The very motorcyclist would love for their machine to run smoothly and reliably all the time. There are several simple things that you can do to make your motorcycle run smoother and idle smoothly and do not require a lot of work or mechanical knowledge.
All vehicles run smoothly when they are purchased new but with time things start to wear out, the residue can build up in the fuel system, rust can accumulate, and various other things caused by normal use and wear and tear.
Carrying out regular maintenance servicing is easy to achieve and the best way to guarantee a smooth-running machine for years to come.
There are literally thousands if not tens of thousands of parts in your motorcycle but there is a specific view that is important to focus on for daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance intervals. Below is a list of tips that I have put together that are the easiest and most important things you can do.
How To Keep Your Motorcycle Running Smoothly and Reliably For a Long Time?
Change Fuel Filters Regularly
Keeping your entire fuel system clean is one of the best ways to ensure your motorcycle starts and runs optimally. Your motorcycle may even have more horsepower if you can ensure the fuel system is clean.
Changing the fuel filters regularly is necessary because fuel contains impurities as well as dust and dirt that can get into the fuel tank. Also, in some older machines with metal tanks, there is the possibility for some rust particles to form and contaminate the fuel.
A good quality fuel filter will ensure the fuel that reaches the engine is clean. Check them regularly and you will avoid a lot of headaches in the future as well as enjoy an easy starting, smooth idle, and all more reliable experience.
Change Air Filters Regularly
To keep your fuel system clean and the motorcycle running smoothly and at peak horsepower, you need to be able to supply fresh clean air to the engine as well as fuel. Using good quality air filters and changing them or cleaning them regularly is an important maintenance procedure to ensure this.
Some air filters are one-time use only while some can be cleaned, lubricated with filter oil, and reinstall. The important thing is to deliver clean air and whatever type of filter is used just to make sure that it is not dirty, and the airflow is not restricted.
It is also important to make sure that the filters are properly seated so no unfiltered air slips through and enters the carburetor or fuel injection system. Changing fuel and air filters is one of the least expensive ways to keep your motorcycle running smoothly and for years to come.
Change Oil Filters Regularly
Depending on the type of oil you use and the type of writing you are doing oil filters don’t need to be changed as often as fuel and air filters should be.
If you are racing, carrying a heavy load, operating at unusually high temperatures, or riding in a dusty and dirty environment then you should change your oil and oil filter often.
If you choose to use a more inexpensive filter, then you should probably change it more often so that really does not save any money.
Use Top-Quality 100% Synthetic Oil.
The selection of oil seems like it should not be a complicated issue but, it’s almost like a religion to some people. It would be easy to write an article 20 or 30 pages long just about what type of oil to use. I will not get into quoting hundreds of technical specifications.
I will just tell you what my personal experience has been. For my entire adult life, I have used primarily AMSOIL 100% synthetic oil, and occasionally MOTUL/Ipone and Mobil 1 100% synthetic oil.
I have used this in motorcycles of all sizes, two-stroke and four-stroke, water-cooled and air-cooled, and for all types of writing including road racing, off-road, and street riding. I also have experience using these oils in all my trucks, boats, tractors, power equipment, jet skis, and air compressors.
With decades of experience, I have nothing but good things to say about these lubricants. In addition to the many motorcycles, I own in the US I own one in Thailand and one in Vietnam.
All the motorcycles in the US and the one in Thailand use Amsoil and the one in Vietnam uses Motul/Ipone due to availability.
If you use a high-quality 100% synthetic oil from a manufacturer that has specific experience producing motorcycle oils you will be doing your bike a big favor and saving money in the long term. Do not be cheap about the current quart cost of good synthetic oil is worth every penny.
Clean The Motorcycle
Most people do not think of cleaning the motorcycle as being part of the maintenance or having any effect on reliability and this is not correct. First, cleaning the motorcycle is the time that you are most likely to notice any problems such as missing nuts, bolts, fasteners, loose wiring connections, cracks, leaks, and various other problems.
Also, by not cleaning the motorcycle and removing dirt and other residues you are increasing the chance that rust will form in some areas. Be careful if you apply a high-pressure washer to your motorcycle so that you do not damage anything.
It is best to use a common garden hose or low-pressure washer. You should never use a high-pressure washer on the chain, electrical wiring, decals, or really any part which could be damaged by high pressure or by water-driven internally.
When dirt is embedded in the chains the change should be removed cleaned and re-lubricating. However, many modern O ring style cha does not require this type of maintenance. Check with your owner’s manual and there is informative information on the websites of the major motorcycle chain manufacturers.
