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Owning and riding a motorcycle is a thrilling experience and there’s nothing quite like it. They are also very simple to maintain, compared with a car.
However, that doesn’t mean you should let the maintenance on your motorcycle be on the back burner. Your machine still has needs and it’s important you’re on top of getting it serviced.
How often should I have my motorcycle serviced Regular servicing of your motorcycle will include changing your oil, lubing and checking your tension on the chain once every 4,000 miles (whichever comes first), checking your tire pressure every month, tuning the carburetor, flushing the cooling system for water-cooled engines every two year and checking your tires every month.
There are many other things a motorcycle might need, but the ones listed here are essential to be checked regularly. If you don’t do this, you could have more serious problems that will leave you in a bind.
How to Service Your Motorcycle
A motorcycle is an excellent alternative to a car if you are budget-conscious and don’t want to spend too much. There are also those who love having an extra vehicle. Either way, a motorcycle needs it’s regular check-ups.
There is no single answer to the question of how often your motorcycle should be serviced. A motorcycle service involves several factors and every one of them requires different times. It is a waste to do things too often and it can lead to damage to your bike.
You should first change your oil when you service your motorcycle. Almost every motorcycle owner knows this as a basic form of maintenance, but a lot of them don’t know how frequently they should do it. You do it whenever the oil light is on or the engine starts to burn oil. Wrong.
It is recommended that you have your oil changed every 4,000-miles or every six months depending on when it occurs. It’s important you don’t wait longer on oil changes because any issue with the engine is something you don’t ever want to have to experience.
Next, check the chain. A lot of motorcyclists don’t realize that the chain does, in fact, require regular maintenance.
Lubricate your motorcycle chain every 4,000 miles, or every six months. Whichever comes first, you should check its tension. It is the same schedule that oil changes, so it should be easy to remember. It is possible to plan for both oil changes and service at the same time.
Don’t forget to check the tire pressure of your motorcycle every month. This is one that I tend to forget about, but bad maintenance can lead to serious problems down the road. You can take your motorcycle to the shop for a monthly tire pressure check. They usually do this for you. You can also have them check your motorcycle for any other issues, usually at no additional charge.
Regular servicing and maintenance are required for any carburetor on your bike. I was guilty of paying little attention to the carburetor until it began causing me problems. It was easy to see that it would save me time and money. Every two years, you should have your carburetor tuned. That shouldn’t be very difficult since it’s not that frequent of intervals for service.
You should have your cooling system checked every two years if you have a water-cooled engine. This can be done while your carbs are being tuned, since they have the same service intervals. This should help you save a bit of time.
Are You able to do this maintenance yourself?
The next big question you may be asking is if you’re able to perform all of this maintenance yourself. You have the option to do it yourself. can Do most of the work yourself.
If you are willing to take a little bit of time to learn how to do these things (if you don’t already know how), you can become a pro in no time. The motorcycle is a simple machine and it’s much easier to fix them than the cars.
If you watch a few YouTube videos, you’ll be able to do exactly what you need to in order to keep up with the servicing of your motorcycle. It is easy to change the oil on your motorcycle. You can find videos that are specific to your motorcycle.
You can also use useful tools to check and adjust your bike’s chain tension. You’ll need to look up the exact chain tension your motorcycle requires in your owner’s manual as each motorcycle is different. You’ll also notice that some motorcycles require you to check the chain while the motorcycle is either on the side stand or when the rear wheel is elevated.
Taking your motorcycle in the shop just to get the tire pressure checked is almost silly because it’s so easy to do yourself. It’s only a matter of 10 seconds (if that) for each tire. Your tires will tell you the PSI of your tires indicated on the side. If you don’t have an air compressor at home, a lot of gas stations will have one you can use for a few dollars.
It is very easy to flush the cooling system of a motorcycle. The process involves removing the drain bolt and letting coolant drain. After that, add distilled water and let it drain. Finally, replace the bolt with your new coolant. It’s an easy process and can usually be done within an hour.
Tuning your carbs is an important part of servicing your bike. This is something that professionals should leave to professionals with special tools who will be able do it right the first attempt.
You can take your motorcycle to the shop or you can do it yourself. Do it Yourself
Some prefer to have all of their motorcycle service done by professionals, while others are more inclined to do it themselves. Regular service can really help you save money. Let’s look at the breakdown of the costs.
The cost of taking your motorcycle to the shop for oil changes can be anywhere from $50-$80. It seems that motorcycle oil change costs more than car oil changes. I have been able to change my oil every time I’ve tried. It cost me $30, which included buying the oil and a new filter.
Basic chain maintenance of a motorcycle in a shop can cost between $50 and $100. It’s a very simple task so you’ll probably only be paying for labor and a little bit of lube. It will cost you $6 to make the lube, which should last for about a year. You also get a few basic tools that you likely already have in your garage.
You don’t need to bring your bike in just for the pressure check. That will only cost you a few dollars a month to do yourself (or it’s free if you have an air compressor). I’ve actually never heard of a shop doing just this on a motorcycle.
The cost to tune your carburetor will be about $90 for each carb. You will only need to tune your carburetor about every two years.
Flushing out the cooling system of your motorcycle will cost around $100-$150 if it’s done at a shop. You can do it yourself for $20. You’ll pay about $5 for the distilled water, and $15 for the coolant. That’s a lot better than $150!
What Happens If You Don’t Regularly Service Your Motorcycle?
There’s a lot that can happen to your motorcycle if you don’t perform regular service and maintenance. As annoying as maintenance can be, it’ll be a lot more annoying for you when you’re stuck with a preventable problem on your motorcycle.
People stick to the mileage rule over the time rule when it is about oil changes. People don’t ride their motorcycles for more than 4,000 miles in six months. Therefore, they wait until they reach 4,000 miles. Old oil can lose it’s lubrication properties over time and will be less effective lubricating your engine. The engine may overheat and eventually seize.
Unlubricated, loose, or tight chain can increase the risk of your chain breaking. It is extremely dangerous if your chain breaks while you’re out riding because it can tangle up on the sprocket and bring you to an abrupt halt. You can also have your vehicle damaged or thrown back by it. For more information on what to do if your motorcycle chain breaks, click here.
A low tire pressure can lead to a flat tire or tire blowing, which can cause serious damage to your rims. A poor carburetor maintenance can leave you with a broken bike. Badly tuned carbs can cause your motorcycle to stop running and make it very uncomfortable.
A cooling system failure could lead to sludge or deposits in your cooling system. This can easily clog passageways which also means coolant isn’t getting to some parts of your engine thus your engine overheats. A smoking engine can eventually lead to it seizing.
Can a motorcycle use oil from a vehicle’s engine? It is OK to temporarily use motorcycle engine oil. It shouldn’t be used often. You should change your motorcycle oil sooner than the normal oil change intervals if car engine oil was used. You can click here for more information.
What is considered high mileage? High mileage for a motorcycle is anywhere between 50,000 – 60,000 miles. Due to their small size, motorcycle mileage is not as long as a car. If you take care of your motorcycles, they can last a lifetime.