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Warming Up

If you leave your bike on the driveway over the “cold” night, the engine oil, through the laws of gravity, will be sitting at the bottom of the sump. 

Is uniwise to start the bike quickly and revving the throttle before that oil has had a chance to flow and lubricate the moving parts. 

Allow at least 30 seconds, preferably longer for the oil to move around. 

Ideally, let the temperature indicator rise to the normal operating level. 

Now you have a nice warmed up bike allowing the oil to do its job. 



Tires are the most crucial part for avoiding accidents and staying safe as they are the only component in the motorcycle that stays on contact with the surface of the road. 

With upwards of 250kg of bike and rider combined just a few millimeters of rubber separates that weight from the road. 

The manual will tell you the correct pressure for front and rear tires. 

Check the tread and general condition making sure there’s no damage to the walls, any protruding objects or patches of wear. 



A very loose chain may slip off the sprockets, become tangled and lock out the back wheel. 

A very tight chain is less directly dangerous but with prolonged stress, it could wear and damage parts. 

Place two fingers under the lowest part of the chain and attempt to lift it. Typically 3/4cm of play is about right but check your manual. 

Heavy loads, riders and a passenger will increase the tension so check again if these circumstances prevail. 

Adjustments can be made by the rear wheel nuts and adjustment screws.  

How to correctly lubrificate the chain? 

Put your bike up on the main stand and raise the rear wheel while spinning it slowly. Apply a good coating of chain lubricating oil suitable for your bike chain type. 

A good time to do this is after your ride or in the evening allowing the oil to soak into the chain overnight. 

Remember this: A dry or rusty chain is a risk to safe handling. 



The engine, clutch, brakes, cooling system and steering all require liquid to either lubricate or provide pressure. 

Each has a reservoir or storage area where you can check levels. 

Your manual will show you the location of these areas, the correct fluid or oil to use and how to safely check and top them up. 

Always ensure the bike is on the central stand and kept level when checking fluids and oils. This will give an even reading. 

Steering fluid or fork oil is best left to a experienced mechanic as it involves special tools and the removal and replacement of several rings and parts. 


Cables & Lighting

Cables and leads are found all over your bike. A simple visual inspection will expose any loose or damaged cables. 

They should be secure and streamlined not detached or flailing where they can get caught. 

Worn cables and termination points will lead to a sudden failure of breaks, clutch, or lighting components. They should be replaced immediately. 

Lights are easy enough to check by starting the ignition and turning the switches of each light in turn. Brake lights, indicators, headlamps and beams are all powered by individual bulbs. 

Also, check the correct height of your headlamp’s coverage area to ensure you’re not dazzling the car in front and that you can see far enough ahead at night. 

Your manual will show you where on your headlight you can find the adjustment screw. 



Usually tucked away in a protective box, shielded from the rain and dirt, is the battery. 

Modern motorcycle batteries require little maintenance but through continuous vibration and use its possible the terminal connections can work loose or accumulate dirt, blocking the smooth flow of electrical charge. 

The terminal connection points should be clean and the screws tight. 

A dead battery can be re-charged but a poorly charging battery that continuously runs low may need replacing.  

Watch this vídeo were you can learn the warning signs to indicate that you may have a dead battery. 

VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/bNcJFSDNhUE  



Aside from the brake fluid levels, you should also check the thickness of your brake pads. These are the components that grip or clamp your brake disc and actually make you bike slow down and stop. 

Needless to say, continuous use will apply huge pressure and ultimately wear them down. 

You may not fancy replacing them yourself but checking them should be easy enough. 

The pads come in sets of two. Worn pads look thin and well-used. Healthy pads are much thicker. 

Here’s how to compare. 

VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/RiMKrks1xqA 


Air filters

Air filters trap dust and particles ensuring a smoother flow of air and better performance. 

Dirty or clogged air filters reduce performance and must be cleaned or replaced. This is usually an easy task for newcomers who can simply remove the filter, wash it in kerosene and replace it again after covering it in a light coating of engine oil. 

The latter helps dust and dirt to stick to the oil instead of passing through the filter. It’s also important to dry the filter after the kerosene wash. 

Learn this simple procedure here. 

VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/2VWOPdgNiX0 


Nuts and bolts

All over your bike are areas of potential looseness. 

With your bike up on the central stand spend a few minutes checking wheel nuts, handlebars, side panels, luggage racks, wing mirrors, mudguards and anything that might work free over time. 


There’ll come a time where it would be unwise or even unsafe to attempt certain jobs yourself. 

Mechanics are methodical with their work, removing and replacing items in the correct order and the right way around. 

Engine stripping and major work have many considerations often outside the comprehension of the untrained. 

Anything can be learnt and if you develop a liking for in-depth motorcycle mechanics then take a course or an apprenticeship.