Riding a motorcycle is different from driving a car. People, especially men, love it as it is easier to park, uses less gas, and takes up less space. Most motorcyclists also enjoy the feeling of zipping between cars. And like most automobiles, motorcycles also require regular check-ups to stay in tip-top shape. After all, a bike in good running conditions also ensures problem-free riding.
In this Kwiksure article, our experts will share a few insider tips on how to manually inspect your toy.
First and foremost, brakes can be life-saving at critical junctures so it pays to test your brakes before each ride, to ascertain that they are in good order. This also means checking the brake fluid level and the thickness of your brake pads. To keep your brakes at their optimum performance, brake fluid should be replaced every one to two years, depending on the instructions in your manual.
You can refer to your manual for how often you should change your oil, but it is advised that you should do so at least once a year. Should you ride on the motorcycle frequently, you may have to change it more frequently - usually every 5,000 or 10,000km, depending on the model of the motorcycle. Additionally, you can find out the grade of engine oil your bike needs in your user manual. If you pour the wrong grade of engine oil, it can damage your engine in many ways.
Take note of the seasonal differences in oil consumption. In summer, the bike will use more oil, while in winter, the oil will last longer. Lastly, always check your oil level before starting your engine.
3. Drive chain
The drive chain is a crucial part of a motorcycle as it transfers power from the engine to the rear wheel. Hence, you should lube your chain after each ride while it is still warm so that the oil can penetrate all parts of the chain. Another point to note is to check the chain tension. Too much tension will create problems with your wheels and gearbox bearings.
It can be very dangerous if the pressure of your tires is too low or too high. So before you hit the road, you should check the air pressure and the tread with a pressure gauge, and look out for any signs of wear and tear to avoid blowouts. Remember that you should do so when the bike is cool instead of during a ride. This is because only cold tires will show accurately the actual air pressure and so indicates the amount of air needed to inflate the tires fully; while hot tires show a bump in the air pressure due to the increased heat inside them.
5. Air filter
Clean your air filter with compressed air or replace a new one if necessary. This is particularly important if you ride on dusty roads often. If an air filter is dirty, doesn’t fit correctly or isn’t properly oiled, dirt and grit can go into the engine. Conversely, a clean air filter will give your bike more power.
Keep your battery charged to 100% with a trickle charger while not in use to extend its lifespan. If you wait until a battery is completely exhausted to charge it, it will have worse performance. You should also inspect your battery every month to make sure that terminals are clean, the connectors on the terminals are not loose, and the electrolyte level is not too low. If it is low, add distilled or deionized water.
7. Spark plug
Spark plugs deliver electric current to ignite the compressed fuel/air mixture whilst containing combustion pressure within the engine. If they are dirty, collect soot, or badly corroded, then they need to be replaced as soon as possible to avoid complete wear-out.
Before you conduct any check-ups of the spark plug, you should wait at least two hours for the engine to cool down. Dust off the old spark plugs and unscrew with a spark plug socket and ratchet. The color of your spark plug should be light brown. If it’s black, the air and fuel mixture is too rich; if it’s white, the oil-air mixture is too lean and your engine is overheating. In both cases, you will need to get your fuel injection or carburetor checked.
Contact Kwiksure for more info on car insurance
A valid motor insurance policy goes a long way in protecting the driver from personal injuries and property damages, resulting from unforeseen accidents. If you are on the hunt for an insurance plan that matches your needs and budget, you may consider an experienced insurance brokerage like Kwiksure.
With over 19 years of experience, our teams of professional consultants at Kwiksure are adept at selecting, implementing, managing, and renewing insurance plans. Aside from motor insurance, Kwiksure is also specialized in travel insurance, home insurance, and voluntary health insurance. Contact us today for impartial insurance advice, an obligation-free quote, and a free plan comparison.