To ensure that your bike stays in top condition, you will want to give it a regular tune-up. With the right maintenance, your motorcycle can last much longer than you’d expect. So, what parts of your motorcycle should get the most attention? Here are four key things to do to tune your motorcycle.
Check Your Fluids
Checking your fluids starts with knowing which fluids are in your motorcycle. Your motorcycle consists of four major fluids that should be checked on a regular basis. Let’s start with motor oil. The purpose of your motorcycle’s motor oil is to keep your engine’s components well lubricated. If you don’t change your motor oil on a regular basis, you can cause some long-term damage to the engine. It is recommended that your motorcycle’s oil is changed about once a year.
The next fluid that you will want to check is your bike’s brake fluid. The brake fluid is used to optimize the performance of the hydraulic brake and hydraulic clutch. It is recommended that you change the brake fluid at least once every year or two years.
Next, check the coolant levels. The coolant is important in managing the overall temperature of your bike’s engine. It is recommended that you change out the coolant every two years.
Finally, we have the fork oil. The fork oil helps reduce the vibration of an uneven surface to your handlebars. You should have your fork oil changed every year or two.
Charge Your Battery
The battery on your motorcycle is critically important. If your battery dies out in the middle of nowhere, you will have a hard time finding a jump to get you back on the road. Charging your battery is critical to ensure that your bike is ready for your next big road trip.
Before going on a long road trip, you should have your battery charged to ensure that it will be able to handle the trip. Here are the steps you should take to charge your battery. First, determine that your battery will be able to accept the charge. Next, determine the battery’s construction type and get the corresponding charger. Now, remove the battery and charge it. Finally, reinstall the battery and test the electrical system to ensure that everything is in working order.
Look for warning signs that your battery may be failing. For instance, if you notice that your lights are dim, then that’s a sign that your battery is on its last legs. Also, check to see if your bike has a slow crank. If you notice any of these signs, then you will want to have your battery charged or replaced right away.
Spark Those Plugs
Next, spark those plugs on your bike. The spark plugs are responsible for igniting the air and fuel mixture within your bike’s cylinders. Essentially, your spark plugs are what keeps your vehicle moving on the road. Spark plugs usually last about 10,000-20,000 miles.
You can check to see if your spark plugs are in good working order by performing a visual inspection. Start by removing the spark plugs and checking for excessive deposits or electrodes that have been burned away. If your spark plug looks like it has been damaged, it’s recommended you have it replaced before you hit the road.
Chains & Tire Check
Finally, you will want to perform chains and tire checks. Begin with inspecting the chain. Using a tape measure, grab the chain halfway between the front and the rear sprockets. Now, pull the chain up and down. The chair should be able to freely move about 1 inch up and 1 inch down. Next, inspect the motorcycle’s sprockets to check to see if its teeth are worn. Make sure that your chain can easily catch the sprocket’s teeth. After you have inspected the chain, it’s a good idea to have it cleaned and well lubricated. Finally, wipe off the excessive grime with a rag.
Now, it’s time to take a look at your motorcycle’s tires. Blowouts and leaks are one of the most common forms of bike breakdowns. Therefore, it is a good idea to make a visual inspection of the tires before heading out. When your tires are new, they will have about 5-6 millimeters of tread depth. On the tire itself are a number of grooves. Within the grooves are little bumps that serve as wear indicators. These indicators rise about 1 millimeter from the tread. Therefore, if you see these little bumps, then that means there’s about 1 millimeter of tread left on your tires, and they have to be changed. However, you don’t even want to get your tire to that “warning point” in the first place.
Ideally, you should change your tires when there are about 2 millimeters left of tread on your tires. You can also measure your tire’s tread by doing the old Lincoln penny test. Simply place a penny head down into the groove. If you can see Honest Abe’s hairline, then that means that the tread is low, and the tire needs to be replaced.
Check your tires for dry rot also. Over time, tires can become less supple. This can cause the tire to crack. Cracks in your tires can make you more susceptible to blowouts.
Finally, check the original manufacturer date on your tires. You can find the date on the side of the tire. The date is a four-digit code: The first two numbers indicate the week the tire was made, and the second two numbers indicate the year. For example, 3815 means that the tire was made in the 38th week of 2015. Motorcycle tires expire after six years.
Keep Your Motorcycle in Peak Condition
It’s important to maintain your motorcycle in top shape. Remember to check your fluids, charge your battery, check your spark plugs, and take a good long look at your chains and tires. With the right inspection, your motorcycle will be ready to go.