Maintaining Your Motorcycle For Safety And Reliability

Posted on: 19 November 2018

Motorcycles are an excellent way to travel in the warmer months of the year. Being out in the open and experiencing the crisp air, the scenery, and the exhilaration of the ride is exciting. Keeping your Harley Davidson maintained is critical to keeping it safe for the rider and passenger, so consider the following tips to keep your bike ready to ride:

Basic Maintenance

Motorcycles have a lot of moving parts that need to be inspected regularly for damage or wear. In most cases, basic maintenance is enough to keep the bike running, but a good once-over during maintenance is a good idea. The oil should be changed at the start of the season, and the oil filter as well. Grease the fittings on the machine, and oil the chain if it has one. You should also change the fuel filter and check the oil in the transmission. If you are not comfortable doing these things, take the bike to your local motorcycle shop before the riding season starts. 

Lights, Signals, and Horn

Walk around your motorcycle and check all the lights on it. The taillight, brake light, and turn signals on the rear need to function properly. On the front, the headlight and turn signals are the most important lights. Check the horn as well. While they are not loud, it is better to have it working than not -- especially when you need to let someone know you are there. 

Tires and Wheels 

The tires on your motorcycle are critical to the safe handling of the machine. Because the bike is depending on only two small tires to carry the weight of itself and the rider, your Harley Davidson tires are under a lot of stress. Check the tires regularly to ensure there is no damage to the tread or sidewall that might cause the tire to fail. While you are looking at the tires, take a minute and look at the wheels as well. If the wheels have damage, cracks, or appear warped, the wheel should not be used. If you are not sure, you can check with your motorcycle mechanic to determine if the wheel is safe or not. 

Front and Rear Brakes

Most modern motorcycles now use disk brakes on the front and rear. The rotors can be inspected visually on the bike. If the rotor has damage to it, heavy grooving in the surface, or appears to be very thin, it needs to be removed from the bike for further inspection. The brake pads in the calipers are also visible through the inspection window on the caliper so take a look at them and make sure there is plenty of friction material still on the pads.