Regular motorcycle maintenance is one of the keys to keeping your bike (and yourself) safe and in good working order. If you’re a “do-it-yourself” person and want to save a little money, here are a few fairly simple maintenance tasks you can perform.
Oil Changes – Most bikes require an oil change after several thousand miles (check your owner’s manual). To do it yourself, place a drain pan under the oil drain plug, then remove the plug (also remove the oil fill plug). Once the oil is drained, you should also replace the oil filter. Then just replace the drain plug and refill the oil according to the owner’s manual.
Change the Air Filter – This task is easy on some bikes, and not so simple on others. If the air filter is easily accessible, simply remove the filter cover and replace the air filter. However, on some bikes you may need to remove the gas tank or other parts to access the air filter.
Check the Tires – You need to regularly check the air pressure and treads on your tires. Look on the side of the tire to find information about recommended air pressure and make sure your tires are properly inflated at all times. You can check the treads by looking at the wear indicator (a little rubber knob located in the grooves of the tire). If the knob is at the same depth as the tire tread, it’s time to replace the tire.
Clean the Chain – You should clean the chain if it’s obviously dirty (or according to the owner’s manual schedule). To do so, elevate the rear wheel and put the bike in neutral (this allows for easy chain movement). Use a soft bristle brush to remove grime, grit, etc. Apply chain lubricant to coat the chain evenly while rotating the back wheel. Let stand for five minutes, then wipe off excess lube with paper towels.