Motorcycle/ATV maintenance is not only an essential part of owning a bike, it can make the difference between safe riding and getting in a dangerous situation or accident. While modern bikes require less maintenance than they did in the past, they still need a lot more attention than a car. Read on to learn how to maintain your motorcycle or ATV for optimum performance.
There are many different things you should check on your bike on a regular basis – so many in fact, that you could find yourself spending all your time doing maintenance and spending no time riding. So while it is important to check all the parts on your bike, here are the most important things to check on a regular basis.
Always make sure your ATV or motorcycle tires are properly inflated. Over-inflation or under-inflation can lead to a blow out – which is quite dangerous on a bike as you probably know. Checking your tires takes just a few minutes – so little time in fact that you can do it every time you fill up for gas.
Motorcycles and ATVs generally have two brake fluid reservoirs – one in the front and one in the back; both brake fluid reservoirs should be checked regularly and topped off as needed. Brake fluid tends to absorb moisture over time and become less effective, so only use brake fluid from a new, sealed bottle each time you refill the reservoirs. Additionally, you should regularly check the thickness of your brake pads and replace them as soon as necessary. If you allow the brake pads to go right down to the metal your brake disc will be damaged resulting in an unnecessary and expensive replacement of ATV parts or motorcycle parts.
We all know that you need gasoline to make your bike go, but the fuel filter and fuel lines are often overlooked as a form of preventative maintenance on an ATV or motorcycle. If you have a fuel filter, make sure it is not clogged and looks clean; fuel filters should be replaced every two years. Regularly check your fuel lines for cracking or weather damage and replace as needed. If you are parking your bike for an extended period of time, remember to turn the fuel tap to the off position to prevent any fuel from potentially leaking out and flooding the engine.
Regular oil and filter changes will keep your bike running at optimum performance. Your oil level should be kept at high or maximum level, and your oil filter should be changed with ever other oil change. Generally you should change your oil every 3,000 miles or every 3 months. High temperatures, speed, time, heavy traffic, short trips and dust can quickly destroy the quality of your oil, so if you ride in these conditions change your oil more frequently.
While the battery is a very common cause for breakdowns, it can be awkward to get to, and unfortunately doesn’t get checked often. However, your bike battery only requires a little monthly maintenance to perform perfectly. Always keep the battery charged to 100%; recharge the battery when the lights appear dim, the starter sounds weak, or the battery hasn’t been used in more than two weeks.