Maintaining your motorcycle’s engine is very important for your safety and to keep it in its best running condition. Performing regular and proper maintenance on the engine will also ensure that you will enjoy your ride for a long time. In addition, it would help you a lot in the future if you keep a record of the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance instructions.
In this post, we will be talking about 7 of the necessary motorcycle engine maintenance tips. We do recommend that you keep a maintenance schedule to ensure that your engine will improve its performance and remain mechanically sound. As we all know, proper maintenance on the engine will prevent you from undergoing an expensive repair, so, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Motorcycle Engine Maintenance Tips
Motorcycle Engine Oil
Depending on the model, your motorcycle’s engine oil should be changed at intervals of 3,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. Lubrication is a very important factor in motorcycle care and the engine oil will keep the engine fully lubricated. To add, it helps to decrease the noise generated, it keeps the other engine parts cool, and it also acts as a piston seal.
For the engine oil to work properly, it should be of good consistency. Remember that it cannot be too thick because it will not be able to go through the tight moving components of the motorcycle’s engine, which needs proper lubrication. It cannot also be too thin because it will not be able to separate the parts. With this, choosing the engine oil is as vital as the frequency of changing it.
In addition, some models do require you to apply lubrication on the steering-head bearings, suspension linkages, wheel bearings, and swing arm. With this, you need to turn the bearings very slowly using your hand and then inspect the wheel bearings at least once in a year. Lastly, you might want to check the fork oil, which certainly would need changing every couple of years.
For your motorcycle to operate as smoothly as possible, you should also take into consideration the type of fuel you put in it. It may require you to use a higher-grade fuel, depending on the engine malfunction. However, you need to keep in mind that using a higher-grade fuel just for the sake of increasing the motorcycle’s overall performance is not recommended.
You should know that an increase in octane does not necessarily equate to high performance and longevity. With this, we do advise that you only use the fuel grade that is recommended by your motorcycle’s manufacturer. Who knows, it may also cause potential and permanent damage to your engine because of compatibility issues.
Depending on the manufacturer’s guidelines, changing the fluid is another important maintenance procedure that you should do, especially while your motorcycle is under warranty. You may not know this yet but using the wrong fluid, including automobile oil, instead of the recommended oil for your motorcycle, could easily void the warranty.
You might also want to check the brake fluid, which is responsible for the brake’s accuracy. If you see that the level is already low, it might result in loss of compression, which eventually leads to the loss of braking. Another thing, you need to check the battery fluid level. If it appears to be dry, it will not be able to function properly.
You may be able to find engine fluid replacement from your manufacturer’s local dealership.
If you do not ride your motorcycle frequently, you would want to visually inspect the chain two times in a month or every 500 to 700 miles. If you are not familiar yet, the chain’s function is to transfer the power coming from the engine to the rear wheel. With this, you need to clean and adjust it, if necessary, in order to maintain its safe operation.
Maintaining your motorcycle’s chain would mean making sure that it has the correct amount of slack, especially at its tightest spot. Too much tension would likely cause problems to the wheels, as well as the gearbox bearings. One other tip would be lubing up the chain right after you go for a ride, while it is still warm.
There could be disastrous consequences if you fail to regularly check your motorcycle’s chain. Not doing so would probably cause serious malfunction to your motorcycle and as the one riding the bike, it could also lead to serious injuries and abrasions.
Motorcycle Spark Plugs
However small they may be, your motorcycle’s spark plugs are essential to its overall performance. If you see that they are badly corroded or dirty in appearance, it would be in your best interest to replace them immediately to avoid wear. Before you proceed with maintaining the spark plugs, ensure that the motorcycle has cooled down for about 2 hours.
You may try dusting off the old spark plugs. After, unscrew them using a socket for spark plugs or ratchet, and then try inspecting it. If it appears to be orange, then it is fine. However, if you see that it is white, it might be an indication that the engine is already overheating. On the other hand, a black spark plug would mean that the fuel and air mixture might be too rich.
It is important that you know that before you remove them, you should use a can of compressed air to blow in the hole where the plugs are placed. Doing so will effectively remove all dirt and debris so that they would not fall into your motorcycle’s engine once you remove the plug.
Motorcycle Air Filter
When your motorcycle’s air filter is clogged with dust and dirt, your bike will probably not be able to breathe properly, which could result in loss of power or mediocre performance from your motorcycle. You need to remove the filters physically and inspect it if there is any sign of clogging. If you see that they are already in bad condition, you would want to replace them immediately.
If you want your motorcycle to maintain its healthy condition, cleaning the air filter every 10,000 kilometers or so would be necessary. Air filters prevent dirt and dust from entering the engine. If you are residing in an area with lots of dust and dirt, you may be required to clean the filters as often as every week. For areas with less congested air, less maintenance would be required.
To be able to successfully perform maintenance on your motorcycle’s engine, we do recommend that you learn about the different parts and their functions first. Doing so will be able to make diagnosing and preventing future problems a lot easier. It would also be vital that you check the owner’s manual to see if there are any recommendations by the manufacturer.
Performing proper maintenance on your motorcycle’s engine is as important as maintaining the motorcycle itself. After all, it is the engine that does most of the work. Therefore, regular maintenance every 10,000 kilometers is necessary to keep it in its best operating condition. If you neglect this process, it might lead to unnecessary repairs, which could cost you a lot of money.