Performing preventative maintenance on your motorcycle is a must, especially if you want to save money in the long run. Take a look at the following tips for maintaining your ride during and after your riding season. As always, we recommend the purchase of a service manual to reference all specifications for your motorcycle.
The Battery: Check your battery and cables, making sure the connections are clean, tight and free of corrosion. If the battery is not a maintenance-free battery, inspect the fluid level and be sure to top off the battery with nothing but distilled water. Battery tenders will extend the life of your motorcycle battery.
Fluids: In most cases you shouldn’t have to do much more than inspect and then top off the crankcase, transmission, primary and brakes with the right grade of lubricant. Regular oil changes and following the manufacturer’s service intervals will prevent any mechanical issues in the future. Note any leaks and repair them, and also take note of any constant fluid usage.
Tires: Besides checking for the usual tread wear and sidewall cracking, make sure you check your motorcycle’s service manual for the proper air pressure and wear limits. We sell a wide selection of tire pressure gauges so you can check your tires before every ride. The most common mistake when checking tire pressure is using a different gauge each time. All gauges can be calibrated differently so we recommend using the same gauge every time when checking pressure. Also inspecting for rubbing hazards is a must — especially with the motorcycle loaded with you, your passenger and your luggage.
Lights and Turn Signals: Inspecting bulbs and lenses regularly can prevent accidents or hazardous situations while driving at night. Visually inspect all lenses for cracks or areas where rain and moisture can come in contact with the bulb and possibly cause your lighting circuit to fail.
Drive Components: Don’t just look at the belt or chain; inspect the pulley or sprocket for wear, chips or broken teeth. Our technicians suggest replacing your sprockets or pulleys any time you change the belt and chain. This prevents any existing conditions from damaging the new belt or chain. Regularly checking tension before each ride will also extend the life of your driveline. Check your service manual for the proper specifications. J&P cycles carry an easy-to-check belt-tension gauge that should be in every rider’s toolbox. If your motorcycle has a chain final drive, keeping the chain clean and lubed will extend the life of that chain.
Cables: Inspecting cable operation on a regular basis will prevent the need to replace cables that are broken or frayed. We also recommend that you follow your service manual for lubing your cables. J&P Cycles carries a quick and easy Cable Care kit. With this kit you get the lube and adapter to lube the cables with less hassle and mess.
Nuts and Bolts: Visually inspect all mounting hardware for missing or loose bolts. Foot pegs and other components falling off your motorcycle can quickly become a safety hazard for you or other drivers on the road. Thread Locking Compound is a rider’s best friend to prevent vibration from loosening those bolts.
Cleaning your motorcycle: Keeping your motorcycle clean can prevent rust and dirt from wreaking havoc on your motorcycle’s chrome and other finishes. Rust and corrosion can lead to broken brackets, bolts and damaged hardware, which can leave you stranded on the side of the road. We offer a wide variety of cleaning products at JPCycles.com.