The Importance of Motorcycle Maintenance

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a picture of Ari who is the owner of Tyreman M/C
Author
Ari Kypuros Owner & Founder of Tyreman M/C
10 mins March 9, 2023

We are not overstating the fact that your life depends on ensuring your motorcycle is well-maintained. While different bikes have varying maintenance requirements, there are some common aspects that every bike owner should keep on top of.

There are some maintenance items you can handle yourself, but professional assistance from expertly trained technicians who use genuine parts like Ari Kypuros at Tyreman M/C is strongly recommended. While all of this ensures you stay safe on the road, regular maintenance will also preserve resale value and guarantee the longevity of your much-loved motorcycle. So, which motorcycle maintenance and servicing tasks are important? Read on to find out more about motorcycle servicing.

How Often Should A Motorcycle Be Serviced

Determining how often a motorcycle should be serviced can be complicated, as it varies depending on the bike. Some motorcycles are designed for endurance and efficiency, while others prioritise speed. The frequency of servicing your bike will depend on how often you ride it, and it is crucial to consult your bike’s manual to determine the recommended service interval. For more detailed guidance, check out our Motorbike Tyre Pressure Safety Guide & Tips.

Typically this sits around 4,000 to 6,000 kilometres within 12 months, depending on the motorcycle’s engine displacement. In cases where the recommended mileage is not reached, it is recommended to service the bike at least yearly.

Frequency can also depend on factors such as the model and age of the bike. Some bikes may require more frequent servicing if they are a bit older, used heavily or in extreme conditions. At Tyreman M/C, we recommend speaking with a professional technician to determine your motorcycle’s ideal service intervals.

An Image of a motorcycle technician standing next to a motorcycle

What is Included in a Motorcycle Service

The tyres are one of the most crucial areas to inspect during your motorcycle service. They should be assessed for damage and wear, balanced, and checked for correct tyre pressure and bead seating. A simple pressure check and visual inspection are usually sufficient for tubeless tyres. Discover our Top Tips For Caring For Your Motorcycle Tyres for more information.

Another vital aspect is checking and maintaining the various fluids, including flushing the motor oil and brake fluid at set mileage intervals, which can vary by manufacturer. Evaluating the ignition firing, carburetion, and fuel/air mix is also necessary for optimal fuel efficiency.

The braking, steering, and suspension systems are critical and must be inspected and tested during routine maintenance to ensure they function according to the manufacturer’s specifications. In addition, brake pads, fluid lines, and shocks should be inspected for wear, warping, and proper performance.

Finally, the lighting and electrical systems, including the battery, fuse box, turn indicators, headlight, taillight, and electric ignition, should be inspected to avoid potential problems. A mechanic will know what to look for if there are electrical shorts, faulty lights, or other issues with the overall electrical system. Let’s dive deeper into the individual assessment areas during a service.

a motorcycle tyre being prepared to be fitted on a motorcycle

Tyres

Your connection to the road is the priority for every service! Your motorcycle’s tyres must be maintained correctly, and the experts will do this by inflating them to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure (you should also check this on a weekly basis). Incorrectly inflated tyres can affect your bike’s handling and grip, and it’s crucial to ensure that they have adequate tread depth above the legal minimum limit.

Next, we’ll check your tyres for wear, as a squared-off or excessively worn tyre can lead to poor handling, especially when cornering. If your tyres are degrading, have sidewall splits, or show an uneven wear pattern, they must be replaced. We handle all of these services at Tyreman M/C and will also fit and balance new tyres on your wheels, using weights to ensure they are spinning smoothly.

While tyres may seem costly, it’s important to remember that they are a small expense compared to bike repairs or medical bills resulting from an accident. Therefore, replacing them before they become a safety issue is crucial!

Unsure about which tyres are right for you? Our article on How To Choose The Best Motorcycle Tyres For You can help.

Please note: It’s essential to take it easy on new tyres until they have been scrubbed in, as the protective coating can make them slippery.
a motorobike and row of motorcycle tyres

Motorcycle Brakes

Your brakes are just as important as your tyres to ensure your safety on the road. It’s essential to ensure the brake pads have enough material by visually inspecting them. Any contact between cleaning chemicals, oil, or other harmful substances with the brake discs must be avoided during this process. Contamination with these substances can lead to a significant reduction in braking performance while ruining the pads.

