If you are new to biking, you may be wondering how much bike maintenance you could do yourself. Or should do yourself. Is it a good idea to start maintaining your own motorcycle, or should this really be left to the professionals?
You really don’t need to be a super mechanic, but you should know how to keep your bike in good working order. Doing your own maintenance will also allow you to really get to know your bike. If you are looking it over on a daily or weekly basis, you will soon know when something is wrong. However, leave the servicing or any serious problems to the professionals.
You’re not going to need a complete workshop, but yes you are going to need some tools. However, if you are serious about biking, then look at these tools as an investment. If you look after your tools, they will last you a lifetime. Buying the tools you need will make your life much easier and less frustrating.
Don’t buy every tool under the sun. Consider the jobs you think you will be able to do and then buy suitable tools. Make sure you buy tools that will work with your make and model of motorbike. There are some specialist tools or pieces of equipment that you may decide you need later. For example, if you are restoring an antique or heavy bike, you may need a dolly to allow you to move it around. Always do your research when buying specialist equipment and use a site like http://www.bikersbasics.com/motorcycle-dolly-reviews/ for their guides and reviews on all clothing, accessories and tools.
Whatever level of mechanical knowledge you currently have, you will need to do some reading. If you have little to no mechanical knowledge, start by learning how the internal combustion engines work. Then start looking at motorcycles specifically. You need to understand the basics before you can apply them. If you are struggling to find books locally, you should easily be able to find them online.
Also, ensure you buy, and become familiar with the factory shop manual for your bike. This will explain how to carry out repairs on your bike. Even if you don’t plan on doing any advanced mechanical work, this is a good guide to have.
Ask for Help
If you are unsure about your mechanical abilities or knowledge, then ask for help. Good advice for learning anything from somebody more experienced is, watch and learn. This also holds true for learning to maintain your bike. Watch a more knowledgeable friend maintain their bike, and ask them if you can help. Asking questions from somebody who knows what they are doing is a certain way to gain useful knowledge.
Go to School
This is not a mandatory step, and you could manage to learn how to maintain your bike without it, but consider going to school. Training from an expert will shorten your learning curve considerably, however, if you don’t have the time or money you can certainly get by without this. It is an option that will quickly teach you how to care for your bike and keep it on the road.
What Should You Learn?
If you don’t use your bike all year round, you should learn how to put it into hibernation and prepare it for use after its hibernation. But the main time you will be caring for your bike is when you use it regularly. Here you are aiming to keep it running well and on the road.
You should be able to check over, and maintain your bike by doing the following competently.
- Cleaning your bike.
- Inspecting your tyres.
- Checking your cables.
- Changing the oil.
- Checking the battery.
Most regular maintenance you can carry out on your motorcycle is easy to do. At the very least, you should be able to inspect your bike to ensure it is safe before you start riding. You should also clean and check it over again after a ride.Your aim shouldn’t really be to save money but to learn how to look after your bike so you can always ride it safely. Let a qualified mechanic do the important stuff and never miss a service. This way, your bike will last a long time without serious problems.