Motorcycles, much like any motor vehicle, do require regular maintenance and if you’re about to purchase your first bike, you should know about the basics of bike maintenance, and with that in mind, here is some useful information on servicing and maintenance.
- Engine Maintenance – The engine oil should be replaced at mileage intervals recommended by the manufacturer (see owner’s manual) and the specifications of the oil should be as stated in the owner’s manual. Spark plugs need to be inspected and replaced where necessary, while air filters need to be cleaned or replaced and the engine should be cleaned with air pressure and sprayed with a protective oil coating. When going on the road, Yamaha finance makes it possible to buy a nice bike and you can spread the payment over a couple of years.
- Brakes – most bikes have disc brakes front and rear and they are hydraulically operated, so check the fluid levels on the reservoirs and top up when required. Brake pads should last at least 30,000km and they should be inspected at every service; never let the pads wear down to nothing, as the rivets will damage the surface of the brake discs.
- Tyres – Your tyres are the only contact you have with the road and they need to be in good condition and have adequate tread, while also being correctly inflated. Check your tyres before every outing, looking for bulges or tears on the sidewalls, as well as the tread surfaces. Go with the top brands when replacing tyres and most riders find a preference after a while.
- Chain Maintenance– It is important to check the tension of your primary chain drive; if it is too slack, it needs to be adjusted and this is perfectly normal. Lubricate the chain often (you can buy spray-on oil that clings to the chain, which is ideal.
- Regular Cleaning– A jet wash is recommended frequently, which will ensure that all the surfaces will be thoroughly cleaned, then a coating of oil is recommended. There are bike waxes that you can use to protect the fairing and if you are like most bikers, you will be obsessed with cleaning your prize bike.
- The Owner’s Manual– Everything you need to know is contained within the owner’s manual and that includes specific mileage service sessions, which you should follow. If you are buying a new bike, you won’t have to worry because the bike dealer will service the machine for the first couple of years, after which, there is a small payment for service labour, and, of course, the cost of parts.
Most riders book their bike in at a dealership, where qualified mechanics carry out the work and as time goes by, keep a record of all the service sessions, which will help if you ever decide to sell.