If you’ve decided to take the plunge and invest in a big bike, there is indeed much to consider and a major aspect of big bike ownership is care and maintenance. Much like a car, your bike is a very complex piece of machinery and therefore requires regular servicing, something stipulated by the manufacturer and with that in mind, here are a few of the aspects of big bike maintenance.
- Engine Oil Change – The modern 4-stroke, 4-cylinder overhead camshaft engines need to have the engine oil replaced at set mileage intervals and the oil and air filters also need attention (cleaning or replacing). You should only use the grade of oil recommended by the manufacturer, which would be found in the owner’s manual.
- Tyres – You should always inspect the tyres before any journey, checking that the tread is good and there are no sidewall bulges or tears. Your front & rear tyres are the only things in contact with the road surface and they need to be correctly inflated. Regarding replacement, err on the side of safety; good tyres are not expensive and they might just save your life!
- Chain Inspection – A good quality O-Ring chain will require regular adjustment and the ideal tension would be a play of 30mm; too loose and you risk the chain unseating, too tight and the chain might break. Chain lubrication is a must, you can buy a spray-on version, which you should use regularly.
- Brake Pads – The double front disc brake pads will need changing at around 50k miles, or earlier, depending on your riding style and you rear brakes would likely also be disc and the rear should be ready for a change before the front pads. If you are looking to invest in a big bike, check out Wheels Motorcycles, a leading UK dealership with a range of big bikes, both new and used. Check the hydraulic oil level for your braking system, which should be topped up if it falls below the minimum line.
- Spark Plugs – These should be changed according to the manufacturer’s recommendation and if you notice a cylinder is out, check the plugs. If the plugs are not due for a change, there’s no need to inspect them if the engine is performing as it should.
- Regular Power Wash – This is the best way to clean your bike and all the car wash places do bikes; once a week is fine if riding daily and when they finish cleaning, they put a thin oil coating on everything, which protects against the harsh elements. Click here for useful tips when buying a second-hand auto.
Reading the owner’s manual is a priority when you take possession of your big bike and acquaint yourself with the inner workings, while reading the manual. You will be given a basic tool kit that is always stored on the bike, which might be essential during a breakdown, plus you can add tools that you think you might need.
Of course, you must be sure you have the right UK driving licence type and obtain comprehensive insurance