Getting maintenance done on any vehicle can be an expensive chore, particularly if your vehicle happens to be a motorcycle. Thankfully, there are a number of regular maintenance tasks you can handle yourself, saving you a little money at the mechanics. Not that a good cycle shop, like Pro Cycles, isn’t a very handy place to have around. It’s just that the small jobs can be handled on your own.
Here are 3 maintenance chores you can do yourself. Just be aware that these are general instructions, and you should always use your owner’s manual as a further guide.
This is one of the best DIY motorcycle skills to master since it’s something you do regularly, not just when something breaks down. You’ll need a rear stand, a drip pan, a socket wrench and some fresh oil. Remove the cap to the oil tank, or the oil won’t drain out properly once you start. Put the pan under the drain bolt, then use the socket wrench to remove the bolt. Let the oil drain out. Clean the drain plug, and replace it before you refill the oil tank with fresh oil.
While that is all there is to an oil change, you should also change the oil filter at the same time. Some bikes have canister filters that you will need to open to remove the cartridge inside, and others have a simpler screw-on one-piece filter. Check the manual for details for your specific bike.
Once the filter is changed and the tank refilled, start up your motorcycle and let it idle for a few minutes to let the new oil flow through the filter. Top up the tank as needed once that’s done.
Replace Air Filter
Thankfully, this is a bit less messy than the oil change. Unfortunately, there is a wide range of filter types among motorcycle models, so it’s difficult to give precise instructions on how to change one. Generally, you simply need to open up the filter compartment and replace the filter. Sometimes access is easy, other times you may need to remove the seat or gas tank to get at it.
You may be able to clean your existing filter to save on the cost of a new one, but that is another tutorial in itself. Many filters need a light coating of oil to effectively trap particles, so you can’t just wash and reuse. Check your manual for more on that.
You need to keep the tires properly inflated to keep your ride safe. Regularly check the pressure, and add air to keep the pressure in the correct range. Just remove the cap to the tire valve stem and apply the gauge. Your manual should say what the correct pressure could be (or it may be indicated right on the tire). Add air with a compressor to bring it up to where it should be. Easy and simple.
These are 3 common maintenance tasks you can do yourself, but by no means the only ones. Once you have some mechanical skills under your belt, there are many other chores you can handle on your own to keep your bike running smoothly and safely.