Regular motorcycle maintenance can help keep your bike running smoothly. That can be especially important in the spring, when many riders bring their motorcycles out of winter storage. Beyond simply cleaning it up and filling the fuel tank, spring is a great time to do some simple checkups to make sure your bike is road ready. To help you make the most of this maintenance, motorcycle enthusiast Matthew Bochnak provides six tips for a simple spring checkup.
Hey what’s up everyone, it’s Matt from HowToMotorcycleRepair.com. In today’s video, I want to show you how to do a quick spring check up on your motorcycle.
You are going to want to perform this basic checkup anytime your motorcycle is coming out of short term storage or winter hibernation. Before we begin going over the topics in this video, I do want to mention that if you are unsure or uncomfortable with any of these procedures mentioned in this video, please seek professional help. Now if you are going to tackle this yourself, make sure you are wearing the proper safety equipment. I always wear safety glasses and gloves. It is also a good idea to have the service manual for your model so you can look up certain specifications.
1. Test the Battery
The first thing you will want to check up on is the condition of the battery. After fully charging the battery, a load tester can be used to determine the condition of the battery. Hook up the red cable to the positive terminal, and the black to the negative terminal. You will need to find out the cold cranking amps of your battery before beginning this test. This battery has 200. Go ahead and press and hold the button on the load tester for no more than 10 seconds. If the needle stays in the green area for the amount of cold cranking amps the battery has, then the battery is good. Another option is to take it to your motorcycle dealer or a battery store, and in most cases they will test it for free. Finally, make sure all battery connections are clean and tight, which will ensure a good electrical connection.
2. Inspect the Tires
The next thing to check up on is the tires. Here is a quick and easy way to measure the tread depth: take a penny and place it in one of the tire treads. If you can see the top of Abraham Lincoln’s head, then the tire is worn out and needs to be replaced. Another check is tire air pressure. Tires will lose air over time, so it is a good idea fill them up to the pressure specified in your owner’s manual.
3. Check the Oil
Let’s move on to checking the oil level. Make sure to reference the service manual if your motorcycle should on or off the kickstand for this procedure, as it will affect the reading. Motorcycles will come with either a sight glass or dipstick. If equipped with a sight glass, which is basically a small glass window in the side of the engine, make sure the oil level is between the MIN & MAX marks. If your model has a dipstick, remove it and wipe it clean with a rag. Reinsert the dipstick for 2 seconds and remove it. Make sure to NOT turn the dipstick upside down. The dipstick will be marked with a MIN & MAX level. If below the minimum range, add oil until maximum range is reached.
4. Measure the Chain Slack
Another item that needs to be checked is chain slack and lubrication. Go ahead and measure the chain slack with a ruler or tape measure as outlined in your owner’s manual. If your chain is out of specification, it will need to be adjusted. Take some chain lubricant and apply it to the entire chain, making sure not to overspray any lubricant on the tires. Wipe up any excess lube with a rag.
5. Look and Listen
Now you are going to want to start up the motorcycle and let it idle for a few minutes. While the engine is running, listen for any abnormal sounds and check for leaks. Make sure to look underneath the engine also. If any leaks appear, shut down the engine immediately and diagnose the problem further with the help of your service manual.
6. Review Maintenance Chart
With all checks complete, now would be good time to reference the periodic maintenance chart located in your service manual, and see if you are due for any maintenance. This chart will specify maintenance procedures that are due when you hit a certain age or mileage. Keeping up with maintenance will ensure your motorcycle stays in great operating condition.
Alright, well I hope you enjoyed this video and everything checks out OK on your motorcycle. If you’d like to see more of my videos, head over to how to motorcycle repair dot com, or check out my YouTube channel MatthewMCrepair. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter. Just remember if you are unsure of anything discussed in this video, seek the help of a professional mechanic. Thanks for watching and see you in the next video.