Motorcycle Lawyer Pros Logo

(855) 869-4777Call For A Free Consultation • 24 Hours - 7 Days a Week

Motorcycle Maintenance and Upkeep

Posted by Motorcycle Lawyer Pro | Filed under: Motorcycle Maintenance
May 28, 2017

The month of May brings warmer weather to the Southern California Coastline, and along with that warmer weather, the opportunity to bring out that bike that’s been sitting in the garage since fall. According to California has nearly 800,000 registered motorcycles and of those, nearly 88,000 recorded injuries per year have occurred. The month of May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, so here are some tips to make sure that your bike is ready for spring and summer. A motorcycle needs frequent maintenance that differs greatly from that of a normal car. Motorcycles have only two wheels and one loose screw can be the difference between a nice relaxing ride, a breakdown, or unfortunately a crash. So what do you need to know? Here is a basic breakdown of what you should look for and some basic maintenance tips.

Battery Maintenance

You should check for cracks from engine vibrations and other problems that can occur from your bike idly sitting in a damp musty garage. If corrosion has built up around the battery terminals, clean it away with a steel brush. Check to make sure that the electrolyte fluid of the battery is at the proper level. you can do this by detaching the battery, uncapping the plastic covers on the top of the battery which are usually rectangular. You can pry them off with a butter knife or a screwdriver. Replenish the fluid with only distilled water which you can buy at any grocery store.

Change your Engine Oil

Motorcycles just like cars need a regular oil change to keep their engines running smoothly. It’s recommended to change the oil at 3 month intervals or every 3,000 miles. There is much debate as to whether you should use regular car oil or motorcycle specific oil, so which do you use? The easiest answer is to just follow the owner’s manual.

Inspect the Chain

Nearly as important to your bike as making sure it is well lubricated is checking the tension of the rear drive chain. Tension is imperative, if the chain is too taut, it can cause wear of the chain and sprocket (the toothed gear that drives the chain). A chain that has too much slack can cause a breakdown. Be very careful when adjusting chain tension, consult with the owner’s manual to make a safe adjustment to avoid misalignment. Motorcyclists usually lube their chains and check for cracked links or for “hooked” teeth in the sprocket at the same time. Use either spray wax lubricant or gear oil on your chains. Check chain tension at a minimal interval of 600 miles.

Tire Care

Checking your tires and tire pressure is very important for your bike, just like your car. You should make it habitual to check for wear and baldness of your tires as well as cuts or cracks, which could cause a blowout, if your tires have any of these signs you should buy new tires. Check the rims and sprockets for cracks or dents that can occur during normal use of your bike. If you plan on using a pressure gauge buy a high quality one to make sure you get a proper pressure reading. Many bike owners opt to buy a cheap air compressor from a hardware store; this is an inexpensive alternative to inflating your tires from the comforts of home.

Hardware and Cables

Just like your car a motorcycle has nuts, bolts, and screws that keep it together. It also has cables and hose lines to pump gas and fluids to various parts of your bike. Since a motorcycle’s engine vibrates, a nut or bolt can become loose over time. You should check these regularly with every ride for tightness which can do with a wrench. Go around all parts of your bike and just give each nut and bolt a little twist to see if they are securely fastened. An old bike rider trick is to use bathroom caulk on important bolts, which reduces loosening caused by engine vibrations. The cables usually connect to your motorcycle’s steering, throttle, clutch, along with other various controls. When checking your cables look for frayed, torn, or broken cables and replace if any are found. Make sure all cables are well lubricated according to your owner’s manual. When checking fluid lines, look for cracks or breakage which can cause leaking of brake fluid and gas. Replace these immediately if you find any leakage.

Checking your brakes

There are two kinds of brakes on your bike, the hand brakes which are simple levers on the steering handles, and a foot brake by your right foot. Check your brakes by listening for screeching or scraping sounds, these usually indicate that some maintenance or replacing. Inspecting your brakes is especially important in the event you need to make a sudden stop, having a well maintained brake system could be the difference between life and death in some instances.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an motorcycle accident, Motorcycle Lawyer Pros strongly encourages you to call our motorcycle accident attorneys at 1.855.869.4777 for a free consultation. Our highly skilled and experienced attorneys will provide you with the best legal representation and guidance that you need. Our offices are conveniently located throughout California and we conduct regular travels in the region to meet with clients.