Keeping Your Safe And Motorcycle Running Its Best
Like any vehicle you own, keeping your motorcycle running at it's best depends on how well it is maintained. It requires more than just gassing it up and riding it to keep everything working as it should be. Whether you do the motorcycle repair work yourself or take it to a dealership for the service work, keeping the service intervals is important.
Changing The Oil
Just like your car, truck, or SUV, the oil and filter in your motorcycle should be changed on a schedule set by the manufacturer. The mileage may be different from that of a car because motorcycle engines run at different temperatures and the oil used in them is different from that of a car or truck engine. The oil for your motorcycle has additional additives to keep it from foaming inside the engine and with the use of synthetics on the rise, you should check with the dealer if you are not sure how often to change the oil. If you change the oil, the filter should also be changed. Leaving the dirty one in the engine will contaminate the fresh oil and make the entire oil change pointless.
Brake Service and Inspection
Motorcycles are different than other vehicles and the components on them are much more sensitive to failures. Brakes that are not working right on any vehicle is bad but on a motorcycle, you only have two brakes and the balance between them is critical to making the motorcycle handle properly. A motorcycle with rear brakes that are not working can leave the rider going over the handlebars in an emergency stop and front brakes that do not work can cause the rear tire to lock up and slide, leaving the bike out of control and increasing the stopping distance substantially. Every time you service your motorcycle, take a look at the brakes and make sure they are working properly. Make sure the brake fluid reservoirs are full and there are no leaks anywhere along the brake lines. If you have any doubt, have the dealer check them.
Tires and Rims
Like the brakes, a tire that fails on a motorcycle while you are riding it can cause an accident or make the motorcycle very hard to control. With just two tires, if one blows or goes flat, the motorcycle can become completely unmanageable and just getting it stopped will be extremely difficult. The tires should be inspected often to be sure there are no problems with them. Thin tread, cords showing through the rubber, bubbles or defects on the side wall, or any obvious damage you see on the tires can translate to a blown tire while you are on the road. Replace any tire that looks like there is a problem with it as soon as you find the problem.