It's that time of year again–time for a Spring motorcycle tune-up. If you're like most riders, you probably put your bike away for the winter and didn't give it a second thought or have been putting aside usual maintenance. Now that the weather is getting nicer, it's a good idea to give your bike a little TLC. A tune-up can help your motorcycle run more smoothly and prevent any potential problems down the road.
In this blog post, we'll talk about the things you need to do to tune up your motorcycle for Spring. We'll discuss lubricating your motorcycle chain, checking filters, motorcycle brake fluid change, and more. Read on to learn more.
Clean, Adjust Tension, and Lubricate the Chain
One of the first motorcycle tune-ups you should do in the Spring is to clean your chain, adjust its tension, and lubricate it. You can use a brush or degreaser to clean it off, then use a wrench to loosen the adjustment bolts and adjust the tension. Apply a light coat of oil to the links before tightening them back up. This is vital as a loose chain can cause your motorcycle to lose power and efficiency.
It also makes your engine work harder and wear out faster. A dirty chain also wears out faster, costing you money. This tune-up is even more critical if you’ve ridden in the winter when road salt and other grime can make your chain even grimier. Help your bike run more smoothly all year by adjusting and lubricating your motorcycle chain.
Inspect the Brakes for Wear and Tear
Another important motorcycle tune-up step is to inspect the brakes for wear and tear. Check for any wear on the brake pads and if it exceeds the manufacturer’s specifications, get them replaced. Also, check for any build-up of contaminants such as dust or mud and remove them with a high-pressure water sprayer. Any chipping or warping of the brake pads should also be considered.
Your brakes are one of your motorcycle's most important safety features, so it’s important to make sure they are in good condition before riding. Don't forget about changing your motorcycle’s brake fluid, which is just as important. If your bike has been sitting all winter, the brake fluid may have turned to sludge and should be replaced.
Inspect Your Tires for Wear and Tear and Check the Tire Pressure
Now that you're done with lubricating your motorcycle chain and changing your motorcycle’s brake fluid, the next motorcycle tune-up is checking your tires. Few things are more important than being safe on the road, and having good tread is integral for stopping safely in all conditions. If you see any bald spots or cracks in the sidewall of your motorcycle tires, it's time for a new set of tires.
Tires can easily wear down if you're not careful, so be sure to keep an eye on the pressure as well. Over-inflated or under-inflated tires can lead to accidents, and it's important to have the right PSI for your motorcycle type. Consult your owner's manual if you're unsure what the correct pressure should be.
Top off All Fluids, Including Engine Oil and Coolant
Your motorcycle’s fluid levels are also very important to keep an eye on, and regular motorcycle tune-ups should include a check of the transmission oil and coolant levels. Both fluids have hard jobs to do: transmission oil keeps the engine running smoothly, while coolant helps prevent overheating by dissipating heat from the engine.
Make sure to use the right type of fluid for your motorcycle, as specified in your owner’s manual. Don't skimp on quality, either. Your Spring motorcycle tune-up is a great time to upgrade to better fluids if you feel that the ones you’re using aren't quite up to snuff. Replacing or topping up fluids is one of the easiest tune-up motorcycle maintenance tips.
Inspect the Wiring for Any Frays or Damage
Your bike has an elaborate wiring system that runs your lighting, electrical components, braking system, and charging system. Check the wiring for any frays or damage that could cause shorts, and replace them if necessary. You don't want a blown fuse while you're cruising down the highway. If you're not comfortable doing a wiring inspection, take your bike to a reputable shop for an inspection.
Any damaged wiring can impact your bike's functionality and safety. For instance, a damaged brake light wiring could cause you to get into an accident. Don't assume that the wiring is okay just because everything seems to be working. A motorcycle tune-up will ensure all wires are safe from damage and fully functional.
Tighten All Bolts and Screws to Ensure Everything Is Secured Properly
Your motorcycle has a lot of nuts, bolts, and screws that help keep it together. These can work loose over time due to the vibration produced by your bike’s engine. When you tune up your motorcycle in the Spring, this is one of the first things you should check on so that everything is tight and secure.
After tightening everything, give each bolt and screw a few drops of oil to help keep them from rusting. Just like lubricating your motorcycle chain and checking motorcycle brake fluid change, every motorcycle tune-up step you take to maintain your bike will help keep it running smoothly for years to come and avoid surprises.
Inspect the Air and Oil Filters and Replace Them If Necessary
The air filter and oil filter are the first lines of defense for your motorcycle’s engine. These filters keep debris out of your engine and help regulate airflow, which helps with air intake and combustion. When you tune up a motorcycle, it's crucial to inspect these filters for any wear or damage that may have occurred during motorcycle storage over winter.
As part of your motorcycle tune-up, you'll want to check the air filter for any signs of moisture build-up. Moisture can potentially seep through the housing where the air filter is installed and cause water damage to other components inside your engine. If you notice any dampness on or around your motorcycle's air filter, it's time for a replacement.
The oil filter should also be inspected for any dirt or debris that may have collected over the winter. If there is excessive build-up on the filter, it could restrict oil flow and damage your engine. In most cases, an oil change is all you'll need to bring your motorcycle back up to speed.
Check All Cables, Hoses, and Connectors for Wear and Tear
Don't forget to check all the cables, hoses, and connectors for wear and tear during the motorcycle tune-up. If any of these seem worn or damaged, replace them now rather than waiting until they break and cause further damage. Some of the vulnerable areas to check include the throttle cables, brake hoses, coolant hoses, spark plug wires, and wiring harnesses.
While checking cables, you'll want to ensure they're not stretched or binding too much. If they are, then lubricate them with a cable lube as needed. Also, check all the connectors to see if any of them need replacing or cleaning and lubricating before your next ride.
Ensure Your Lights Are Working Properly
Finally, check your lights to ensure they're all in working order as part of your motorcycle tune-up process. Test the headlight, brake light, and turn signals to be sure they’re all functioning properly. Remember that you rely on your lights to keep you safe while riding. If you notice any problems, now is the time to address them before it gets too warm outside and you start using your bike more frequently.
Shop Aftermarket Tune-Up Parts and Accessories
If you want to tune up your bike with aftermarket parts and accessories designed to last longer, function better, and look cooler, then you've come to the right place. West End Motorsports makes your tune-up process a breeze by bringing you top brands and the best products at prices that won't break your tune-up budget.
Want to learn more about lubricating your motorcycle chain, checking motorcycle brake fluid change, and other motorcycle tune-ups? Get in touch with our experts or read more resources on our blog.