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Motorcycle checks you can do yourself

January 4, 2023
Like any vehicle, part and parcel of owning a motorcycle, and keeping it safe to ride, requires upkeep and regular servicing.

Depending on engine capacity (cc), this is normally every 4-6,000ks, or at least once a year — whichever comes first.

And there are some basics you can do yourself to ensure your bike is being maintained properly before it goes in for a service.

Check the tyre pressure and tread

Checking your tyres regularly for air pressure and any signs of wear and tear is a great habit to get into, and you’ll want to do this after most rides and before any long road trips.

Each motorcycle will have its own specific tyre pressure, so refer to your bike’s manual for the correct PSI levels.

When reviewing your tyres, check the tread depth in areas that have seen the most wear and look out for bulges in the rubber or cuts to the sidewall. This will give you a better understanding of whether your tyres will need to be replaced.

Check your brakes

You must test your brakes before each ride. This is to ensure that each brake will stop your bike from rolling, especially in unpredictable weather conditions. 

Check the material on your brake pads regularly by looking to see if each brake pad is wearing evenly and is still safe to use. If your brake pads are two millimetres or less, then they’ll need to be replaced.

Charge your battery

Batteries will typically last for two years even if you treat them well, which is why it’s important that riders complete regular checks and charging to maintain the health of the battery.  

Each battery may be different and may require a special type of charger and so it’s best to refer to your bike’s manual for this information.

Charging your motorcycle consists of removing the battery, attaching the charger using the battery’s terminals, charging the battery, unplugging the charger, and then reinstalling the battery into your motorcycle.

Change your oil

The more you ride your bike the more often you’ll need to change its oil. Ideally, you should check the oil levels every few months and definitely before you go for a long ride. Oil filters need to be changed regularly and you can start by removing the oil plug and its filter. Once the oil has been drained you can install a new filter, put back any removed parts and refill using a funnel and new oil.

Change the coolant

Coolant protects your engine from overheating, freezing, or corroding and is an important part of maintaining your motorcycle’s insides. You should get into the habit of checking how old your coolant is and whether it’s time to change it.

Don’t attempt to handle coolant when your engine is still warm.

To change the coolant, you’ll first need to gain access to the coolant drain bolt and remove it. Then once you’re done you can reinstall the drain bolt and refill the body with coolant.

Clean your motorcycle

Cleaning your motorcycle will help to maintain the outer layer of paint and reduce wear and tear over time. Some riders clean their bike as often as they’d clean a car while others may wash their motorcycle more regularly.

Rinse your bike with cool water to remove any debris, clean with a soft cloth or sponge, clean plastic parts with a cloth or dampened sponge with a gentle detergent and rinse thoroughly with lots of clean water.

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