Whether you’re putting your motorcycle away for the winter or getting it back out in the spring, keeping up with routine maintenance is a key part of keeping your bike running smoothly. Beyond a standard clean, you can do many easy tasks and checks at home to look after your bike.
Change your oil
Like any other engine, your motorcycle oil will keep moving parts operating smoothly. Still, oil can accumulate a build-up of grime and impurities over time, so a regular oil and filter change will help to keep your engine ticking over.
You’ll need to stand the bike upright – either with its centre stand or a separate paddock stand – and drain the old oil by removing the sump bolt. Then replace the filter and refill the oil with the right kind for your bike. We’d recommend referring to your owner’s manual or a Haynes Manual for this job, as the process can change quite dramatically depending on your make and model.
Charge your motorcycle battery
Motorcycle batteries can be more temperamental than other vehicle batteries, and usually require more regular maintenance to keep them at their best. Leaving your bike idle for a few days can result in a flat battery, so it’s best to keep a charger at hand in case you need to charge up.
Some motorcycle battery chargers will actually care for and protect your battery while they charge – these trickle chargers target damaged cells and help to protect against overcharging, resulting in a healthier battery over time.
Check out our guide on how to charge a motorcycle battery for a handy step-by-step.
Check your tyres
Your bike’s two tyres are its only point of contact with the road, so it’s always worth making sure they’re safe, undamaged, and well-topped-up. You should regularly check the pressure of your tyres and top them up to the manufacturer’s specification with a tyre inflator if needed. Keep an eye out for any budging, scrapes, or other signs of damage, as these can all increase the risk of a blowout mid-ride.
Finally, make sure your tread is at a safe depth. The UK legal limit for motorcycles over 50cc is 1mm, so keep an eye on your tread and replace your tyres as soon as they become unsafe. Find out more about motorcycle tyre pressure in our advice article.
Check your chain
Your motorcycle’s chain is a key part of the bike’s makeup, and not having the right tension can be dangerous. A chain that’s too tight will put strain on your engine, causing excess heat and friction, and potentially causing damage to the sprockets. A loose chain, on the other hand, might jump on the sprockets, which can lead to a loss of power or even a jammed rear wheel.
You can easily check and adjust your chain tension at home – we recommend the Tru-Tension Chain Monkey Tool to make the process quick and simple.
Lubricate your chain
A clean, lubricated chain will improve the efficiency of your bike and keep your chain and sprocket working well for longer. As a rough guide, we’d recommend you re-lube every two or three times you fuel up.
You’ll find motorcycle chain lubricant in wet, dry, and all-weather formulations, each to suit different conditions and the type of riding you do. You should also be aware that you can over-lubricate your chain too – this will attract more mud and grime so be careful not to overdo it.
With your bike now ready for whatever your rides throw at it, you can hit the road safe and happy. Need any more motorcycle accessories? From riding clothes to motorcycle security, you’ll find everything you need at Halfords.