SPEND YOUR SPARE TIME WITH THIS SIMPLE MAINTENANCE IDEAS
Are you thinking of things to do in your spare time, or during a relaxed day at home? If you haven’t already, why not try giving your motorcycle some extra care and make sure that your ride is always in tip-top shape.
Here are some ideas of simple, but valuable motorcycle maintenance checklist that anyone can do, even if they don’t keep a complete range of equipment in their toolbox.
1. Spark plugs check
The only tool you will need for this item is a special wrench to remove and then return the spark plugs to their places. Check the plugs’ condition and look for signs of wear, which mean they need replacement. To do this, look at the color of the electrode – deep red or brown color means the plugs and combustion are working properly.
A black electrode means that it has been exposed to more gasoline than air. This usually means that your motorcycle will be consuming more fuel than it should.
Meanwhile, a white electrode means there is more air than gasoline in the environment, where both should be balanced. As the result, your motorcycle will heat up faster and may cause premature damage to engine components.
Finally, a black electrode where oil is caught at its tip means oil has entered the combustion chamber and that your piston rings have malfunctioned.
2. Oil Check
Take your oil dipstick and check your oil’s condition: is it thin, does it have the right viscosity, or has it experienced discoloration? Also, check the last oil replacement; months may have gone by since the last oil change without you realizing it. If this is the case, now’s a good time to try and change the oil on your own.
READ ALSO: 6 STEPS FOR AT-HOME OIL REPLACEMENT
First, put your motorcycle on the center stand. This position will accelerate the oil drain. Prepare a container and then remove the oil drain cap underneath the engine using a wrench. Don’t forget to also remove the oil filter.
To make sure that the oil has been completely drained, the next thing to do is to remove the gauge bolt next to the engine oil’s cap and start your motorcycle to remove the last drops of oil. Oil filter should also be cleaned, but it’s better to replace the filter if it is too dirty. After oil draining, don’t forget to secure the drain cap again.
Next, pour the new oil into the engine. Fire up your motorcycle and let the engine runs for several minutes. Turn off the engine and check the oil’s level – make sure that it measures on the maximum recommended oil level.
To check chains’ condition, start your motorcycle and listen to weird, suspicious noises. This may indicate several things, such as the chains needing lubrication, or the chains are either too tight or too loose.
If your ride an automatic motorcycle, pay attention to how your engine sounds and check the CVT to identify any problem. For your information, CVT, especially the roller weights, may experience problems due to use. The roller weights should be replaced after 20,000 to 24,000 km. The weights may develop wear, which cause vibrations during riding.
Understandably, not everyone is an expert in replacing engine and transmission components, or the tools may not be available at home. So, once you identify a potential problem, the best next step is to take your motorcycle to a mechanic or auto shop, where the entire system can be checked – from the pulleys, the clutch house, clutch pads, to the V-belt, and more.
Up next in your to-do list is checking the lights – headlights, turn signs, and brake lights – and make sure they work properly. If the lights appear dim or refuse to function at all, there are some potential problematic parts, such as the bulbs, the switch, the cables, connectors, the relay, or even the battery as the power source.
5. Tire Pressure and Thread
No tire, no go. Tire condition is crucial to check from time to time. Refer to your owner’s manual on how to check tire pressure. For tire thread, see if the thread is still visible; otherwise, that means you need new tires as soon as possible. Riding on worn out tires is dangerous for you and others on the road, especially when raining.
6. Finally: Wash and Wipe
It’s only natural that your motorcycle catches some dirt after an inspection. Now, it’s time to fill up your bucket and scrub the dirt thoroughly. Use special soap product to keep the shine of the exterior paint.