We know that all riders want to protect what they love, and regular dirt bike and motorcycle care and maintenance is the best way to do this. Setting a solid routine in place for at-home motorcycle maintenance will save you money, keep you safe on the road, and extend the life of your bike. Whether you’ve just bought your first bike or have had one for the last ten years, this checklist for basic motorcycle and dirtbike maintenance will be a lifesaver.
Do a visual check
The best way to start is to do a walkaround, checking for any leaks, drips, or streaks of oil across your bike. Try to find the source of any leaks and how long it’s been happening, which might mean getting familiar with your engine, radiator, and brakes to find out what it is and then how to stop the leak.
Turn the key
Are your lights working? Is it turning on smoothly? How are the throttle and clutch moving? Checking the basics only takes a few minutes but can save you being pulled over for a broken brake light or having the battery die whilst on the road.
Check the tyres
Checking your tyres is an important task to add to your motorcycle maintenance schedule. The first thing to inspect is the tyre pressure, which is something you should be making a habit of checking every second ride, if not every ride. This will require investing in a pressure gauge. Thankfully it is quite easy to find inexpensive analog gauges.
The next thing to check on your tyres is wear and tear. If your tyres have wear indicators this is easy to check on, otherwise, you need to check the remaining tread depth where the most wear has occurred – this is normally at the centre of the tyre.
Brake pads and brake lines
For the brake pads, examine how much padding you have left on either side and that they are wearing evenly. The best way to check if they are still good to run is to measure them against the specs in your service manual. Remember that you shouldn’t be trying to get the most out of your brake pads and run them into the ground, they need some leeway to keep you safe and avoid damaging other aspects of your bike.
Make sure you are also checking your brake lines for any wear and tear, especially if they are rubber as these will wear down faster than stainless steel. If your bike is five to ten years old and these haven’t been changed, this is the time to bring it in for servicing and check they are still running properly.
Motorcycle care after riding in the rain
Whilst rain won’t directly damage your bike after one ride, if you live in a storm-prone area or ride in all seasons this can slowly deteriorate parts of your motorcycle or dirt bike. You need to ensure that you properly dry down the bike after heavy rain, and make sure you keep all moving parts lubricated to protect them. The best thing to do would be to take preventative measures, placing it inside where possible or covering it with a cover that is the correct size and can be tethered down.
Getting your motorcycle or dirt bike serviced
Ideally, you should get it serviced at a minimum once a year, but it depends on how much you use your bike. if you’re using your motorcycle or dirt bike every day then you need to be getting it serviced more often, at least every 6 months.