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Motorcycle maintenance: 8 top tips

Motorcycle maintenance: 8 top tips

Maintaining your bike needn’t be too challenging, even if you’re not mechanically minded. Here are 8 simple ways you can keep your bike safe and help to reduce the chance of having to make an insurance claim.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
posted 17 JULY 2020

1. Give it a wash

Yes, a good old-fashioned, wash, dry and polish is top of the list. This isn’t simply to keep you looking good on the road (though it will help with that too.) Rather, it means you’re more likely to spot that something is loose, worn or missing. 

2. Check your tyres

Some experts advise checking your tyres at least weekly, while others say before every ride.

Tyre pressure is particularly important. An under- or over-inflated tyre can affect handling and braking, making for an unsafe ride.

Investing in an air compressor will give you accurate readings at home and prevent you from needing to visit the garage regularly.

While you’re checking the pressure, also check your tyres for any signs of wear, cracks, cuts or scratches. 

3. Test chain tension

Incorrect chain tension could not only lead to poor ride quality, but to more substantial damage to the chain, sprocket or even rear wheel.

As every bike is a little different, it’s worth having a look at your manual before undertaking chain tensioning. Also remember to keep your bike chain lubricated with wax or oil. 

4. Check your battery

You should check your battery when you do an oil change, making sure it’s fitted tightly and that it’s crack-free.

Many modern batteries are sealed so they can’t be topped up. If your battery is of the sort that needs topping up, be careful when handling it – you don’t want to come into contact with the acid inside. If the level is low, top up with de-ionised water before placing it on charge.

5. Change the oil regularly

Your bike will benefit from regular oil changes, every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes first. 

All bikes are different so check the manual, but generally you will need to place a tray under the bike and remove the sump plug. The oil will drain away allowing you to change the oil filter too. After replacing, refitting the plug and refilling, run the bike and test for leaks.

6. Look at your cables

Make sure all cables are in good condition with no fraying or other damage.

Adding a little lubricant occasionally can help ensure that the cables don’t dry out, which would impair the function of your clutch or throttle.

7. Check the nuts and bolts

Make a habit of checking all visible nuts, bolts and pins for tightness. Don’t rely on your fingers: use a spanner or wrench to make sure they’re tight.

Nuts and bolts can work themselves loose, which could have unpleasant consequences when you’re riding.

8. Book regular services

While all our tips can help you maintain your bike, it’s worth booking your bike in for regular servicing, particularly if you’ve any long trips planned or during extreme weather.

Looking for bike insurance?

If you’re looking to save money on your bike insurance, start comparing today.

We have a range of insurance providers to choose from so you’re sure to find the right cover at the right price for you. 50% of people could achieve a quote of £288.00** per year for their bike insurance based on Compare the Market data.

**50% of people could achieve a quote of £288.00 per year for their bike insurance based on Compare the Market data in May 2020.

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