Nothing beats tinkering around with your favorite motorcycle on a nice Sunday afternoon. It can be doubly satisfying when you know you’re taking good care of your bike while saving money at the same time.
Even professionals who work in motorbikes sales agree that many small tasks are doable by even the most novice of bike owners.
It’s an easy afternoon chore to keep your bike chain in tip-top shape, and you don’t need fancy equipment to do it. There are 2 chain tasks you can learn to do: maintaining the tension and and keeping it clean.
The cleaning just involves a little scrubbing with a wire brush and some WD-40 to scour away the accumulated grease and dirt. Finish off with the appropriate chain lubricant and that’s all there is to it.
Working on the tension may be too advanced for the novice, but a good online tutorial can show you how to tighten (or loosen) the chain when needed. You’ll just need some basic hand tools for that.
Regular Oil Changes
As it is with most vehicles or machines, you can almost certainly handle doing the regular oil changes on your own with a motorcycle. All you need to do is open up the oil tank, let it drain out into a pan, then refill with the appropriate oil for your bike.
Once you have your bike up on a stand for this, you can also change the oil filter at the same time. Makes it easy to remember if you do both jobs at once. The filter can usually unscrew easily, and you just change the oil filter for a new one.
Tires looking a little flat or soft? Time to check the tire pressure, and you don’t need a mechanic to handle that. Use either a mechanical or digital pressure gauge and see exactly where your tires are at. If you’re riding low, just use a compressor to fill up to the desired pressure levels. While you’re at it, you can also give your tires a look over to see how the tread is doing. You don’t want to be riding around on worn or smooth tires.
Changing Air Filter
Another periodic chore is the changing of the air filter, intended to keep dust and dirt out of the engine. You don’t change it as often as the oil filter, but it is still something you can easily do on your own. Check your manual for the details, as not all models of bikes use the same kind of filters. Some are disposable, so you just swap the dirty one out for a clean one. Reusable ones sometimes have a layer of oil that will need to reapply after you clean it up.
These are a just a few examples of motorcycle maintenance you can start doing on your own. As you get more comfortable with motorbike mechanics, you start changing the spark plugs, cleaning the brake system and adjusting the transmission.