I've got a new hobby that I'm pretty excited about: motorcycles. I always dreamed of being a motorcycle rider when I was a kid, and now that I'm grown up (or at least grown up enough!) I've finally bought one of my own. I'm taking lessons to learn how to ride, and then I'm going to get my license and be off on my own!
But one thing I really want to know more about is how to actually care for and maintain my motorcycle. It's a pretty big investment for me, so I want to make sure that it stays in great shape. Do you have any advice?
Motorcycle riding can be a wonderful hobby. Motorcyclists know that riding on a bike lets you experience the road and the scenery in a way that just isn't possible with a car or many other types of vehicles.
But, as you point out, motorcycles aren't cheap. They can also be tricky to ride and sometimes even dangerous. All of this means that you want to be extra careful to keep your motorcycle in top-notch condition, so that it maintains its value and has the care that it needs to keep you safe on the road.
Fortunately, there's no great secret to motorcycle maintenance, and most of what you'll have to know is pretty basic. For starters, you want to make sure that you get your motorcycle in to see a mechanic regularly. Much like how you shouldn’t go too long in between doctor's check-ups, it's important give your motorcycle regular care, too.
Regular care and check-ins with a mechanic are preventative maintenance for your motorcycle. "Preventative maintenance" is exactly what it sounds like: investments in maintenance that prevent future problems. When your motorcycle does have a problem, your mechanic will tell you. If you notice an issue on your own, bring your bike to the mechanic immediately. Whatever you do, don't put off any repair work that your mechanic recommends.
When you invest in regular preventative maintenance and speedy repairs on any known issues, it will cost you less in the long-term than delaying care would. If you put things off, your motorcycle's issues could end up getting worse, and it will ultimately cost more to fix. Plus, in the meantime, you would be riding a motorcycle that was in less-than-perfect shape. That's not a good idea, safety-wise.
There may come a time when you have to replace parts on your motorcycle. Don't skimp on quality parts. Your best bet is to get stuff that comes straight from your motorcycle's original manufacturer. If you have a Honda motorcycle, for instance, then you'll want Honda motorcycle parts. Getting a cheap replacement part could mean having to buy the same part again when that cheap part breaks. Or, worse yet, it could mean problems that harm other parts of your bike — or its rider!
There are also things that you can do on and off the road to help your mechanic keep your bike in good shape. When you're riding your motorcycle, drive wisely and avoid putting lots of stress on your bike through reckless driving and sharp acceleration or deceleration. The more safely you drive, the easier of a time your bike will have, and the lower your chances will be of getting in an accident that hurts you and your bike.
And when you're not riding your motorcycle, store it somewhere clean and dry. Cover your bike when you can, and be sure to follow the proper procedures when you know you won’t be riding it for a while.
Caring for a motorcycle isn't tough to do, but it's important that you stay on top of your bike's needs if you expect it to maintain its value and keep you safe.