Michael Bilokonsky Shares 8 Simple Motorcycle Maintenance Tips You Can Do At Home
The call of the open road is a pastime Michael Bilokonsky has enjoyed for decades. The desire to understand the workings of the motorcycles he has owned has led the Whitehorse Freight founder to take on many maintenance tasks from the comfort of his own home. Michael Bilokonsky believes there are several home maintenance tasks every motorcycle owner can undertake.
1. Check Tire pressures
The average motorcycle weighs around 250-pounds without the weight of its rider. When he goes for a ride, Bilokonsky likes to know the tires he is using are adequately pumped up and provide support and safety. This is one of the simplest tasks a motorcycle rider can undertake themselves. The first step is to check the exterior of your tires for damage, including bald spots.
The second step in home motorcycle maintenance is to check the pressure of the tires. Using a pump, the motorcycle owner removes the caps on their tires and checks the pressure. Motor Biscuit reports that each tire’s optimum temperature is listed on the wheel’s side to make it easy for the owner to pump them up correctly.
2. Complete an Oil Change
When first buying a motorcycle, the first step is to read the owner’s manual. The owner’s manual is not always a thrilling read, but it will provide information about oil changes. Every several thousand miles, the oil in a motorcycle will need to be changed by draining the old and adding new. An oil change is inexpensive with a mechanic, with completing the task providing satisfaction.
To complete an oil change, the owner needs to locate the drain plug and remove it to allow the used oil to fall into a drip tray. Michael Bilokonsky has changed the oil on motorcycles where the drain plug is hidden and those where the plug is easily located. After removing the used oil, the drain plug is installed, with fresh oil added. Motorcycle owners need to purchase motorcycle-specific oil to keep their machines running well.
3. Inspect the Brakes
Brakes are a vital cog in the wheel of every motorcycle. Each wheel has a brake equipped with a pad, which can check for signs of wear. Brake pads need to be a minimum thickness to avoid issues leading to a brake failure. The other area of brakes that needs to be part of an inspection is the brake fluid. Brake fluids need to be high to keep the motorcycle on the road safely.
4. Inspect the Battery
A vital part of the machinery of a motorcycle is the battery. The casing around the battery is protective and located in the body of the machine. Riding a motorcycle produces a range of vibrations moving through the body caused by the engine and bumps in the road. After making sure the battery is safe to touch, the owner needs to check the tight connections and provide the right amount of power. Begin Motorcycling explains dirt can accumulate on the battery’s connections and limit the battery’s electric charge passage to the engine.
5. Replacing Air Filters
Michael Bilokonsky explains air filters play a vital role in keeping a motorcycle on the road. The air filter blocks debris and dust from moving through the engine and causing a blockage. The air filter is easy to replace once it has been located, with several manufacturers placing the air filter beneath the fuel tank. Removing the fuel tank and reassembling the engine is difficult for some owners to face. After the air filter is replaced, it aids in smooth running.
6. Tighten the Chain
The cycle chain can grow tight or loose, with the chain checked regularly. Bilokonsky explains the chain needs to be tight enough to avoid slipping when it works loose. If a chain becomes too tight, the problems caused include chain breaking. The motorcycle chain needs to have a small amount of slack that should be around 1.5 inches. Along with the small amount of slack, the chain needs to be clean and oiled.
7. Change the Coolant
The coolant in an engine plays the important role of halting a motorcycle from overheating and freezing. Cold winters are a problem for Bilokonsky, the founder of Whitehorse Freight. Much like the changing of air filters, a coolant change is difficult because of its location. Changing the coolant begins with removing the radiator and pulling out the drain plug. After draining the coolant, the drain plug is returned, and a new liquid is installed.
8. Check Cables and Lights
Every motorcycle is filled with an array of cables moving between different parts of the bike. Damage to the cables needs rectifying quickly to avoid a failure of the brakes, clutch, and gears. A failure to inspect for damaged cables causes problems further down the line.
The lights on any motorcycle are one of the easiest to inspect. The lights can be checked by turning them on and checking to see whether they light up. Michael Bilokonsky believes the lights require regularly checking to limit the problems associated with non-working lights.