Lots of people get a little lazy about motorcycle maintenance over time. But, to keep your bike in good running condition, periodic maintenance is extremely important. In order to maximise the life of the vehicle and minimise the amount of trouble it causes you, you need to keep your bike maintained.
Maintaining your bike regularly helps it perform at its peak and ensures that you can enjoy safe, problem-free riding.
Today, we will help you with some basic things to maintain your bike in a good condition, especially in the context of Nepal.
1. Tyres and wheels
Tyre maintenance is a fundamental part of motorcycle operation. While age should be considered, it is by no means the only and certainly not the most important factor in determining a tyre’s roadworthiness.
Over-inflated tyres reduce the amount of contact between your bike and the road and rob you of potentially vital grips while under-inflated tyres reduce your bike’s stability and make handling and braking harder than they should be. Checking the air pressure and any signs of wear and tear is also very essential. Keeping the correct amount of air pressure is good for handling on the road and avoiding blowouts. With the right pressure, they will last longer.
2. Adjusting brakes
Keeping your brake pad effective is probably one of the most important things you should do as a bike owner. Brakes becoming too tight, or too loose, can be very dangerous and may lead to fatal accidents as well. So, testing the brakes before rides will make sure they are in good working condition.
To keep your brakes at optimum performance, brake fluid should be replaced every one to two years depending on the instruction in your manual. Also, the thickness of the brake pads should be checked and it is highly recommended to change them before they are worn down to the metal.
3. Clutch adjustments
Adjustment of the clutch in the motorcycle is very important and not a hard thing to do as well. The clutch should have the right amount of free play for the best operation of the vehicle. If the clutch is too tight, it may cause it to slip without your noticing. The tight clutch will also lead to fuel consumption and will probably cause pain in your palms. If the clutch is too loose, you may find it difficult to change the gears and it will probably wear out the clutch plate sooner than it should be.
4. Drive chain maintenance
The drive chain transfers the power from your engine to your rear wheel. If your bike chain is not lubricated timely, it may be damaged due to excessive heat and will wear out. This cumulative wear on all the separate links makes the chain lose, and more likely to fall off the sprockets. This can be very dangerous.
It is a good practice to lube your chain after 200-300 km or even more regularly. This allows the oil to penetrate all parts of the chain. Checking the chain tension should also be done once in a while and adjusting it in the right tension will not only prolong the chain’s life but the life of the bike itself.
The most common mistake people do while cleaning a chain is cleaning it with water. Such practice can rust the chain links and can wear them out before time.
5. Cleaning air filters regularly
The air filter does an important job, protecting the more delicate internal parts of the engine from airborne dust and other particles that could damage it. A dirty filter can cause the engine to work harder and cleaning it will give the bike more power. Cleaning the air filters regularly will also provide additional mileage to the bike. If you are living in a densely polluted area like Kathmandu, the cleaning of air filters should be done more often. It should be replaced after 1,500 km for the bike to perform in optimum condition.
6. Battery maintenance
A bike’s battery requires periodical maintenance to ensure a long and trouble-free life. If required, the battery should be topped up with distilled water. Examination for any leakage from the battery should be done. The bike should be clean as well as free from any sort of battery leakages. If the motorcycle is not used for a long time, the owner should ensure that the battery is kept fully charged.
7. Checking engine oil
Engine oil plays a crucial role in the smooth operation and maintenance of the bike. Regular checking of the engine oil level and maintenance at the correct level should always be done.
Check for any possible oil leakages should be done. Due to the presence of carbon deposits, the oil is going to thicken creating a drag in the movement of engine internals. Running the bike on dirty oil would just not increase the consumption of fuel but also drastically reduces the engine life.
8. Regular cleanup
Cleaning your bike regularly will not only help the bike to maintain a good look but also will make it easier to notice if the bike is missing a screw or two. The use of microfibre cloth is always highly recommended while cleaning the surface of the bike. Also, direct exposure to sunlight is not recommended.