If you are new to biking, you are about to enter into a chapter of your life that will likely remain with you throughout your life. Once you’ve experienced the thrill and exhilaration of a big bike on an open road, you’ll be hooked and when riding a motorcycle, maintenance is critical to your safety.
Here are a few tips to ensure that you pick up the basics of bike maintenance.
- Tyres – The two tyres are your only contact (hopefully) with the road and they must be in good condition, with no tears or bulges on the sidewalls. Adequate tread is a must, as is the correct PSI for inflation and you should have a quick look at your rubber before every ride!
- The Engine – If you choose something like the amazing Royal Enfield Meteor 350, a single-cylinder four-stroke engine gives you great torque through the revs. Engine oil must be replaced at the recommended mileage, along with the oil and air filter, while the spark plugs need to be removed and closely inspected and replaced is necessary. Listening to an idling engine can tell you a lot and should you notice anything unusual, you should investigate.
- Brakes – Most bikes have disc brakes front and rear and at every service, you should check the brake pads for excessive wear and tear, while also checking the hydraulic fluid levels for both front and rear brake.
- Chain Care – The primary chain needs to be of the correct tension (see owner’s manual) and it should be regularly lubricated. Buy a can of chain lube, which sticks to the chain rollers, maintaining the essential lubrication. The chain can be adjusted by undoing the rear wheel bolt and altering the adjusters on both sides (make sure the wheel is properly aligned).
- Power Wash – Most bike owners power wash their bike every few days and if you don’t have a machine, they aren’t expensive and can really get the bike spotlessly clean. Failing that, all car detailing outfits also clean bikes and once a week is ideal.
If you are leaving the maintenance to the bike dealer, all you need to do is a close inspection before every ride to ensure that all is well and should you notice anything untoward, let a mechanic take a look.
Always refer to the owner’s manual, which has all the specifications and servicing data and a new bike should be serviced by the dealership.