Motorcycle Maintenance and Machine Awareness
Few experiences match the excitement and exhilaration of opening the throttle when accelerating out of a corner. But motorcycle maintenance and machine awareness is imperative to your safety.
The metal horse beneath you isn’t just a means of transport, it’s much more than that. It’s part of your soul, it breathes and is part of you. It is an embodiment of freedom, passion and your ultimate adventure.
But as with all things mechanical, your beloved bike demands care, understanding, and most of all respect. You must get to know your bike intimately, this starts with motorcycle maintenance and machine awareness.
Motorcycle maintenance and machine awareness isn’t simply about avoiding the inconvenience of breaking down. It isn’t about checking your bike once in a while and hoping for the best or saving on repair costs.
It’s about a commitment to safety, longevity and optimal performance. Preserving your motorcycle as a reliable partner on the open road ensures every ride is as enjoyable and safe as possible.
The Importance of Regular Servicing
No matter how well you treat your motorcycle, it isn’t immune to breaking down. All mechanical things can fail and your motorcycle is no different. However preventative maintenance can drastically reduce the possibility of a breakdown.
There will always be wear and tear that comes with regular use. Components wear out or wear down, lubricants lose their effectiveness and unseen issues may begin to fester beneath the surface.
These types of things go undetected and can raise their ugly head at the wrong time. A good example is a corroded wiring loom that deteriorates over a long period of time.
Keep Your Bike in Good Shape
Your motorcycle requires regular care to keep it in top shape. Remember that regular servicing isn’t a luxury and a treat for your motorcycle, it’s an absolute necessity. It should be done regularly and to the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Professional mechanics can spot potential problems and rectify them before they manifest as bigger, potentially dangerous issues. To the untrained eye, everything can look good and as long as the bike starts riders think everything is okay.
Servicing also optimises your motorcycle’s overall performance, many riders state that their bike rides and feels better after a service. It prolongs the bikes lifespan and keeps your ride smooth, responsive and safe..
It’s an investment in the future safety and that of the machine, skimming servicing to save money now will cost you more in the long run.
Embracing the Do-It-Yourself Spirit
While entrusting your motorcycle to professionals for regular servicing is important, especially if you do not have the necessary skills or tools to do the job, you could learn to perform basic maintenance checks and tasks yourself. It is important and empowering to be able to check your bike yourself and diagnose a fault..
In fact, you don’t have to be able to fix it. You just need to know something is wrong and be able to do something about it. That is either reporting the fault properly to a mechanic so they can repair it, or finding the fault early so that it doesn’t become a huge problem and cost a lot of money.
Motorcycling isn’t just about riding, it’s about understanding the mechanics of how it works and what makes it go and stop. Even the basics of checking your chain and sprockets or looking at your brakes and knowing there is something wrong is a start. Becoming educated is part of the process, every Master was once a Novice.
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Adjusting your chain tension, oiling your chain, inspecting your brake pads, or cleaning and lubricating components can enhance your knowledge. The appreciation you gain is enormous from doing small tasks, it will give you confidence and will help you save money too.
Learning to take care of your machine fosters a sense of independence. It ensures you’re not stranded and helpless if something goes wrong in the middle of nowhere, you might not be able to fix it but you can diagnose the fault and give a good account to a mechanic.
And it sharpens your understanding of your motorcycle. It makes you more in tune with its performance and more quickly aware if something starts going wrong.
Learning Essential Maintenance Skills
For those new to the world of motorcycling or those without a mechanical background, a course in basic motorcycle maintenance is a game-changer. You do not have to be a fully qualified mechanic but just know your way around the motorcycle.
A course demystifies the motorcycle components and makes it easier to understand how it actually works. It empowers you with knowledge and skills that will serve you for life, it will help you to know what to look for and how to inspect your machine before every journey..
A basic course guides you through routine checks, it also teaches you simple maintenance tasks and helps you understand when a professional service is needed. Although looking at your service schedule or mileage will also inform you of when the service is due.
But remember overconfidence can be as dangerous as ignorance. A little bit of knowledge can be catastrophic if you decide to do it yourself and you can’t do it properly. This is why a good mechanic is important. If a task is beyond your skill level, don’t risk it. Don’t play just to save money, this will cause you to have bigger bills in the future and may be detrimental to your own personal safety.
Commit to your own safety
The path to becoming a skilled motorcyclist doesn’t end once you’ve mastered the art of riding. It extends to understanding and caring for your machine, you don’t have to be the best, just the best you can be for the knowledge you have.
Learning how to do routine checks and maintenance should become as much a part of your motorcycling lifestyle as the ride itself. If you don’t pay for a course, make sure you ask for advice from a qualified source.
One of the problems is that many riders think they are better than they are and they give false advice and incorrect information. Always listen to a qualified mechanic who knows their stuff.
It’s about having a commitment to your safety by looking after your machine, even if you don’t do the work personally.