Having a clean and well-lubricated chain will not only increase reliability but also transmits more efficiently the horsepower of your engine to the rear wheel without losses due to friction caused by dirt, rust, and wear and tear.
Jetting and Aftermarket Exhaust
Sometimes motorcycles can be made to run smoother by changing the exhaust system and jetting it depending on the model, the year, and what admissions requirements they were produced to meet. Installing a less restrictive exhaust, even if it is just a slip-on exhaust can often help the engine read more freely.
To maximize the benefit of an aftermarket, exhaust the jetting in the case of carburetors or fuel programming (ECU = Electronic Control Unit) in the case of fuel injectors should also be changed. A local performance or race preparation shop would be the most helpful source of the detailed information you will need if you choose to do these modifications.
Changing the exhaust will normally save quite a bit of weight also as stock exhaust systems are usually quite a bit heavier than their aftermarket replacements.
Apply lubricants/Grease To Fittings and Bearings Regularly
This may be applicable for older motorcycles and only some newer models. Motorcycles like cars are becoming more and more maintenance-free, or with longer intervals, or with things that must be done at a dealership. But if your motorcycle has cables, grease nipples, fittings, serviceable bearings, etc…
Then frequent lubrication of these components will greatly extend the life of your vehicle as well as provide smooth operation. Some motorcycles have exposed bearings. ensure you grease them regularly.
They will reduce friction and run smoothly. Apart from reducing the vibrations, the application of grease on your motorbike bearings prolongs their life. If you ever need to replace a very do so with the latest quality low maintenance models, they are amazingly effective and will provide years of trouble-free operation.
Check On The Tire Pressure
Checking the tire pressure is one of the most important things you can do for any vehicle but especially a motorcycle. Most car drivers have no idea how much air pressure is in their tires.
If it were not for the sensor lights on their dashboard half of all cars on the road would be driving around with five or 10 pounds of air pressure. While this is not ideal in a car and can be dangerous it is far more dangerous on a motorcycle.
If the tire is underinflated, it can overheat and then delaminate and rupture leading to a catastrophic accident. At best low pressure will reduce the life of the tire substantially and affect the handling of the motorcycle.
The tires should be well inflated to give you the best fuel mileage, coolest operating temperatures, best traction, and best overall handling and comfort. It is especially important that you check your tire pressure regularly.
In cases where you are riding over gravel roads or snow, you will have to reduce the tire pressure a bit to have a wide contact area with the surface to increase traction and move the bike.
Clean and Replace The Brake Pads
A motorcycle at times will certainly have to brake fast and this leads to the generation of intense heat. The last thing you want to do is to wear out the brake pads and go metal to metal from the backing of the brake pad to the disk.
A good way to ruin a smooth ride is by having a warped disc to annoy you. This can also be a safety issue. The front brake of the motorcycle is incredibly important and must always be working 100% at every moment you are right.
A motorcycle is not like a car the rear brake is not 50% of your brakes. Under heartbreaking 90 to 100% of your braking is coming from the front brake. When brakes wear out, they can wear out in an uneven manner so it’s always important to check both pads from both sides.
Looking at one turn from one angle may give the impression that you still have enough brake left when viewing the same pad on the same caliber from a different angle may show that the brake pad material is almost gone.
Check and Replace Brake Fluid
As critical as checking brake pads is checking brake fluid level. It does not matter if you have new pads if you grab the front brake lever and the lever comes to the handlebar because the fluid is low or there is air trapped in the line.
Often it is a good idea to replace the brake fluid when the brake pads are being replaced. The trickiest part of this can be making sure no error is in line.
There are tools you can purchase to prevent this but for those that are not mechanically inclined or do not want to spend the time, this is probably a job that is best suited for a repair shop.
It is especially important after new pads or after new fluid is put in that the brakes are bled properly and that no air remains in the line and of brake pads are firmly and securely installed and seated. The motorcycle should not be riding until the brakes are tested several times at walking speed or at least riding very slowly.
Upgrade The CHIP
You can carry out chip remapping and have a powerful engine control unit (ECU) that will improve your engine’s performance.
Some motorbike control units can give your motorcycle more power by allowing it to burn more fuel and improve its performance. There are several aftermarket parts available.
You can talk with your mechanics, and they will advise on the best chip you can get to unleash more power from your motorcycle engine.
Adjust The Drive Chain
In addition to lubricating, the chain is especially important to always keep the tension correct as well. I take chain can bind and affect the suspension and handling.
