When it comes to owning a motorcycle, spending a few moments performing basic maintenance can save money and keep you safe on the road. Being a caretaker of your bike will also help you appreciate your motorcycle a little more. By performing basic maintenance on a touring bike, you will have more confidence every time you ride. You will know that everything is working properly and is in good condition.
It's important to know that maintenance requirements and steps vary depending on your bike. Look at your owner’s manual and reach out to other bike owners before beginning your maintenance. It would help if you educated yourself on the location of items, which parts are safe to remove, and the proper amount of fluid your bike needs before jumping in.
However, to help make your bike maintenance journey easier, we created a basic maintenance checklist for your motorcycle. This guide will help you gauge when it’s time to get your bike serviced, the necessary tools, and the main places to tune up before heading on the road.
How Hard Is It To Maintain a Motorcycle?
When you think of performing maintenance on a motor vehicle, you may think it’s a daunting task. Luckily, motorcycle maintenance isn’t nearly as difficult as performing maintenance on a car. It takes time to get used to these tasks, and soon you will move on to more difficult things, like adding modifications to your bike. However, performing tasks like checking your tire pressure, changing your fluids, and keeping your chain in good condition are great ways to keep your bike in pristine condition.
Learning how to perform these basic maintenance tasks can help save money in the long run. Not saying you should visit a mechanic, but if you have the time and skill, service the bike yourself. There’s nothing you can’t achieve with YouTube, an owner’s manual, and a maintenance guide by your side.
Tip: It would help if you kept a log of service and maintenance intervals to help you remember when it’s time to get your bike serviced again.
Basic Motorcycle Maintenance Tools
Before performing maintenance on your bike, you should ensure you have the tools. Although it’s not necessary to buy an entire motorcycle tool kit, having a few of the essentials should help you be successful in this task. Below are a few tools to keep in your toolbox when checking out your bike.
Tire Pressure Gauge
A tire pressure gauge may be one of the most important tools for your motorcycle maintenance. This tool will help ensure that you have the proper tire inflation—which is critical for your safety. Although many types of gauges are available, you should find one that will allow you to have more precision.
It’s wise to invest in a high-quality tire pressure gauge, but you should check your owner’s manual to see which one would be best for you. Get in the habit of checking your tire pressure before every ride. This will help ensure your safety while adding more life to your tires.
Your wrench set will help you access your bike’s nuts and bolts. Since you’re a beginner, it would be wise to get a bunch of wrenches that range from 7 mm—20 mm. You should also have a set of combination wrenches to help you get a better grip at difficult angles.
Oil Catch Pan
When changing your fluids and filters, an oil catch pan can collect excess fluid. Choose an oil pan that can fit under the bike’s drain plug or filter. This pan should also be big enough to hold a lot of oil—so there are no worries about spilling anything. Some oil pans will double as storage for old oil until it’s time to throw it out.
It would help if you also purchased a tire inflator with a tire pressure gauge. If your tire could use extra air, a tire inflator can provide enough pressure to fill your tires to the ideal amount. However, if you want something more long-lasting, you should look into a compressor. Compressors are more expensive but can also provide power to other air and motorcycle tools.
The Maintenance Checklist
Now that you have the appropriate tools, how should you perform maintenance on your bike? Before you head out on the open road, here’s the maintenance checklist for your motorcycle to ensure that your bike is in great condition. Following this will help keep you and other drivers safe.
Add New Fuel
If you’re someone who only rides their bike every once in a while, the first thing you need to do is change out the fuel. If gasoline sits for too long, it can become stale and unusable. To get rid of the old gas, use a siphon pump and refill your tank with new fuel.
Change the Oil
You need new fuel, fresh oil, and a new oil filter. Before taking the bike out on its first glory ride, warm up your bike by turning it on for five minutes. With the engine off, stand your bike upright and drain the old oil by removing the drain and oil fill plug. This will help keep your bike in good condition. It will add life to your engine and the performance of your motorcycle.
Inspect the Chain
Your bike’s chain is constantly exposed to outdoor elements, which is why it’s important that you check your chain every few months. Without proper cleaning, it can become loose or corrode over time. Check your chain to see if it’s still tight and lubricated.
Replace the Coolant
Always remember to check your fluid levels. Brake fluid and coolant are essential when giving your bike proper maintenance. If your bike stands for a while, these fluids can leak out. Replacing the coolant will prevent your engine from overheating, freezing, or damaging.
Performing maintenance on your bike is the only way to keep your motorcycle in great shape. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty to ensure that your bike is safe to ride. This will help prevent accidents and incidents.
The best way to protect your bike is by acquiring motorcycle insurance. Our insurance will help protect your finances, bike, and bike accessories. If you need motorcycle insurance in California, contact us for a quote today! We believe in offering great insurance coverage at a low monthly premium.