Owning a motorcycle is a great joy, as anyone with a bike could happily tell you. However, owning this kind of vehicle comes with a great amount of responsibility as well. It’s true! There’s a lot of maintenance and upkeep that goes along with owning a bike.
If you’re looking to clamp down on some excessive costs over the lifetime of your ownership, it might behoove you to look into basic DIY motorcycle repairs. These are repairs that can be performed on your own without the need of going to a costly and time-consuming repair shop.
What are a few repair jobs you should be able to get a handle on all on your own? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you should know.
1. Adjusting Bike Chains
One essential task that all motorcycle owners should get themselves familiar with is adjusting their bike’s chain. If your chain isn’t properly adjusted it could produce huge problems later down the line for your bike.
The wear and tear caused by a misadjusted chain can damage the bike’s sprocket and create more than serious rear suspension issues. It can make the general experience of your ride worse and worse as time passes.
Outside of all these more serious issues, a loose chain hanging will create an irritating rattle and will look super silly to boot. The adjustment required for each bike will vary, so you’ll want to pull out your manual and see what they say.
It shouldn’t be all too difficult to adjust the tension. You may need to do the job with someone sitting on the bike so as to get the degree of tension accurate. Without this weight, you could end up tightening too much or leaving too much slack.
Make sure to lube the chain when you’re done. It will eventually need a full replacement, but this kind of simple DIY fix can help extend its life far past what it would otherwise be.
2. Replace Your Brake Pads
Your brakes are a very serious part of your bike. In more situations than one, they could be the aspect of your motorcycle that literally saves your life. For this reason, it might feel somewhat worrying to attempt to replace them yourself.
However, fixing your bike brake pads isn’t all too difficult. However, it’s best to do it under the watchful eye of someone with experience before you do it for the very first time, just to be safe.
Make sure you have the right parts based on the details in your bike’s manual. As with your chain, not every bike will allow you to replace brake pads in quite the same way, so you need to do your reading.
In most instances, you’ll remove the caliper that is covering the pads via a plate on the back. You’ll then use pliers to remove the pistons from the brake pads and slide them out. Replacing them is as simple as sliding new ones back in and doing the process in reverse.
Make sure you’re careful with your tools! You don’t want to accidentally permanently damage anything.
3. Maintaining Battery Function
One of the more frustrating elements of owning a motorcycle is taking care of the battery. The best way to avoid irritations and problems with your bike down the line is to keep your battery in good shape.
First, you’ll want to locate where your battery is if you don’t already know. Older bikes generally have it on the side of the bike under some kind of cover. More modern bikes have hidden it away under the tank or seat, making it harder to access.
Checking on the health of your battery can keep it running for a long and healthy life. To understand just how long that might be, you can check out this guide to battery reserve capacity.
To check on your battery, take it out of the holster, making sure to avoid any leaked battery acid. Place it down on a level surface and look at the acid level. If the level is low, you’ll want to fill it up with water and put it to charge.
Doing this can help maintain its proper function.
4. Perform an Oil Change
Why go through all the trouble of bringing your bike to a mechanic to get an oil change when you can do this on your own? It’s easy enough to save your money by learning how to perform this simple task.
All you need to do is get your hands on the right oil and tools. Once again, you’ll want to refer to your manual to ensure you’re getting what you need for your bike specifically.
The basics should be more or less the same. Simply remove the oil filler cap, undo the bolt underneath the engine and drain all of the oil into a pan. It’s best to do this right after riding, while the engine is still somewhat warm.
Give the area a little clean and then pour new oil in up to the acceptable amount (usually indicated by a line inside the piping). Keep an eye out for leaks after.
Essential DIY Motorcycle Repairs
Owning a motorcycle can be expensive but you can help keep your costs down by learning a few essential DIY motorcycle repairs. If you can master the above tasks on your own, that’s a good deal of cash that can stay in your pocket instead of going to a mechanic.
On top of that, you’ll help ensure your bike will remain healthy and functional for years to come. Need more motor advice? Keep scrolling our blog for more.