Taking your bike to the shop can be as big of a rip off as taking your car to one. Similar to a car, there are plenty of easy repairs for your motorcycle that you can do yourself. Here’s a brief rundown of DIY repairs for each major part of the motorcycle.
Just like in medicine, prevention is key, and the easiest way to ensure a smooth ride is by checking your tire pressure often and routinely. This is extremely important since your bike only has two tires and if one of them has a different pressure than the other one, then you will literally feel it.
So be sure to not only check your tire pressure but also to keep both tires at the same pressure before going out on a ride. On top of that, be sure to check the tires themselves for any damage or significant wear and tear. If your tires need to be replaced, then there’s nothing you can do but replace them.
Checking your drive chain’s tightness should be a routine job on your motorcycle repair checklist, and retightening it if it gets too loose should be one too. If you need to tighten your drive chain, here’s how according to Jalopnik. First, you need to loosen the rear axle nut. Then, use the adjustment nuts on the sides of the swingarm to adjust how tight the drive chain is.
Be sure to keep both adjustment nuts even or it’ll cause you some trouble. An easy way to do that is to count how many turns you do for a nut and then do that many turns with the other one. That said, drive chains will naturally get looser with time, so you will have to replace it eventually.
Like your tires though, prevention is key, so be sure to clean and lubricate your drive chain any time you do maintenance on it.
Maintaining your bike’s brakes will be easier than doing your car’s brakes. Inspection wise, you can do a visual check on your brake pad thickness to make sure that everything is good to go.
If your brakes feel squishy, you’ll need to bleed your brakes out. With a bike, it’s much simpler than with a car. You should be able to reach the brake levers and the bleeder screw easily on a bike. And then you can just bleed those brakes out and everything should feel better afterward.
Changing your oil is easy enough, but you should be sure that you’re using a motorcycle specific oil. The oils that your bike needs are very different from the oils that a car needs.
The first step is to, of course, inspect your oil levels to make sure that you actually need to replace your oil. You’ll need to get your bike vertical for that according to Jalopnik, and you can do that with your hands or with the help of a motorcycle stand. From there, you can check whether or not your oil needs to be replaced.
If you do need an oil change, it’s as simple as changing a car’s oil. RevZilla has a more detailed guide on it, but changing your oil is not a difficult job to do and it should be routine for both bike and car owners.
Your filters will need to be routinely replaced, but it does depend on your bike and how long those filters have been used. Oil filters should be changed with every oil change, however.
For fuel filters, your mileage may vary as some bikes don’t need to replace fuel filters often. You’ll have to change your air filters regularly, and it’s a complicated process.
A lot of air filters are inconveniently placed behind a lot of other things, so you’ll need to remove those things to access your air filter. What you’ll have to remove will depend on your bike, so be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for that information. When you get to your air filter though, replacing it is easy enough.