Riding For Less Money: The Benefits To Maintaining Your Motorcycle
Riding a motorcycle can be thrilling: the wind in your hair, the sound of the engine as you rev it on open roads, the sights you’ll see. Everything about a motorcycle is thrilling, though some thrills are more enjoyable than others—case in point? Breakdowns.
While some breakdowns are unavoidable since they’re caused by an issue you couldn’t see or even foresee; others are completely avoidable. We want you to enjoy the open road, so we’ll discuss a few issues to watch for and how to prevent them, one obvious item and how to take care of it, and a few other things that you should know about maintaining your motorcycle.
Whether you’re a veteran biker on Mississippi motorcycle insurance or a newbie who just got their first motorcycle, this article will have something for you. We’ll begin by discussing your air filters.
Changing Your Air Filter
There are three different types of motorcycle air filters, and each has their own respective pros and cons. Understanding the benefits and downfalls of each type will help you understand what maintenance must be performed and which one you will end up using. Probably the most popular type of air filter is the paper filter.
Maintaining your motorcycle is essential, and using an easily replaceable air filter can be advantageous. This type doesn’t remove many particles but requires no cleaning; you simply replace the old, dirty one when needed. This may be suitable if you ride infrequently on clean roads. However, for better engine health, considering other filter types may be wise.
Foam filters can be cleaned and are common among dirt bikes. These filters stop a lot of particles with one massive downside: they can also prevent airflow, especially when dirty. As a result, they must be checked and cleaned often. You could instead go for cotton filters, which tend to be highly sought after since they catch a lot of particles, don’t interrupt airflow, and can be cleaned. The issue with cotton filters is that they require special care. They must be washed with cleaning fluid and oil.
Which type you have and where you ride will dictate how you care for them, but regular checks are a must, no matter the type. Check it every now and then when on cleaner roads and after every ride when on dirt roads or after dirt biking.
Maintaining Your Brakes
The brakes on your motorcycle are one of the most important components, so cleaning them regularly is important as it not only ensures they’ll continue to function as intended but also increases the time between each replacement.
The first thing to do in maintaining your motorcycle is to be gentle—going too quickly, acting with too much force, or simply getting ahead of yourself may cause potential problems. Take your time, and address this one brake at a time.
First, remove the brake pads and examine them—if they’re in good condition, you can move to the next step, and if not, replace them. If you’re unsure, try either looking at your backup set or find pictures online of your brake pads. Once removed, fill a bucket with water and motorcycle cleaner and begin to gently clean the device that holds the brake pads, then dry it once you’re sure it’s clean.
After that, reassemble the brake and repeat on the other side. Once you’re completely done, double-check that all of the bolts are tightened and clean the discs. After all, you don’t want any of the muck you just cleaned off of the brakes to cause a problem on the discs!
Checking Your Battery
Taking care of your motorcycle’s battery is key to ensuring its longevity, and the more you need to replace the battery, the more expensive it’ll get. Aside from things like checking its charge and overall health, you also need to know when to store it and to check its fluids.
The latter needs to happen every month. If the fluid looks low, but you either don’t want to or can’t take it to a shop, then you’ll need to find a large, well-ventilated area, a face mask, and a pair of gloves alongside other things, such as an apron and some distilled water. Also, make sure the room you select is well-lit.
If you know that you won’t ride your motorcycle for a while, maintaining your motorcycle involves removing the battery and storing it in a location that stays above freezing temperature and is dry. You’ll want to ensure that none of its surroundings are conductive, so keep it away from metal and concrete.
Make sure to charge it occasionally, and try to avoid using your car’s battery. While this may be safe, it isn’t worth the risk.
Going Over Your Checklist
On top of doing all of the above, you also need to go over your maintenance checklist every now and then. Your checklist may include things such as looking for leaks, checking the tire pressure, ensuring it’s clean, and more.
You should also watch for any parts that are messier than they should be, as this could be a sign of an issue, and make sure all parts are in good condition. If you do spot a leak or a messy area, investigate.
Once you’ve determined the source, you’ll know how to proceed, even if that means doing research to see what your next step should be. Once you’ve checked everything over well and determined that all is well, take it for a test drive. If something feels off or you hear strange noises, take it to a mechanic or take a closer look and perform the maintenance yourself if you have the skills to do so.
Benefits Of Maintaining Your Motorcycle
Taking care of your motorcycle can help prevent many issues that would force you to go to the mechanic, but sometimes, there’s no way to avoid it, especially if your ride is older. However, failing to do any of the above may lead to your motorcycle not only needing to visit the repair shop more often but also could decrease its lifespan.
Doing your checks and repairs now will help ensure that you can enjoy the freedom of the road later on.