For a lot of bikers out there, the choice of owning a bike over a car is driven purely by a passion for motorcycles and riding! Therefore it only makes logical sense for a rider to take care of his/her two wheels and maintain it in a good condition.
Here are 5 easy tips for motorcycle maintenance, to ensure smooth and hassle-free riding-
1. Tyre pressure, wear and wheel alignment: Tyres are the most important part of your bike as they are the points of bike contact with any surface. Therefore it’s critical to take good care of tyres w.r.t. pressure, alignment and wear.
Maintaining good tyre pressure helps save fuel, and allows the bike to corner, brake and perform better. It also helps prevent faster and uneven wear-and-tear of the tyres. A low tyre pressure can result in damaged rims, especially since on Indian roads that never fail to surprise us with potholes! A handy tyre pressure gauge can help you a lot on trips too, where it's best to check tyre pressure before starting to detect any leaks. Always refer to the bike manual for recommended tyre pressure.
Make sure you bike's rear tyre is properly aligned to avoid uneven tyre wear and imbalance. Tyre change is usually recommended when tread is 1 mm. Fresh rubber ensures a proper grip and improved feedback on the road.
2. Checking bike fluids: These are your bike's blood! And a quick look on the sight glass can avert big trouble. Straighten your bike when it's cold and go through its engine oil, brake and clutch fluid and coolant levels. Check for any spills if your bike’s been parked overnight. And in case of any spills, get your bike checked up as soon as possible to avoid any major damage like a seized engine.
3. Check on wear and tear, freeplay and leakages: It goes without saying that your bike brake along other movable parts like sprockets, chain and suspensions should be in a healthy condition.
Let’s talk about the brake first. If your brake pads’ thickness is less than a 1-rupee coin, it's time to get them changed. If ignored, worn out brake pads can damage disk rotors over and above the obvious risk of reduced brake functioning.
Chains and sprockets usually have a long life if taken proper care of. But a quick look once in a while can give you a fair idea of their condition. Try keeping the chain properly lubricated every 1000 kms at least.
Throttle freeplay is an overlooked adjustment that helps increase control and response on the bike. Most factory manuals suggest 2-3 mm of freeplay.
Avoid riding with a leaking suspension, as the oil tends to leak onto the brake rotors, thereby reducing braking power significantly and damaging the shock absorbers.
4. Lubing movable parts: Doing so really helps increase feedback, softens out their movement and increase their life. Brake and clutch levers have a direct impact on feedback. We see rains making them all stiff quite often. So lube them regularly and you’ll see the difference. Avoid squeaky chain sounds and make the chain last longer by lubing it atleast once every 1000 kms. Do not use petrol or other harsh solvents to clean the chain as these can damage their O-rings. We recommend using Motul chain cleaner and lube.
5. Check lights and electricals: Ensure all the bike lights – headlights, brake lights, turn lights - are working properly to help visibility on the road. Brake lights and turn signals should be working properly to help trailers know your actions/intensions before it's too late. Also check your bike thoroughly once in a while to spot any damaged wires.
Sometimes a little effort goes a long way, and that is especially true for your motorcycle. So make sure to maintain your bike in a healthy condition and keep it feeling new every time you ride!