skooch wrote:Hi,I am new to biking and would like to ask about motorbike care and maintenance. Between the normal service intervals, what sort of things should I be doing to ensure everything continues to run well. For example, should I be using brake cleaners, chain cleaners ? If so, what is the best way to tackle these jobs ?
Any help would be appreciated.
Maintenance between service intervals is crucial to your safety and the well-bring of the bike.
First off, I would recommend to google and download a copy of the manual for your bike model. The manufacturer recommendations are usually a pretty good starting point.
Pre-Ride checks will include:
Tyres (pressure and punctures)
Chain tension and wear
Regular Maintenance will include:
Chain cleaning/lubing (if you have a chain!)
Cleaning of the bike
Lubing of cables, moving parts (careful not to get it on brakes!)
Brake fluid level/disc & pad condition
Checking the lateral movement in the wheels and handlebars (for worn bearings)
Additionally, the type of maintenance you do will depend on the type of bike you have the kind of riding you do. For instance, if you've brought a track-bike that you only ride on weekends, its not much good checking slick tyres for tread depth
But your pre-ride checks will be very comprehensive. If on the other hand you have a CB400 for daily commute, your emphasis will be on daily functioning. An off-road bike might need an oil change every time you ride it (and at least a hosing down), but not necessary on commuter bikes.
Do I check my tyre pressure every time I ride? No, but I will do it anytime I fill up. Do I look at the tyres every time before I get on the bike to see if they look flat? Yes. And I know my bike very well so I can easily tell when pressure is not right.
Lots of online guides to help you what to do, plenty of YouTube videos too. Bear in mind that some guys will tell you to do a full check before every ride, but daily riders might be more pragmatic and be more thorough when you fill up, for instance, or on weekends when you have more time.
As a newbie, being told to "check your chain"or "check your tyres" is probably not much use, if you have no frame of reference. Checking oil is different on different bikes...some require the bike to be cold, some to be hot (after riding a considerable distance), some upright, some on the side stand (all of them with the engine off
) Hence, your manufacturer handbook is a good starting place.
The best advice I would give is to head over to singaporebikes.com and read thru forums there.
Even better, look out for their ride-outs, they do kopi meets in the week, and rides to MY etc on weekends. Go out, get to know people who ride bikes, ask them to show you. Getting to know someone knowledgeable about bikes that you can ask when you have questions is worth its weight in gold.
Occasionally someone on singaporebikes will run an evening workshop to show people how to do basic tasks, like change oil or brake pads.
Even take your bike to someone you hope will become your regular mechanic...ask him when he is quiet and can he show you how to check the bike. Bike mechanics tend to be passionate about bikes and keen to pass on knowledge