Motorcycle care: Keeping your machine in top condition
Why include cleaning tips in a brochure for newcomers to biking? Simple, really: it's the ideal way to get to know your motorcycle better and understand how it works.
You see, bike care doesn't just mean keeping it looking great. Experienced bikers always take this opportunity to ensure that their machine is also technically up to speed. While you're cleaning your motorcycle, you can easily spot engine leaks, worn or chafed cables, rust film on chrome parts, and loose screws or bolts.
Before rolling up your sleeves to give your machine a good spring clean, you need to find a suitable place for the job, because you're not actually allowed to do it in grandma's back yard or on the road. If you use a high-pressure cleaner, hold it a safe distance from sensitive parts such as the chain, steering head bearings, swing arm bearings or wheel bearings to avoid flushing out the grease. Similarly, the connectors in your bike's electrical system will not appreciate cleaning with a pressure washer, so you may end up with leakage currents or dodgy contacts. Important: Always allow your bike to cool down before washing.
Once your machine is gleaming again, it's best to do some technical checks. Are all the lights working properly? Also check the oil and coolant levels, tread depth and tyre pressures, drive chain tension and thickness of the brake pads.
On the subject of brakes: Before you tackle the job of fitting new brake pads or changing the brake fluid, you should definitely get professional assistance. After all, your life can depend on properly functioning brakes!
Not just cleaning!
Well lubricated components last longer, work better and are less prone to rust.
Check the oil level!
This is how it should look: oil level just below the maximum mark. However, the oil is only as light-coloured and clear as this when you first pour it in.
Check this regularly. The chain needs some play, but neither too much nor too little. You can find out the correct tension from a motorcycle workshop or your owner's manual.
Tips for DIY mechanics
You will find a detailed version of these care and maintenance tips plus other useful illustrated information under the "Service" heading on our website LOUIS.