Over the past decade, braking systems have evolved and advanced significantly. The brake discs must meet the required thickness as mentioned in your owner’s manual, and while replacing them can be expensive, we have access to a range of quality aftermarket alternatives that will suit a range of budgets.

Your motorcycle’s service schedule should include periodic replacement of the brake fluid to ensure it remains clean. For older bikes, flushing the brake system and cleaning the calliper pistons are essential jobs that require a professional to look over.

a man riding an off road motorcycle on a hill

Suspension

Your bike’s fork and rear shock must be set correctly for your weight and riding style. If you’re not familiar with terms like “preload,” “compression,” and “rebound,” it’s best to let the pros at Tyreman M/C ensure that your bike is set up correctly.

Investing in high-end suspension gear is worthwhile as motorcycle suspension degrades over time. Fork and shock oil deteriorate, seals blow, gas-filled shocks require re-gassing, and linkages wear out. If your bike isn’t handling how it used to, dives under brakes, or just doesn’t feel right, it’s likely an issue with your suspension (which should be serviced every 20,000 to 30,000km).

a close up of someone wearing motorcycle boots

Chains

Chains require regular lubrication and adjustment every 500km (if not sooner). During a service, we’ll ensure the chain has the right amount of tension for a smooth ride (around 3-4cm of freeplay in the middle) and is cleaned thoroughly before lubricating.

Belts and shaft drives require less maintenance but should still be checked for damage regularly. Depending on usage, a chain and sprockets should last at least 20,000km. We strongly recommend avoiding the DIY replacement of belts or oil changes for shaft drives and leaving it to the experts to handle.

A motorcycle technician inspecting a motorcycle

Oil and Coolant

Motorcycle oils have come a long way, and as long as they are changed at the recommended intervals, shouldn’t cause any issues. However, this is subject to the way you use your bike! For example, if the engine is under extreme stress (when racing, etc.), the oil may need to be changed more frequently.

It’s crucial to change the filter when changing the oil in most models, and for motorcycles with a “canister” oil filter (typically mounted at the front or bottom of the engine), it should be inspected as it is vulnerable to damage. Some motorcycles, such as the Honda CR450 for example, use different oils for the engine and transmission, but most take one oil in the sump to lubricate the engine and integral gearbox.

The coolant in your motorcycle is crucial in preventing the engine from getting too hot, preventing corrosion in its narrow pathways, and lowering the freezing point. If you only use water in the coolant system, rust and limescale can build up, and if the liquid freezes, it expands and can crack the exterior. Over time, the coolant’s protective qualities degrade, requiring replacement, which is why we make it a regular item on the servicing checklist.

a person sitting on a sport touring motorbike

Steering

We regularly check the steering during servicing to ensure it is safe and responsive. The steering system consists of various components, including steering head bearings, fork tubes, and handlebars, which can wear or become loose over time. If this happens, you may experience handling problems that can cause dangerous accidents.

Our team will check the steering head bearings for wear, and inspect the fork tubes for damage, corrosion, or leaks, making sure everything is appropriately aligned. Additionally, the handlebars will be assessed for damage or signs of fatigue, ensuring they are securely fastened to the fork tubes.

Speak to Tyreman M/C about your motorcycle servicing today

As you can see, regular bike maintenance is vital to guarantee that your motorcycle runs smoothly and safely. You’ll ensure the longevity of your bike and prolong the life of your tyres (which will save money and make for a more enjoyable ride). For those considering the advantages of motorcycle commuting, our The Benefits of Commuting by Motorcycle vs Car article provides additional insights.

Neglecting maintenance can lead to costly repairs, safety issues and even accidents. This is why working with a trusted motorcycle tyre and service provider like Tyreman M/C is essential. Our experts will help with tyre replacements and repairs and provide recommendations and guidance on proper maintenance to keep your bike in good condition. Take care of your bike, and you’ll enjoy the ride for many years to come!