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Motorcycles start to wear and go out of adjustment from the day they leave the showroom. Keeping them running smoothly, reliably and safely takes time and effort. Routine maintenance whether it is performed by you or a shop is a life saver. Maintaining your bike requires wrenching or money and trying to cut corners or missing checkups is never a good practice.
Photo credit: Riders Freedom - http://esr.cc/KRyctr
The level and frequency of maintenance very much depends on the sort of bike. Robust, low revving tourers won't need anywhere near as much attention as some high-spec, high speed sportsbikes. But the fact is all bikes need looking after. Servicing is getting more and more complex to do at home, so decide what you're able to do, and what should be left to the experts. Missing services and checks can lead to problems and inconvenience at the best times, and accidents and injuries at the worst.
Photo credit: Blitz Motorcycles - http://esr.cc/LPeltc
Washing your bike often is a good place to start. Getting into the nitty- gritty of a machine will help you spot wear and tear early, giving you a chance to sort it out quicker. Keep your eye on chain and sprocket wear and lube them as often as they need it, depending on the bike sometimes more than once a day.
Tire pressure checks are a chore, but can make the difference between good and bad handling of your bike. Tread depth checks and complete all around visual inspections for cuts and debris are vital too, as is choosing the right type of tire for your bike. Make sure your valve caps are air tight to stop deflation through centrifugal force at very high speeds. Bikes also need the appropriate type of rubber to help them perform at their best.
Correct oil, water, and brake fluid levels are essential, and monitoring brake pad and disc wear is crucial. Checks can be inconvenient and messy, but they're better than a mechanically induced crash. If you don't know what to look for then ask a dealer or a mechanic.
Motorcycles are complex machines that need regular maintenance. Skipping a schedule maintenance could lead to a bad experience. It might cost you a bit of time and money, but it's always worth keeping your bike and yourself in perfect working order. Enjoy the ride! EatSleepRIDE.