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Motorcycle Trip: 8 Key Motorcycle Maintenance Tips for Long Trips

There's more to motorcycle maintenance than just cleaning the air filter. Keep reading for 7 key motorcycle maintenance tips for long trips.

Get ready for your motorcycle road trip!

Get ready for your motorcycle road trip!

Going on a road trip is arguably one of the most exhilarating experience you’ll ever have. You get to traverse regions and enjoy the ambiance that each geography has to offer. While this might be fun, there are so many things to consider before you hit the road.

Motorcycle trips take time to master since you only have enough space to carry the essentials. Also, you have to check that the motorcycle is fit to make a long trip.

Before you embark on your journey, ensure that your paperwork is up to date. This includes your driver’s license, motorcycle insurance, etc. With your paperwork in hand, it’s time to check out your bike.

Maintenance Checklist for a Motorcycle Trip

Regardless of whether you own the bike or rented it for the bike, you ought to check if it will make the trip without any issues. How do you this? Here we go…

1. Walkaround

This is an effortless yet effective way to check for any issues. A simple walk around will reveal areas that might be problematic during the trip. For instance, if there is an oil leak or the tire pressure is low, you need to fix it.

Check every part of the bike for signs of wear and tear.

The most effective way to walk around inspection is with a checklist. Come up with a checklist of every part of that needs to be inspected. Go through each of these parts and confirm that it can handle the long trip.

Before the inspection, clean the motorcycle. During the wash you are likely to notice problems. Consider checking your motorcycle fasteners to ensure that the bolts and joints are well fastened. A sturdy frame is critical for a smooth ride.

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3. Change your oil

According to your manual, how often should you change your oil? Typically, the recommended frequency is once every year. However, this only applies if you use your motorcycle sparingly.

The more you use your motorcycle, the more frequent the oil change. This also applies if you use dirt roads frequently. Check the oil, add more or change where necessary.

4. Tires and wheels

Since you will be on the road for hours at a time, you might want to check your tires. And it's not just the tire pressure. Tire maintenance should be at the top of your maintenance checklist.

You only get two tires, and you don’t have enough space to carry extra tires. Remember you will be on the road for hours, and since the point of contact between the road and the motorbike is the tires, the least you can do is ensure that they are in stellar condition.

Check for signs of wear and tears as well as the tire pressure. If the tires cannot handle the trip, ensure that you replace them. Once you are done with the tire, check the wheel alignment. If the wheel is not properly aligned, it increases the rate of wear and tear.

5. Check your brakes

Before each ride ensure that you test the brakes. Don’t stop at the brakes also check the brake fluid level. If you have not replaced the brake fluid in the last two years, it’s now the perfect time to do it.

Also, check the brake pad. Has the thickness reduced over time or are they good enough for the trip?

Check the manual for specifications of the brake pads, if the thickness is below the recommended thickness you’ll need to replace them. Another key part is the brake lines which are often overlooked in basic motorcycle maintenance.

If your bike has rubber brake lines you might want to replace them with stainless steel line.

6. Air Filter

Easily ignored during long trips, especially if you are always on the road. Remember, unlike a few decades ago, the environment has completely changed. The air quality is not the same as it was half a century ago.

There is too much pollution thus a clean air filter will come in handy. Check the route you will use and the state of roads. If the areas are dusty, you might want to replace your air filter.

7. Battery

Ensure that the motorcycle’s battery is fully charged before you leave. A trickle charger will charge a dead battery and it will also maintain the health of your motorcycle battery.

You can check its overall health using a multimeter. 

8. Fuel and fuel line

Check the fuel level and check whether the fuel line has any signs of damage. 

What to Take on Your Motorcycle Trip

While the maintenance tips ensure that your motorcycle trip is smooth, you still have to ensure that you pack the right gear, spares, and a tool kit. You need a tool kit for adjustments and emergency repairs on the road. 

Keep in mind that the next gas station might be miles away; thus, extra fuel in the auxiliary tanks could help.

You’ll also need cleaning supplies for the journey: a microfiber cloth plus a cleaning solution for windscreen and helmet visor.

You will need a plastic bag to carry your supplies and ensure that you can balance even with extra weight. Additionally, you will need snacks, protective balms, personal identification, rain gear, ATGATT, toiletries, protective eyewear, and camping equipment.

Now, check out the motorcycle routes available free in the ESR app.

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