The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

An Introduction to Motorcycle Maintenance for Students in Automotive School

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There are few vehicles more inspiring and legendary than the motorcycle. Cruising down the open road, the wind whipping through your hair – it’s an iconic image for good reason. Motorcycles have long held the title of being one of the coolest modes of transportation, and there’s definitely no sign of that slowing down any time soon. However, motorcycles take a lot of care and attention to keep looking their best and impressing everyone around you, and just like the book says, there is definitely a Zen or an art to motorcycle maintenance. Here are some great tips to keep your hog in top shape.

1. Tires

There are only two of them on a motorcycle, but they’re of the utmost importance. Keeping your tires at the optimal pressure is necessary for keeping good handling, traction and braking, and reducing the risk of blowing out a tire. Keep a pressure gauge on you at all times, and check regularly. Tread depth is also extremely important – if your treads get down to around 1-2mm, it’s definitely time to replace them. Taking an auto mechanic course will help inform you about the many intricacies of tire wear and tear.

2. Brake Pads

One of the most important things to keep in check are the brakes, specifically the pads on them. Any good mechanic school will tell you that taking care of brakes is of the utmost importance. One of the biggest problems is old brake fluid, as it becomes less and less useful over time. Be sure to replace it every one to two years to ensure properly working brakes. Keep an eye on the brake pad thickness as well, as letting them go right down to the metal will unnecessarily damage your brake disc.

3. Oil Changes

Never ever underestimate the value of oil changes. Changing your oil as frequently as recommended not only helps your bike run smoother and cleaner, but actually helps ward off a whole host of other problems. While people generally roll their eyes at changing the oil, it’s actually one of the most effective ways you can care for your motorcycle, and one of the best preventative measures you can take against wear and tear. Oil is best inspected while cold, so it’s recommended to check your oil levels before you go out for a ride.

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4. Chains

One of the most essential parts of the bike to maintain, you should be spraying your chain with a commercial lubricant pretty much every time you fuel up. This ensures a properly working, well greased chain. Never forget to wipe the excess lubricant off the chain, and lubricating is best done mid-ride, when the bike is warmed up a bit. Bike chains are never supposed to be tight and taut but should hang and sag between 3/4″ to 1 1/4″ between the two sprockets.
These are just a few helpful tips that can keep your bike from becoming a rust bucket, but auto mechanic school will give you far more skills and knowledge, letting you get down to the nuts and bolts of the matter. For now, here’s a video of a couple more ways to dive into the art of motorcycle maintenance:

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