The excitement of going on a bike trip for a smooth holiday should never overshadow the important steps you must take. A short pre-ride inspection will always help you start your bike on the right foot. By regularly maintaining your bike, you don’t just increase the lifespan of your machine, but you steer away from trouble on the road as well. This also helps you have the company of your favorite motorcycle for longer. So, if you’re attached to your bike or you just need to confirm that the bike you’re renting is in good shape, look at these areas as signs that the bike is in top notch condition.
Here are a few motorbike maintenance tips for a smooth holiday, before you hit the road:
Your tyres are the lifeline of your bike. It is absolutely necessary to give them a quick look before any journey, as they come directly in contact with the road. There could be a hole, cut or crack on it. So visually inspecting them for such flaws can help avoid dealing with a flat tyre in the future.
Also, make sure to use a pressure gauge to check the pressure of your tyre. Do this when the tyre has cooled down, to get an accurate number of the pressure. The recommended pressure level for your tyre will depend on the bike you are using. Check the user-manual so you’re keeping the tyre at it’s recommended level. This is also a service provided at petrol pumps. So this can be easily checked off the list, when you fuel up your tank.
Another important checkpoint is the tyre tread depth. Covering the entire circumference of your tyre, there are these patterns that takeover your wheel. This is not just for your tyre to pull off a nice look, but mainly to ensure you have good grip on the road. Overtime, these patterns are pressurised and this interferes with their depth. When the depth shrinks, that’s when your tyre won’t be performing at its best. You would find it difficult to brake or manoeuvre, which means you have less control over your motorbike on the road now. Hence, tyre tread depth is essential. If you notice it’s worn out, it’s time to get the tyre changed. You could accurately measure your tyre depth with the mechanic at an auto shop, when you check the air pressure.
Lastly, you must park your bike in a cool, dry place, and away from direct sunlight, as heat can work a way to damage your tyre.
Engine oil is the most important for a smooth functioning of the internal engine parts of your bike. The lubrication from a good engine oil helps reduce friction and cools the components of the motor. The oil you use should have high heat resistance to carry the heat away from lubricated parts.
You would have to change your engine oil, as suggested by the manufacturer of your bike. Ideally, leave this part to an expert mechanic, if you’re not familiar with changing the oil. When you send your bike for servicing, oil change is one of the main tasks that prolongs the life of your bike.
Bikes consume oil faster during summer, so ensure you’re getting the engine oil changed periodically during summers. Along with the oil in the engine, oil filters need to be looked at regularly. If your bike has a newer engine, it runs more efficiently, so you won’t need to constantly pick on it and inspect it for an oil change.
Doing a change of engine oil is a reboot button for your bike engines and is definitely a must. Ensure that you or the mechanic is using synthetic engine oil for a better result.
If you cover a lot of miles on your bike and frequently take it out even during monsoons, it’s a must to inspect your chain. This is a very simple task and we recommend not to delay cleaning your chain, as it is going to be costly to replace it. All it takes is a chain cleaning spray and a brush. The chain of your bike catches lots of dirt because of its close proximity to the road. To clean it, rotate the rear wheel slowly and apply the cleaning spray to the chain. Then, you scrub the chain using the same rotating wheel trick. After cleaning, don’t forget to lubricate the chain and let it set for an hour or so. If you’ve not done this earlier, be careful. After you’re done, you’ll see a drastic difference in the performance of the rear wheel of your bike.
Coolant and Brake Fluid Level
Make sure the engine has cooled down when you check the brake fluid level. This is located on the handle bar of your bike, fully responsible for the way your brakes function. There’s also a brake fluid reservoir located at the rear tyre. Make sure that the level of oil is upto the markings you see. Similarly, you have a coolant located under the bike seat that takes care of cooling down the engine. Again, you would find markings that indicate the level of fluid your coolant requires. For both, if it’s below the mark, ensure you’ve done the needful. The coolant manages temperature changes and prevents damages to the engine.
- See that the front lights, indicators and horn are working well.
- Check if all the areas you control are working well, such as the gear, clutch and break. See if the mirrors are placed well. Adjust these things if required.
- Give your bike a good wash and wax to retain the look it had in the showroom.
- Always park your bike where there’s shade always.
See also: Essentials for Multi-Day Bike Trip
To make sure your motorbike is ready for the road, you have to do a quick checkup on it. Small changes prevent your bike from leaving you halfway from your destination. While you’re on the road, depending on how far you would be going, keep brake cables and accelerator cables handy.
When you’re renting a bike, you would easily be able to notice a well maintained bike. And honestly, that’s the best look your motorcycle can wear. It’s also what you deserve, especially when you’re treating yourself to an exciting road trip holiday.