Top tips to keep your motorcycle in great condition.

Regular maintenance and care is the key to keeping your motorcycle in tip top condition. Keep on top of things, this will ensure you spot any issues and make sure your motorcycle is safe for the next ride.

Like any vehicle, regular checks on things like oil, tyres, forks and chains will give you peace of mind when riding a motorcycle. Also as a biker it’s almost certain that you know someone or have yourself experienced a flat battery. That famous clicking of a flat battery can instantly terminate plans for a weekend ride out.

There is definitely no substitute for manufacturer trained technician servicing, however caring and maintaining your bike maximises its future value and keeps you safe on the road. 

Make sure your bike stays in the best condition possible and provides miles of enjoyable riding.

We’re going to give you our top 10 tips for caring for your motorbike.

 

10 RECOMMENDED REGULAR MOTORCYCLE CHECKS & CARE TIPS

1. Cleaning your motorcycle

Your motorcycle condition will depend on whether you are an off-road warrior,  fair weather rider or into regular track days. Whatever type of riding you are into we’re not talking quick hose down after a ride here. 

  • Choose decent bike specific cleaning products that protect the paint and frame. Don't use harsh household chemicals that can damage the finishes on your motorcycle. 
  • When cleaning check all remains of grime and dirt have been removed. This will keep your bike looking great and prevent corrosion and damage to plastics, metal and paint.
  • Avoid high pressure jet washers as they can cause water damage to the more delicate mechanical areas of your bike.
  • Let the bike cool off, then rinse with cool water to remove and loosen any dirt.
  • Use a quality bike sponge with lukewarm water to clean round the bike, and then thoroughly rinse with clean cool water. Dedicated enthusiasts can buy hot air dryers, although a good wipe round with a drying towel will remove any excess water.
  • Let the engine run for a few minutes after washing to allow it to warm through and fully dry.
  • As a finishing touch, you can apply a wax or detail spray to give extra shine and protection between washes. 

We have a great range of motorcycle specific cleaning and protection products 

See our Harley Davidson cleaning products hereSee Muc off kit here  or visit one of our many motorcycle dealerships where we can assist and advise you on the best products for you bike.

Cleaning your Motorcycle
Motorcycle Tyres

2. Check your tyres

This is probably the most important part of your motorbike and should be part of your motorcycle maintenance ahead of every ride. You should be looking at the tyres and inspecting for tears, holes and cracks in the rubber. Check the tyre pressure and tread depth and make sure they are within the manufacturer specifications and legal requirements.

You can find the recommended tyre pressure for your bike in the motorcycle handbook. It's important to maintain the right pressure, as over-inflating or under-inflating the tyres can seriously affect the bike's handling and braking. Always keep your tire pressures within the manufacturer specifications using a calibrated pressure gauge.

Blade Motorcycles have a wide range of tyres from the leading manufacturers like Metzeler, Michelin, Brigestone and Pirelli that are designed specifically for your motorcycle and type of riding. Contact us at your local dealership for prices and fitting times.

3. Maintain your chain

Giving your chain a quick visual inspection, ideally this is best done in neutral with the rear wheel off the floor, however we know this is not an option for everyone. Check that the wheel rotates freely and that the chains and sprockets are free from rust and dirt.

Before you start anything here, make sure you’ve got gloves and suitable clothing, its a mucky job. For cleaning and lubrication its key to do the former first lubricating a dirty chain and sprocket can make things far worse and do damage. Use a specific chain cleaner and brush, always rinse gently to avoid getting water into places that will cause corrosion.

You’re aiming to get a nice even coat of chain lube across your chain, and we’d suggest cleaning and lubing your chain after a ride as it will give the lubricant a chance to do its job before the next ride. We have our preferred chain lubes here. Don’t use engine oil.

Buy Chain lube from Silkolene
Buy Chain Lube from Wurth

Motorcycle Chain Care
Motorcycle battery charging

4. Keep your battery charged and replace according to manufacturer guidelines

This is the most simple Motorcycle maintenance task. Batteries are important for keeping your motorcycle in good working order. If you don't maintain your battery, you could end up stranded on a ride. Putting a bike's battery on a charger that can be left and walk away knowing it will maintain and care for your battery should give you miles of trouble free riding.

We stock a good range of battery chargers and optimisers specifically for your motorcycle. Get in touch and we can advise on the best solution for you and your riding. Remember your battery should be changed every 2 - 4 years

5. Check Brakes and Brake pads

The condition of your front and rear brakes is paramount to your safety when riding, seized or tight brakes can lead to accidents. Simple visual inspection of the discs and pads checking the discs for cracks, scoring and glazing and pads for a good amount of depth. It's also worth looking at your brake pipes and ensuring there is no misting or fluid loss. 

Brake fluid should also be checked and topped up according to your bike owners manual. We highly recommend you let one of our qualified motorcycle technicians do the changing of fluid, but you should check your level before every ride and top up as necessary, Brake fluid should always look glossy and semi transparent.

If you have any concerns about anything related to your brakes and stopping, get in touch with your local Blade dealership for a motorcycle brake check.

Motorcycle brakes and pads
Motorcycle Air Filters

6. Check Air filters

Keep your bike breathing easy, it’ll improve performance and fuel economy which in turn will make your bike run and start better. Open your Air filter housing remove the filter and knock of as much dirt as possible, soak in a suitable air filter cleaner and then ensure you dry the filter thoroughly. Clean out the housing and then re-oil filter. Always check for damage and refit or replace as required.

7. Check Coolant

This will not apply to you if you have an air cooled bike and if you’re not sure which your is, if it has a radiator you will need to check your coolant levels.

Make sure your bike is flat and level with the bike cold or warmed up. Check your handbook and top up if required with the correct coolant there are different types depending on your make and model. Also avoid tap water if possible as this contains contaminants, distilled water is preferred.

Motorcycle Coolant
Motorcycle engine oil

8. Check Engine Oil

Ensuring your engine has the correct oil level is critical for the longevity and performance of your motorcycle. Checking the oil is easy and the procedure depends on whether your bike has a dipstick or inspection window.

Modern bikes tend to have an inspection window with clear min and max markings and your oil should sit somewhere between the two. The same applies to your oil dipstick. Your oil should be clear and a yellowy green colour, if it is brown or milky then it suggested you may have an issue with coolant getting into your oil or its ready for a change.

Firstly make sure your bike is on level ground and has been stood for 15- 20 mins to ensure all oil is cool and has returned to the sump. Check the level and if required top up with the correct oil.

9. Check Cables and Levers

Check the brake and clutch lever make sure they operate properly and smoothly, check the cables are free of kinks and are not getting trapped when you turn the handlebars from lock to lock.

If you think they need adjusting, contact your local Blade motorcycle servicing department for assistance.

Motorcycle cables and levers
Honda CBR650R

10. Check nuts and bolts around the frame

A visual pre-ride check should be part of your routine motorcycle care. A check of all frame mounted parts to ensure they are fully attached and secure is a no brainer and should be part of your own motorcycle maintenance.
See our Harley Davidson Snap-On Toolkit
See our Harley Davidson Premium Toolkit
See our KTM Toolkit

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