The Brain Bucket

Most Common Summer Motorcycle Maintenance Tasks

Jun 10, 2018 3:00:00 PM / by Cam

Advice for New Motorcycle Riders: Summer Maintenance

It’s summertime, and for most people, that means lounging  out by the pool and having an unlimited amount of BBQ’s with neighbors and friends. Summer means something a little different for every motorcycle rider out there. It means a new time for adventure, a typically cloudless sky, and not going much of anywhere without your bike. It’s the perfect time to take a road trip to a new state or city you’ve never experienced before, or just ride the streets and see where you end up. There’s a spontaneous feeling that comes with summer, and while you’re not a student that gets three months of a break anymore, you still feel that sense of excitement.

 


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I’m sure you’ve been riding plenty before this point, but summer should bring a more efficient maintenance check. The roads are hot, the sun will be beating down on you, and it’s the least favored time of year to be stuck on the side of the road with an issue. You might feel the urge to jump on your bike and add the miles to it, but part of being a motorcycle owner involves being responsible for your ride. Just like performing winter motorcycle maintenance, there's a time in the summer to do the same. So put on your responsibility hat, and get out your checklist!

motorcycles in the sun

Here are some maintenance tips to remember before your long summer rides:

 

Give your oil and fluid levels a look.

In the best case scenario, you realize that nothing really needs to be topped off. But worse case scenario, you see that you need to fill up on your essential liquids. A quick check will give you a solid piece of mind, so just take the time to do it. As a bike owner, you should always have all your liquids readily available to you in your garage. That way, if you do need to fill up, you don’t have to drive off to the store. It’s not hoarding if it’s for functional purposes, right?

checking oil motorcycle

Don’t forget there’s always the chance that you might need to flush and then replace. It’s all about keeping your bike in the best condition possible so that it can ride for as long as you need it.

 

Take a look at your tires.

I personally feel like this is the one inspection that most motorcycle owners dread, and it’s not because it’s hard. If anything, it’s the easiest motorcycle maintenance check. But if the test doesn’t go your way, it’s one of the more costly ones. While the sun will be shining this summer, for most places, that also means an increased chance of rain. And when it’s raining, you want your tires to be in a condition to handle it. The slip up (ha, get it?) with this is when your tires have treads that are worn down, or not really there, at all.

motorcycle tire

Grab a penny and use it to inspect your tires. If you put Mr. Lincoln head down, and you can see just a little bit of his hair, you should be fine. But if you can see all of his luscious hair (okay, I’ll stop, it’s weird) that means it’s probably time to replace them. Your wallet might not be happy, but decreasing any chance of slipping on the road should be a priority.

 

Check the bike's suspension and steering.

This might feel a little tedious for some, but if you’re not willing to take the time to check your bike, then you probably shouldn’t own one. The chances of an accident are already high on a bike, and not dedicating the time to check everything isn’t necessarily my definition of responsible. Give your motorcycle frame a check to see if there are any hairline cracks. If you’re a new motorcycle rider and not exactly sure what you’re looking for, there are internet tutorials that can be your friend.  

motorcycle suspension

You’ll also want to take a look and your handlebars and steering head, just to be safe. Your bearings might need some much-needed lubrication, or you might need to tighten some nuts. You wouldn’t notice these things if you weren’t actively checking and looking for them, so take the time to try and ensure a safer ride.

 

Show some love to your cylinder walls.

While most riders have already been on their bike, some riders live in states with harsh winters and unforgiving springs. This means this could be the first time your bike is seeing some fresh air, for some of you (and if you’re one of those riders, I’m sorry). You’ll want to inspect your bike much more critically than others because it’s been sitting in your garage for a while. Any numbers of things could be an issue, including your cylinder walls.

motorcycle engine

If that’s the case, it’s best to add just a little bit of oil to your spark plug ports. You’ll want to do this before you start up your engine. This will help to add lubrication to the cylinder walls, especially if you did not do much to them when you originally put the bike away because of cold weather.

 

Check all of your electronics.

Typically, this one is easily forgotten , only because it slips your mind.. Finding out that your electronics aren’t in working order while you’re riding, especially at night, will not be a fun time. Check your headlight to make sure it’s in working order. If it’s not, it’s an easy fix to change it out. Just use YouTube as your resource, and look specifically for your model and brand.

motorcycle headlight

You’ll want to make sure your brake lights and turn signals are functioning because that will have a direct impact on your safety. If these two things aren’t working, then cars and other bikes that are behind you won’t be able to tell if you’re braking or merging into a new lane. It’s already dangerous enough out there, and you really don’t want to add any additional liabilities.

These are all things that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to a responsible bike owner, but it never hurts to be reminded. This is the time to enjoy the open roads and seek adventures in new places, and you’ll want to make sure your bike is just as ready as you are.  

 


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Topics: Articles, Motorcycles, The Brain Bucket

Cam

Written by Cam

I'm new to riding, and I'm here to tell everyone about it! Follow my articles on advice for new motorcycle riders and overviews of some of the most popular motorcycles on the road.

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