Nobody likes to make mistakes. After all, they are frequently time-consuming and costly to correct. For the motorcyclist, perhaps more so than other vehicle drivers, making a mistake can have some very dangerous and life-threatening repercussions as well. However, there are some steps you can take to see that when you are riding your bike that any problems related to the machine itself are kept to a minimum.
8 Motorcycle Maintenance Mistakes to Avoid
Knowledge, Systems and Parts:
- Not understanding how things work. You don’t have to know about every single nut, bolt, and sprocket on your bike. But knowledge is power, and the more you know the better. Take time to familiarize yourself with your bike’s user manual. Learn how the brake, drive, electrical, and control systems work so you know when there is a problem (or potential one).
- Ignoring the problem(s). Don’t delay taking your bike to the shop when you suspect a problem. You may not want to spend the cash but having an accident due to a system failure can be more costly. You can avoid most systems problems with proper maintenance. A good, trustworthy mechanic is a plus, too. Also, putting off a small problem and continuing to ride often leads to a much larger (and more costly) problem to repair.
- Using unreliable parts. Only have repairs or replacements made with reliable parts. Don’t settle for a cheaper part simply due to price. Be sure to use parts for upgrades and repairs that are recommended by the manufacturer so your bike can run properly and safely.
Preventive Motorcycle Maintenance and Upkeep
- Failing to check the tire pressure and tire treads at least once a week. It only takes a few minutes but having your tires in peak condition means a smoother ride. Plus, riding with under/over-inflated tires adds to fuel consumption and affects how well your tires grab the road’s surface.
- Not riding often enough. If you only ride on occasion (less than 25 miles per week), then your fuel can get contaminated and affect your bike’s performance. Keep your fuel clean by using a combustion and fuel system cleaner such as Quickshot from AMSOIL.
- Forgetting to change the oil. Old oil means sludge build-up, potential corrosion, and damage to your bike’s engine. Keep your bike running smoothly by using a quality AMSOIL synthetic oil for your V-Twin or Metric bike. AMSOIL products are readily available through Buy Great Oil. To find the right products for your particular motorcycle, use our AMSOIL motorcycle maintenance lookup guide.
- Not changing the filters. Your bike has 3 filters that play an important role in riding – the air filter, the oil filter, and the fuel filter. Each of these needs to be replaced as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Failing to wash off your bike after riding. This is not just about your bike looking good! A clean bike is easier to maintain because it’s easier to tell if there is an alignment problem.
Riding your motorcycle is a great activity. It makes the ‘getting there’ more fun and lets you experience trips in a way no other vehicle on the road can. However, the goal is to not just get from point A to point B- you want to do it safely and know that your bike is up to the task. By avoiding these common mistakes in bike maintenance, you can know your bike is ready to ride.