Are Motorcycles Easy to Maintain? Long-Term Care Guide

by Karen Neill

Motorcycle Maintenance

Every motorcycle rider from learner to track day rider should possess a basic knowledge of the care and maintenance of the vehicle they ride. Motorcycle care and maintenance is crucial for both its performance and longevity. Looking out for wear and tear on the components of your bike can save you money and your life. By following our tips below and performing regular maintenance, you can keep your motorcycle in top condition and ensure a safe and enjoyable riding experience.

Are Motorcycles Hard to Maintain?

No, they are not. Frequent services and, you as a rider making sure you perform the required checks will extend the lifespan of your bike. All motorcycles (apart from scooters) require regular maintenance of components prone to wear such as loose bolts, fluid leaks, and tyre condition.

Regular services maintain a motorcycle and can be broken down into several tasks that should be done:

Oil Changes 

Regular oil changes keep the engine running smoothly. The frequency of oil changes depends on the model and mileage, but it’s typically recommended every 3,000 to 5,000 for vehicles over 125cc.

Chain Maintenance

Regular cleaning and lubricating the chain to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation. Additionally, you will need to adjust the chain tension periodically to maintain proper alignment. If your chain is not adjusted correctly or it’s too loose, your chain and sprockets wear much faster and unevenly. In a worst-case scenario if your chain is excessively loose it can jump off the rear sprocket seize your rear wheel, damage engine casings, and cause physical injury. Therefore, check your chain once a week. Another top tip is to lubricate your chain at least every two weeks if you are not using your vehicle daily.

Tyre Maintenance

Check your tyre pressure regularly and inspect for signs of wear (i.e. cracks or bulges). Replace them, when they become worn or damaged to ensure your safety.

Brake Maintenance

Regular checks on the brake pads and brake fluid. Replace brake pads when they become worn and flush the brake fluid according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to maintain optimal braking performance.

Fluid Checks

Regular checks on other fluids such as coolant and transmission oil. Top up or replace fluids to ensure the proper functioning of the motorcycle’s systems.

Battery Maintenance

Check the battery’s voltage regularly, especially if you don’t ride it frequently. Consider using a battery tender to maintain the battery’s charge during periods of inactivity.

Electrical System

Regular checks on the lights, turn signals, and horn to ensure their function. Replace any malfunctioning components if needed.

Suspension Maintenance

Check the suspension components for leaks and inspect the fork seals for signs of damage. Adjust the settings according to your riding preferences and the road conditions.

In some cases, one thing that can cause difficulty maintaining your motorcycle is whether or not your model comes with a centre stand fitted. More and more vehicles are being manufactured without a main stand as standard. Therefore, unless you are familiar with the use of a paddock stand, you may find tasks such as chain adjustment or cleaning and lubricating difficult to do.

A few examples of motorbikes that don’t come with centre stands would be most sports bikes such as Suzuki GSXR, Honda CBL, Honda NC series, Kawasaki Ninja series, and all Harley-Davidsons.

Is Motorcycle Maintenance Expensive?

It depends on how often you do it. Frequent maintenance can save you a fortune. It prevents more significant issues down the line, saving money in the long run by avoiding costly repairs or breakdowns. Keeping on top of maintenance and taking care to ensure that consumable components (such as brake pads, brake discs, etc.) do not wear out and cause other components to wear out really will help your bike stay healthier and on the road for longer.

The cost of maintaining your motorcycle is all dependent on whether you do it yourself or use a reputable motorcycle workshop.

When performing your motorcycle maintenance at home, it’s essential to consider how you will handle waste components. It’s crucial to fully understand the tasks before diving in.

At Zenith Motorcycles, we service:

  • 125cc motorcycles/scooters at £120. The oil change for motorcycles without oil filters will cost £15.
  • Honda CBR600RR at £261. The oil change will cost around £77.

Other factors that should be taken into account are:

Make and Model of the Bike

Can influence maintenance expenses. Some brands or models may have higher parts costs or require specialised servicing, which can increase overall maintenance expenditures.

Age of the Bike

As motorcycles age, they may require more extensive repairs or part replacements, which can add up in terms of both parts and labour costs.

Ultimately, while motorcycle maintenance can be seen as an investment in the longevity and performance of your bike, it’s essential to budget for ongoing upkeep and be prepared for occasional unexpected expenses

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