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Maintaining Your Motorcycle: The Importance of Preventative Maintenance for a Biker Lifestyle

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For many motorcycle riders, hitting the open road is about more than enjoyment, it’s a lifestyle. However, maintaining this lifestyle is reliant on ensuring the health of your motorcycle. To that end, it’s important for all bikers to learn how to handle preventative maintenance on their bike so that it keeps running in peak condition for years to come. 

What is Preventative Maintenance?

Preventative maintenance can seem like an odd term to anyone who has never heard it before. After all, for most people maintenance on a vehicle tends to be reactive as opposed to proactive. However, preventative maintenance is the regular and routine maintenance a vehicle owner, including motorcycle owners, is supposed to partake in which can reduce the risk of serious mechanical breakdowns. 

Benefits of Preventative Maintenance for Bikers

There are a number of key benefits to taking the time out of your day to tackle preventative maintenance for your motorcycle. Most notably:

  • Reduce future repair costs stemming from serious mechanical repairs
  • A motorcycle that runs at a higher performance level than before
  • You can help to extend the lifespan of your bike
  • Major problems can be spotted earlier on
  • Future auto repairs can be done faster if mechanics don’t need to fix older issues

Drawbacks of Preventative Maintenance for Bikers

While there are a number of key benefits outlined above, there are a couple of drawbacks that hold some people back from handling preventative maintenance:

  • There is a cost associated with preventative maintenance, albeit far small than repair costs
  • Overmaintenace is actually a real thing that can lead to issues if kept up

As you can see, the benefits far outweigh the cons when it comes to tackling preventative maintenance for your motorcycle. 

Common Examples of Preventative Maintenance for Bikes

Motorcycles are unique compared to cars in that they are smaller, and the machinery used isn’t as complex as some parts under the hood of a car. However, there are eight primary examples of preventative maintenance that all motorcycle owners should incorporate into their own maintenance schedule if they don’t already:

  • Oil and filter changes on a regular basis
  • Replacing the motorcycle battery when it is time
  • Change the fuel out after the winter weather passes
  • Don’t forget to rotate tires and ensure they are full of air
  • Double check that the chain of your motorcycle looks solid
  • Top off any fluids that have gotten low over recent years
  • Don’t neglect getting your motorcycle washed professionally
  • Check all the cables crucial to performance on your bike

5 Tips for Handling Preventative Maintenance

With so many maintenance items involved with preventative maintenance, it can be difficult and time-consuming to remember to handle these tasks. Fortunately, the following five tips can help you find ways to work this maintenance into your already busy schedule: 

1. Get in the habit of seasonal maintenance

As the weather starts to change, so too will the maintenance you should be performing on your bike. As mentioned above, changing out the gas after winter weather passes is an example of such a seasonal task. Additionally, if your bike has windshield wipers, replacing them before the rainy season is an excellent idea to consider. 

2. Follow your scheduled maintenance

All motorcycles will come with recommended maintenance outlined by the dealership where you purchased your bike. It’s best to stick to this maintenance as closely as possible. In fact, if you deviate from this for too long, many dealerships will void any warranty you have on the bike. If you bought the bike used from another person, look up the model online to see if any maintenance schedules are listed. 

3. Listen to any recall or defect announcements

The last thing any motorcyclist wants is to end up in a bike accident resulting from recalls or defects on the bike. Keep an eye out for any announcements from the dealership regarding your model and any parts that may have been recalled. If there were recalls for your bike, don’t hesitate to get your vehicle to a shop as soon as possible to have the issue addressed. 

4. Inspect your bike on a regular basis

After riding around on your bike for years, you are the person who knows how it runs best. Do visual inspections on your bike regularly to make sure no damage has occurred out on the road. Listen to how the bike runs and keep an eye out for any signs that something may be wrong with its performance. If you catch a problem earlier on, it will likely be cheaper and easier to fix than a major problem that emerges a few years down the road. 

5. Consider looking into warranty for your motorcycle

Some extended warranty companies will offer coverage for motorcycles, or the dealership themselves may offer this coverage. Extended warranty provides coverage for mechanical breakdowns in return for a monthly paid fee, similar to how car insurance works. Some warranty plans will even offer maintenance benefits at no extra fee, meaning the major con of preventative maintenance will go away entirely. 

All of the above tips should help any motorcyclist work preventative maintenance into their schedule. No matter what model bike you have or how long you’ve had it, the best time to start preventative maintenance if you’ve never done it before is now.  

Stay protected out on the road

All bikers, regardless of age, should learn the ins and outs associated with preventative maintenance. By saving you both time and money, preventative maintenance will help to ensure that you can spend more time on the road with your bike, rather than having to leave it in a shop for weeks to get fixed. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident as a result of a defective back, reach out to an accredited attorney in your area who can help you pursue possible legal options you may have.