AT the age of 16 ½ you can attend a pre-learning course, ready to get your learner license at 16 years and 9 months old. From there it’s a relatively short step to getting your bike license and enjoying the open road.
However, your motorbike is an engine and frame; there are numerous moving parts and a large amount of stress is placed on all the components every time you ride. If you decide to skip your routine maintenance then you may be surprised by how quickly your bike gives up on you.
While you can visit a motorbike sales specialist and have them do your maintenance for you this is not usually a practical option on a week to week basis.
It is better to learn the basic maintenance skills you’ll need and take care of your bike; this will ensure it takes care of you.
The most important part of your maintenance should be a visual inspection of your bike before you ride; you should do this every time.
This will allow you to see any pipes that are becoming worn or look chaffed. You’ll also be able to see of the tires are in good condition or if there are any other obvious issues. Doing this every time will ensure you know your bike and see faults instantly.
The oil is the lifeblood of your engine. It is essential to ensure the smooth movement of all the parts. You should check this at least once a week. Simply remove the dipstick, wipe it clean and then put it back in. When you pull it out it will show your current oil level.
Never overfill the engine as this will cause it to seize.
It is also important to change the oil regularly.
If your bike is water cooled then you need to check the water level at least once a week. It should stay the same, if it starts to go down you may have a water leak that needs locating and fixing.
The tires are the only part of your bike that comes into contact with the ground; they are essential. Check your tread every week and ensure your tires are at the correct pressure. This will ensure your bike handles properly. It will also help fuel consumption although that’s probably less of a concern.
Most motorbikes are chain driven although you may have a shaft or belt driven one. If you have a chain you’ll need to check and adjust the tension regularly. If it is too loose then it could come off damaging you and your bike. If it is to tight then it will cause premature wear of your sprockets and may strain your engine.
It is worth checking your valves regularly to ensure the gaps are correct. This is something that you may prefer to take to your professional mechanic but it is important to have them checked regularly to ensure the smooth operation of your bike.