn your bike off, put a pan under your bike and unplug the drain plug and oil fill plug. The oil will then start draining into the pan.
After your oil’s drained, install a new oil filter, plug everything back up, and then fill your bike up with the new oil.