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A Guide to Essential Motorcycle Maintenance

Much like a car, a motorcycle must be serviced regularly, if it is to perform at optimum levels, and regardless of the make or model, the bike should be serviced according to the manufacturer’s specifications. When you book your bike in for a service, the following would be part of the maintenance to be carried out.

  1. Tyres – Tyres must be checked for excessive wear and for bulges or tears on the sidewalls, along with checking for correct tyre inflation. If a tyre is worn badly, it should be changed, and while you can replace one of the tyres, it is normal to replace both, as they should show equal wear and tear. It is important to use an experienced motorcycle service centre, and the Yamaha motorcycle dealers in Sydney can easily be found with an online search.
  2. Chain Tension – This can be adjusted at the rear wheel, and the ideal tension is 10-15mm slack, and the chain should not be so tight that there is no movement at all. The chain also needs to be lubricated, and you can purchase a special chain lube spray that works fine. The chain and back sprocket have a shelf life, which might be 30-50,000 km, and when they need to be changed the technician would inform you.
  3. Air Filters – Every bike would have a set of air filters and they can easily be removed and blown with compressed air. Do not ride the bike without the air filters in place, as dirt and dust can enter the carburation system, which will cause the bike to run erratically.
  4. Engine Oil Change – The engine oil and the filter are normally changed at every service interval, and this information would be added to the service section at the rear of the owner’s manual. If the bike is water-cooled, the coolant might also need topping up, which the mechanic would do if necessary.
  5. Spark Plugs – Regardless of how many cylinders, the spark plugs should be taken out and re-gapped, and if they have seen better days, they should be replaced.
  6. Brake Pads and Fluid – The front and rear brake pads should be inspected and the brake fluid levels checked and topped up where required.
  7. General Inspection – The bike mechanic would take the bike out for a spin after having carried out the service, just to make sure there are no strange noises and that the bike handles properly. Lights, brake lights and indicators are checked, as is the horn and the hazard warning lights.
  8. Suspension – Most modern motorcycles use gas suspension, which is checked to see if it is working properly. Some use oil, and the seals often leak, which would mean they need replacing.

Some performance motorcycles also require a fine tune, which would be carried out by a specialist, and by having your bike serviced at intervals recommended by the manufacturer, you will have peace of mind when on the road. Regular servicing ensures that you warranty will always be in place, and should you ever wish to sell and upgrade, you can expect a high price for your old bike.

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