Whether you are a teenager who just passed your driving test, or a seasoned driver who has invested in a big bike, you will need to know about bike maintenance. Much like any vehicle, a motorcycle comprises of thousands of components and it should be serviced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Basic Motorcycle Care
There are certain aspects of bike care that need to be followed; you should change the engine oil at specified mileage intervals, along with cleaning the oil and air filters. Typically, a motorcycle is serviced every 5,000km, much like a car and brake pads need to be inspected for excess wear, both front and back, while also checking the brake fluid levels for both brakes, which run off separate systems.
Essential Insurance Cover
In Thailand, for example, when you pay your road tax, included in the price is compulsory personal injury insurance, or Por Or Bor, as it is known in Thai. This covers personal injury to you or third parties, but does not include vehicle damage. If you take our comprehensive motorbike insurance from Rabbit, your bike will be covered for every eventuality, including fire & theft.
Chain Tension & Lubrication
Unless you happen to ride a shaft driven bike, you will need to keep your eye on the chain tension, which should have 25-30mm of play in total, while regular chain lubrication is essential. In the event the chain becomes worn, when replacing it, you must also replace the rear wheel sprocket, as this would also be worn. It is not difficult to adjust the chain tension, as long as the bike is on the centre stand and by adjusting the screws on each side of the wheel, this tightens the chain; make sure you do not overtighten the chain, as it will probably break at some point.
Of course, the two tyres are critical, as they are your only point of contact with the road, and it is important to regularly inspect the tyres, looking for any bulges or tears in the sidewall, while also checking that the tyres have adequate tread. Only inflate the tyres to the PSI ratings that the manufacturer recommends and only buy well-known brands that are tried and tested.
Keeping your Bike Clean
If you invest in a high-pressure water cleaning machine, you can power wash the bike, which removes mud and dirt, leaving your bike looking like new. Failing that, any car detailing venue would clean motorcycles and a weekly visit is recommended. Click here for tips on removing a small dent from your car, which might prove useful and save you a little money.
Unlike travelling in a car, you do not have a metal cage to protect you when riding a motorcycle, therefore you need to invest in a set of motorcycle leathers, a jacket and pants, which protect your skin in the event you come off the bike for any reason. A good quality helmet that fits correctly, preferable full-face design, plus some motorcycle gloves and boots that offer ankle support and you are good to go. Check the Ministry of Transport’s licence requirements here.
If the servicing is carried out as recommended, your bike should always be in good order and ready to take you to your destination.