Riding bikes is a hobby and passion for millions of people in India. As a two-wheeled form of transport, bikes are very good at manoeuvring through the dense Indian traffic. Bikes are one of the most cost-efficient forms of transport and are preferred for daily commute by many.
Many bike enthusiasts also like to go on long road trips to hilly areas. It is important to learn how to maintain your bike properly to get the best performance and mileage, especially if you are going on a trip. In this article, we will discuss ten essential bike maintenance tips that will keep your motorcycle well-functioning for a long time.
Check Your Bike Tyres Regularly
It is necessary to conduct a thorough check on the conditions of the tyres. Ensure that the air pressure in them is at recommended levels. Look out for tyre cuts and scrapes that could cause problems when riding. It is a good practice to check tyre treads every week. You must also inspect the wheel balance and alignment. To keep your bike running smoothly, it is vitally important that your tyres are in good shape.
Check the Engine Oil
Engine oil plays a vital role in the operation of your motorcycle. Once a week, you should make sure that the engine oil levels are being maintained and check for any potential leaks. Check the consistency of the oil too. The oil gets thickened due to carbon deposits which further creates issues with engine movements when riding. Riding the bike in such a condition will lead to an increase in fuel consumption and reduce the efficiency of the engine.
Clean out the Air Filters Regularly
Due to the dusty climate in India, the air filters of your motorcycle are likely to get clogged quite often. Cleaning the air filters regularly becomes necessary to maintain the bike’s health. Change the bike air filter at regular intervals, too, as recommended by your bike manufacturer.
Adjust the Clutch
The clutch is an important component of your bike. Make sure that you are not tightening the clutch too much as it would lead it to slip off and increase the fuel consumption as well. Your clutch needs to be adjusted periodically to correct levels for a hassle-free change in gears when riding and to maintain the bike’s fuel efficiency.
Check Bike Engine Regularly
The engine is the main component of your motorcycle. With regular maintenance and servicing, the engine works efficiently and reduces your fuel bills too. When checking the bike engine, clean the carburettor and maintain the valve clearances. As a general rule, every time you travel 1500 km, make it a habit to clean the carburettor float chamber afterwards. Further, clean the spark plug after each 750 km covered (in case of 2-stroke bikes), and after each 1500 km covered (in case of 4-stroke bikes). Remember to clean your spark plug as well.
Clean the Exterior of Your Bike
Keeping the bike surface clean and dust-free is also important. However, before you wash the surface, cover the ignition switch unit, H.T. Coil, and silencer with a plastic sheet so water does not reach the internals. You should also make a habit of parking your vehicle in the shade as frequent exposure to the sunlight can fade its appearance.
Maintain the battery
Every vehicle battery needs maintenance at regular intervals to ensure a hassle-free riding experience. If necessary, top up the battery with distilled water and inspect it for leakage. In case you won’t be riding the bike for a very long time, keep the battery fully charged. You should also look into replacing the battery if you face battery troubles frequently.
Maintain the brakes
Always make sure the brakes on your bike are in perfect shape, as brake failure or loose breaks can cause avoidable accidents. Get the brakes tightened as per your requirements. If you notice a screeching sound, replace the brake pads in the front. This screeching sound usually happens due to a lack of oil. Both (rear and front) brakes holding the tyre must be appropriately spaced. Tightening or loosening them too much can be dangerous when riding the bike.
Have Your Bike Regularly Serviced
You should take your bike to your mechanic every few months and get it serviced. A bike that is regularly serviced will serve you well for years and maintain its fuel efficiency and performance. Any minor problems that you may not have noticed will also be regularly fixed through servicing.
Maintain an average riding speed
To keep your bike healthy for a long time, try maintaining an average riding speed throughout your travel. Most bikes in India have an average recommended driving speed of 40 to 60 kmph. Maintaining driving speed also helps reduce fuel consumption.
When travelling to new and distant places on your bike, you will need to be extra cautious. Riding a bike involves numerous risks, more so when you are not well aware of the routes in your journey. What if the place is prone to bike theft? What if the state or the area you are visiting is under siege due to fire outbreaks, lightning strikes, earthquakes, floods, typhoons, hurricanes and landslides, and other such natural calamities?
The cost of repairs or replacement of motor parts, especially for expensive bikes, can be exorbitant. Damaging or losing your bike when travelling to remote areas could also be a cause of concern. However, a comprehensive bike insurance plan with riders can take care of all your needs and keep you financially covered for any unexpected expenses like bike theft or accidental damage. You can always opt to buy bike insurance online.
While the above motorbike maintenance tips are essential, comprehensive bike insurance is a useful tool to protect yourself and your bike, be it for daily commute or long trips. With bike insurance available on Finserv MARKETS, you can avail bike roadside assistance facilities, add-ons like personal accident cover, zero depreciation cover, swift cashless claim settlements, hassle-free renewals, and much more.
If you drive your motorcycle carefully, keep it clean, refill all oils regularly and get it serviced every few months, your bike won’t need too much maintenance.
Most bike experts recommend that you get your bike serviced every 12 months. However, if you are facing any problems with your bike, you should get it serviced right away.
It is a good idea to change the oil filter in your bike every 5000 - 6000 km of driving.
An average motorcycle, if well maintained and serviced, should run for 12 to 15 years without major issues.
Multiple studies have shown that bike owners are more prone to accidents than car owners.