Top 5 Neglected Motorcycle Maintenance Items

Maintenance! Who needs that? 

 
If you only go see the doctor when you need screwed back together you may approach motorcycle maintenance the same way. We don’t recommend that philosophy when it comes to your bike, after all if you neglect regular check ups your bike may fail and leave you needing screwed back together. 
 
While this is not a complete list of recommendations to check on a regular basis, these are good habits to start….
 

Bad habits are hard to break

AIR FILTER TWIN AIR
5. Air Filter
 
Yep you read it correctly. Maybe you’re in the camp of checking and cleaning your air filter regularly but some days I think riders like you aren’t the norm. Maybe you’re just starting out in the world of moto and you really just don’t know the importance of keeping a clean oiled air filter, and that’s okay. Just heed this advice and you will become a long happy responsible motorcycle owner.
 
Dirt inhaled by your intake can cause an impressive and expensive amount of damage to your motorcycle. Keep your air filter clean, oiled properly and make sure it’s installed correctly. After every ride. We recommend keeping at minimum two air filters on hand. This way after cleaning one, while waiting for it to dry, you’ll have another ready to go so you can keep on scootin’.
 
From No Toil to Twin Air to PJ1 foam filter oils and cleaners there are many different products on the market to use. Let us know if you would like help choosing a product that will work best for you.
Dirty motorcycle brake fluid
4. Brake and hydraulic clutch fluid
 
Why this gets put off so regularly is a moto mystery. I think people are timid to try bleeding a brake system themselves. Yet it’s actually a pretty simple thing to do with the proper tools and a YouTube video, but a good service shop can do it for you pretty quickly and easily so there really is no reason to neglect it.
 
Fluid breaks down and loses its value and corrosion inhibitors after exposure to heat, moisture and regular use. It’s important to keep your brakes in tip top working order for safety and performance. If your fluid is more brown than clear, has a burnt odor, or a low level it is past time to get on top of the stop. If your motorcycle is equipped with a hydraulic clutch this same recommendation goes for that as well.
 
You can make sure you’re using the correct fluid by looking at the top cap of your master cylinder. Let us know if we can help!
Motorcycle shock being rebuilt
3. Suspension Fluid
 
“If it ain’t leaking don’t fix it.”  I think that’s the general rule used with regular fork and shock services. If your friend is giving that advice I think it’s time to intervene and show them this #3 on our list of neglected maintenance items. Friends don’t let friends ride neglected suspension.
 
Fork and shock fluid breaks down rather quickly. Now, do we think everyone needs to service their suspension every 10-20 hours like recommended by some? Well we think that’s subjective to each rider. Many maintenance recommendations by the manufacturer are suggested assuming you’ll be riding competitively, and let me clarify, following those guidelines will keep your bike working and handling it’s best. That being said we think it’s important to service your forks and shock at least every 50 hours. Getting ahead of a fluid change and servicing before your oil looks like a a gooey sludge will help keep the internal bushings lubed and your bike feeling smooth through its suspension stroke.
 
Don’t overlook the importance of your suspension, Your bike could be the fastest off the gate but if your suspension doesn’t work correctly you won’t be able keep that pace.
Bent motorcycle wheel with tire
2. Wheels/Spokes
 
The foundation of your motorcycle. Don’t neglect one of the most important safety checks on your machine. These take the brunt of all your motorcycles impacts and are one of the most important things between you and the dirt. 
 
Keeping your spokes tensioned and wheels spinning true often gets avoided and overlooked. Spokes are designed to create strength in the rim. Keeping them evenly tensioned is the only way to assure you don’t have a wheel fly apart at the most inopportune time. When one spoke becomes loose it creates a domino effect that finds it’s way around the wheel and eventually becomes a severe safety hazard. We recommend you get in the habit of checking them at minimum every time you clean your chain or wash your bike and at best just do it every ride. Checking them only takes a a couple minutes.
 
There are many methods to check for loose spokes but you should invest in a simple spoke wrench that will allow you to check each one individually and have a way to retension it if needed. Just a quick note, if you turn the nipple and your spoke turns with it you have a bigger issue that will require a bit more TLC. This typically means the nipple is seized on the spoke threads and will need to be removed, threads lubed and cleaned or completely replaced with a new set.
Neglected motorcycle linkage bearings
1. Chassis Bearings- This includes Shock Linkage, Swingarm and Steering Bearings
 
This is the most neglected part of a motorcycle, hands down. Don’t wait until you have a problem to grease your bearings because at that point they’ll probably just need replaced!

Most motorcycles come from the factory with barely any grease in the bearings. This can cause them to seize and fail after a short period of time. We’ve even seen cases where the engine case has cracked because the swingarm bearing wasn’t greased properly.

Greasing your bearings is a bit of a messy and time consuming job, but it’s worth it in the long run. It will help your bearings last longer and prevent problems down the trail. Also note that it’s not a great idea while washing your motorcycle to closely pressure wash these areas. Instead use a good motorcycle safe cleaner and a scrub brush then just give it a light rinse.

Conclusion:

By taking care of these five things, you can help ensure that your motorcycle will be reliable and fun to ride for years to come. So, next time you’re finished with a ride, take a few minutes to check these items and give your bike some love. It’ll thank you for it!

 
Let us know if we can help in any way. Ride on!

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