When properly maintained, a good motorcycle can offer years of enjoyment. But just likes full-sized automobiles, motorcycles must be serviced to prevent mechanical and other problems later down the road. Many drivers wait until there's a problem to have their motorcycle serviced, only to discover a more serious underlying problem. To avoid headaches such as this, it's recommended that you perform some basic preventive maintenance on your motorcycle.
Motorcycles use engine oil to wick away heat from the engine (reduces risk of overheating) and to lubricate the internal components so they glide more smoothly. Changing the oil and oil filter is arguably one of the most important forms of preventative maintenance, so don't overlook this critical step. You'll have to refer to your motorcycle's owners manual for more information on when and how to change the oil and filter, but most bikes require this maintenance at least once every 12 months or 8,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Don't forget to check your motorcycle's battery, inspecting fluid levels in each chamber and adding fluid if needed. If your battery is low on fluid, however, you should only add distilled or deionized water, not tap water. The problem with tap water is that it typically contains minerals that can damage or degrade the battery.
In addition to checking the fluid levels of your battery, you should also inspect the terminals for signs of corrosion. If there's corrosion present, disconnect the battery and clean the terminals using a vinegar-baking soda paste. Clean terminals will offer a stronger connection, preventing many battery/electrical-related problems from occurring.
Try to get into the habit of checking your motorcycle's tires on a regular basis, ensuring they have adequate tread left and are properly inflated. Even if your tires “look” fine, they could be under or overinflated, which can subsequently make your motorcycle less fuel efficient and more susceptible to tire blowouts. Check the pounds-per-square inch (PSI) pressure of your tires, adding or releasing air as needed.
Some motorcycles feature closed cooling systems, meaning the coolant will never escape – not unless there's some underlying problem, at least. If you have a cracked or otherwise faulty coolant hose, however, it may cause the coolant to escape; thus, placing your motorcycle at risk for overheating. So, check your motorcycle's coolant levels, and if low, add more coolant but also inspect your motorcycle to determine the source of the leak.
------These tips and more brought to you by the Steel Horse Audio Blog. Check us out for motorcycle and biker news as well as the best in motorcycle speakers and audio products! -----
Comments will be approved before showing up.