How to Service Your Motorcycle at Home
Southern California is blessed with a longer riding season than most of the country, and those who know the thrill of riding a motorcycle at full speed down a California highway can also understand the danger that riding with unresolved maintenance issues presents. Motorcycle maintenance is necessary, but it does not need to be financially painful. These DIY motorcycle maintenance tips will keep you riding safely.
Review the maintenance manual
The importance of reading the owner’s manual for your bike cannot be overstated. Each make and model has its own requirements and recommendations, and not following these requirements can shorten the life of your bike or even lead to accidents.
Following the manufacturer’s specifications is not just a rule for DIY maintenance. Even if you take your bike to a shop for expert repairs, make sure they have experience with your make.
Motorcycle maintenance owners can perform themselves
Here are some important and do-able maintenance tasks owners can perform on their own, along with tips to get going.
Change the oil
Oil is crucial to keep your bike running, but over time it will break down from heat and become contaminated.
- Replace the oil and filter according to your manual
- Start by taking your motorcycle for a short ride to warm it up and speed draining
- Clean the area to prevent contaminating clean oil
- Be sure the oil is designed for motorcycles
- Change the filter
- Recycle the oil
Service the brakes
Brakes are probably the most important safety feature on a motorcycle. Rregular maintenance is necessary for optimal performance.
- Check your bike and manual to know whether you have disc or drum brakes
- Purchase brake pads that meet the thickness specified in the manual
- Have some zip ties on hand to keep the calipers out of the way while you work
- Use a screwdriver to push the pistons back into place or there may not be enough room to accommodate the new pads
- When you bed in the new brakes, be sure the rotor is clean
- Be careful braking during your first ride after the maintenance while you adjust to the changes in pressure
Check tire condition
A motorcycle’s tires provide key contact with the road and they need to be in proper condition to do their job.
- Visually inspect the tires for noticeable wear and inflation problems before each ride
- Check the tire pressure regularly, when the tires are cold; under- or over-inflation can interfere with steering, lead to separation from the rim, or cause other handling problems
- Tire treads are manufactured with wear bars; when the wear bars are exposed, it is time to replace the tires
- When you clean the sidewalls, only use mild soap and water; chemical cleaners can degrade the rubber
- When replacing tires, be sure they match the size, type, load range, and speed index specified in the bike’s manual
Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers
Regular motorcycle maintenance is a necessary part of bike ownership because accidents caused by poor maintenance can be deadly.
Poor maintenance is not the only cause of motorcycle accidents. Sometimes other drivers’ negligence, improper servicing by a professional, or manufacturing defects lead to motorcycle accident injuries. If you have been injured in an accident in California, call a personal injury attorney today at 310-641-3335 for a free consultation with a Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorney.
Additional Motorcycle Maintenance Resources:
- Motorcycle Cruiser, How To: Keep Your Bike Alive with Routine Motorcycle Maintenance, https://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/how-to-keep-your-bike-alive-with-routine-motorcycle-maintenance
- Motorcycle Industry Council, Tire Guide: All you need to know about street motorcycle tires, https://www.msf-usa.org/downloads/MIC_Tire_Guide_2012V1.pdf