If you’re a motorcycle owner, it’s strongly recommended to know basic motorcycle maintenance tasks. Not only it will save on costs, but it will also let you understand your bike better.
We will break down simple motorbike maintenance tasks you can carry out at home:
Changing the engine oil
Tools needed: Fresh oil, oil rag or cloth, funnel, drain pan, universal pliers and adjustable socket wrench
Estimated time: 45 minutes
- A motor oil change must be done every six months or every 6,500 km.
- Remove the screw from the crankcase.
- Put a tray or container underneath where the motor oil will likely fall. Check the bike’s instruction manual if you’re unsure where it is.
- Locate the drain plug and undo it. Remove the oil port intake cap and make sure all the oil drains out completely.
- Remove the filter, wipe it clean, then put it back. Replace the drain plug as well.
- Open the oil port and fill it with the right amount of oil specified in the owner’s manual. Check the oil level with a dipstick.
Replacing the air filter
Tools needed: Adjustable socket wrench, screwdriver, new air filter, clean rag, silicone grease
Estimated time: 45 minutes to one hour
Air filters shield the bike’s engine from dust and debris in the air. Many of the filters used in street and off-road bikes last for 15,000 to 20,000 kilometres.
- Locate the filter. It may be near the side of the engine or underneath the fuel tank.
- Unbolt the tank and undo any wires and hoses connecting it to the rest of the bike.
- Cover the top of the airbox with a clean rag to keep it clean inside.
- Spongy or cotton filters will need to be sprayed or washed using a solvent. Soap will be perfect for this. A paper filter will only need compressed air.
- Replace the air filter where you found it. Make sure that it’s oriented to allow air to pass through it.
Lubricating the chain
Tools needed: Gentle bristle brush, soap, clean cloth, chain lubricant
Estimated time: 15 to 30 minutes
Most motorcycles nowadays are O-ring chains, which requires less cleaning. A dirty and unlubricated chain has a higher risk of snapping. Chain lubrication should be done every six months.
- Elevate the rear wheel, allowing for easy chain movement.
- Use a gentle bristle brush to get rid of the grime off the chain.
- To lubricate the chain, rotate the rear wheel as you apply the chain lubricant. Make sure to coat the chain evenly, for the lube to penetrate past the O-rings, into the joint.
Be mindful about warranty T’s & C’s
For most minor maintenance tasks, there should be nothing to worry about. Still, it pays to check your warranty’s terms and conditions.
For example, the warranty may be void if there’s an installation of any device altering the original design and operation of the engine (e.g. heat exchanger).
Discuss with your off road motorcycle dealer what maintenance tasks can you do at home. Likewise, get educated on your country’s warranty protection rights.
Be realistic about your skill level when planning to do all the work yourself. Work under the supervision of a trusted mechanic, especially if this is your first time to do a maintenance task.