Several motorcyclists prefer to buy their bikes within the service plan. Of course, to save some bucks on hefty service bills. If you’re a motorbike enthusiast, you’d love to service your cruiser at home. But what if you don’t know how to service a motorbike at home because it’s your first time.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
Here’s everything you should know about servicing your motorbike right in the comfort of your home.
How Would I Know that My Bike Needs a Service?
What if you have a busy schedule and cannot take it to the service center? Well, you can service your motorcycle on your own without any hassle. But make sure your bike is not under warranty. Or by doing so, you will void it.
The easiest way to know that your bike is up for a service is by counting the miles. Each motorbike comes with a list of instructions on when it will need essential assistance and a significant service required.
At times, you might need to service your bike if it has been idle for months even though it hasn’t hit the recommended mileage. If you are unsure about when to service your motorcycle based on mileage, here’s an approximate figure to keep in mind. But make sure to check with an authorized service provider.
You can schedule your bike’s service with every oil change. If you’re using a mineral-based oil, you should change it at least every 2,000 miles or twice a year. In contrast, you should replace a semi-synthetic oil every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. And a fully synthetic oil should be replaced every 7,000 to 10,000 miles.
How to service a motorbike at home?
Drain Oil and Change Oil filter
Keep in mind that old oils are bad for the health of your bike’s engine. The most important thing, to begin with, is to drain oil. And for that, you need to start your motorbike and let it be there for a few minutes. It will thin the oil as it gets warm.
Now drain the oil and change the oil filter. When fitting the new oil filter, you need to keep in mind to rub a bit of motor oil with your finger on that oil filter’s O-ring seal. It will seal the oil filter and protect it from any external impurities.
After changing the oil filter, you need to fill the bike three-quarters and let it be there for a few more minutes. Then start your bike and see the level again when the oil warms up for the second time. Don’t fill it too much so that it spills over, and don’t leave a lot of it empty.
Next up is the spark plug! You need to remove these plugs and assess the gap for any excess buildup or residue. You need to get those deposits clean with the help of a wire brush. Don’t forget to spray a plug cleaner to get it clean.
You have to make sure that the spark plug is clean and nothing is preventing it from igniting correctly. You can also clean it with a steel plug if you want to guarantee its proper operation.
Dirty fuels can cause spark plug clogging, and it will consequently cause your bike to sputter and not start up properly.
A clogged air filter will deteriorate your bike’s overall efficiency. This is especially the case if you do a lot of off-road riding.
Locate an air filter on your bike’s engine. Open the airbox and pull the filter out. Now check the condition of the air filter. If you use a paper filter, replace it frequently. If you have a washable filter, you must thoroughly clean it before you get it back in.
But don’t forget to re-oil it before putting it back in. An oil spray can work well for this purpose. It will help the filter in trapping the dust or other impurities and preventing them from damaging your bike’s engine.
You have to check the tension level in your bike chain. It shouldn’t be too loose or too tight. You can lift the lowest section of your bike chain closest to the ground with the help of your index finger. Leave a room for the tension of about one inch because you don’t want it to be too tight or break.
Keep in mind that if it’s too tight, the chain will make some noise when you are riding your bike. Its tightness may cause it to climb off a sprocket as well. It can be very dangerous. You also need to make sure the chain is adequately lubricated when you have washed it. Before lubricating the chain, allow it to dry.
For lubrication purposes, you can always use a chain lube or wax. You can pay it on some part if the chain is visible and move your bike forward for a meter or two. Now spray the other visible section of the chain until you have covered the entire chain with the spray or lube.
Make sure to check any signs of wearing the brake pads, and you can do so without even taking them out on the pillars. You need to push the brake pads apart in a knelt manner and check how much the brake pad is visible.
Keep in mind not to use brake pads that are too close to the metal. Also, be very careful when you are taking out your brake pads. Put the relevant bolts, clips, and pins back into their correct positions. Also, double-check that you have locked and tightened everything, so the pads don’t fall out for any reason.
These seals can start leaking if your front forks have small stones or chips on them. In most cases, this will begin to happen when your bike has stayed idle for a long time. You can recheck it to see if there is any leakage.
If there is any, you need to take your bike or the forks only to the nearest shop or suspension specialist. There your fork seals will be replaced. You might have to sand your forks down in some cases to get those chips or stones out.
Front & rear wheel axles
The rear and front-wheel axles might not be something that you need to check that often. But keeping a check is never a bad idea. You can grease your wheel axles for free-flowing movement. If you do a lot of off-road riding, you need to run the check for sure. But they won’t be the case if you only ride on asphalt.
The purpose here is to get any gravel or dirt out of the axle. When it is clean, you need to grease it to guarantee smooth movement properly. Don’t over grease it because you don’t need to but keep it sufficiently lubricated to prevent any sticking or blockage.
It’s pretty basic, but it will have a positive impact on your overall riding experience. Your bike handling will significantly improve, which will otherwise be very wobbly. Check your motorcycle tire pressures before you start your ride too. But don’t check when you return from a ride because the tire pressure will be inaccurate at that point.
How can I get the best performance from my motor oil?
You will have to notice your riding patterns. For instance, if you do a lot of off-road biking, you will need to replace your motor oil more frequently, but this won’t be the case if you ride asphalt a lot. Also, make sure to replace the air and oil filter every oil change to get the best performance out of your motor oil.
Do I need to service motorbike suspension too?
A frequent off-roader should keep an eye on the suspension. You might need to service your suspension more frequently as compared to a commuter. You should visit a bike specialist to change the suspension fluid, but it will happen once in a while, and in the case of road riding, it will be even less required.
When do I need to change the spark plugs?
Spark plugs should be changed after every 14,000 to 15,000 miles. These plugs need to be changed after particular mileage and not time-dependent. But if you don’t use your bike a lot, then there is a factor of corrosion and rust that will make you change these plugs.
Understanding how to service a motorbike at home can save you a lot of time and money. Besides that, when you go to a repair shop, you will know what needs to be changed and how much it will cost. Therefore, knowing the tidbits about how to service a motorbike at home is vital in ensuring getting the best out of your bike no matter how much or where you use it.