In some cases, it might cause the chain to break which could lead to accidents. Too much tension can make the drive chain snap and lead to disaster when riding at high speed.
A loose drive chain can fail as well and cause the rear wheel to lock up and to lose control of the motorcycle. It is essential to check on the drive chain and ensure it is tight enough but not too tight. Too tight a drive chain can break and expose you to accidents.
It is recommended that you check out the drive chain regularly, both for safety, the longevity of your motorcycle, and a smooth daily ride.
Service The Sprockets
Your motorcycle sprockets can wear out with time. It is essential to check them even once per year and get to know how they perform.
People looking forward to improving their performance change them after every 40,000 kilometers. When changing the sprockets, it is recommended to change the whole system. It will improve your comfort as you ride the motorcycle.
Modify The Ignition
This is usually controlled by the electronic control unit ECU which was mentioned above in the fuel section. On some motorcycles, you may be able to modify the ignition separately. The fuel injection system is a complex part that requires careful changes and inexperienced technicians.
Ensure you take your motorcycle to a specialist who knows how the whole modification is to be performed and how any ignition changes may require carburetion or fuel injection changes as well.
Check Out The Clutch System
When shifting gears, the clutch plates are engaged and disengaged constantly. With time, they can become worn out or even burn. If not adjusted or replaced eventually they can even leave you stranded on the side of the road.
The way most writers notice their clutch is slipping is that under acceleration and load the tachometer shows the engine starts to read almost as if the clutch is being pulled in slightly. When the engine free routes like this when the clutch lever is not held in it indicates to you that the clutch plates are slipping and need attention.
This is the time to take your motorcycle to a shop to have the necessary adjustments or repairs to deliver great performance and reliable trouble-free operation. N
Perform Wheel Alignment
In most cases, your motorcycle will start developing wheel misalignment. For assistance, you may have hit the potholes that lead to misalignments. The poor road condition requires riders to turn the motorcycle when it is at high speed.
The constant shifting of the steering head can lead to wheel misalignment. You may experience abnormal vibrations in such a case. Normal wear and tear, as well as rough riding, can also lead to excessive tolerances in the swingarm.
You can improve the performance of your motorcycle if you can take the time to check on the wheel alignment and make sure there is no play in the steering head or swing-on.
Check On Your Motorcycle Battery
The motorcycle battery is coupled with an alternator that keeps on charging it as you ride. With time, the battery can degrade and drain to low levels, where it will not provide enough power to your motorcycle when starting.
You can check the battery regularly. In case a cell has been damaged and it won’t hold a proper charge, you can as well replace it.
The new GEL-type batteries don’t leak acid offers great performance lightweight and are maintenance-free. The simple steps you will take to check the battery and recharge it to its optimum levels will make it run smoothly.
Changing Your Riding Style Can Help!
For instance, you should brake smoothly and accelerate steadily. The turns should be made smoothly, and all of this will increase your safety as well as reduce wear and tear on the motorcycle.
You may be able to patent your motorcycle ride smoother, be comfortable, and last a long time simply by changing the way you write.
Racers also know that the secret to going fast is to be smooth. Being erratic and rough is never the way to be fast and certainly will not lead to the long mechanical life of all your motorcycle components.
Motorcycle Engine Servicing
The motorcycle engine requires regular maintenance to eliminate possible issues. For example, you should check on the carburetor and clean the spark plugs. The spark plugs should be changed as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
People are looking forward to realizing the best results in their motorcycle performance and sticking to the manufacturer’s recommendations in their servicing.
Replace The Fork Oil
After 12,000 kilometers, most motorcycle forks will require servicing. However, this depends greatly on the type of writing you are doing.
Many modern motorcycles have forks with pre-load adjustments on the top these settings can be changed based on the rider’s weight and riding preference.
Check the forks for any signs of wear and tear and work on them. To check for wear on internal components like springs, pistons, and valves take the motorcycle to a qualified motorcycle mechanic.
All the things listed in this article are important some are quite easy to do and take little to no mechanical experience. Depending on your level of knowledge and desire you may decide to attempt to do these things yourself or simply take the motorcycle to an experienced repair facility.
But the one thing on this list that everyone can do and is so important is to clean the motorcycle observe and look for anything that seems out of place, broken, or missing. More serious problems are found during the normal washing and waxing of motorcycles than most people realize.
This is an excellent way to keep your bike looking great and to always keep your eyes on it and be aware of problems before they become serious, expensive, or even dangerous.
About the author: Michael Parrotte was the Vice President of AGV Helmets America, and a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets. In addition, he is the founder and owner of AGV Sports Group.