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Maintaining your motorcycle or moped
 

Motorcycles and mopeds require more maintenance than cars. It is important that you read your owner’s manual, inspect your motorcycle carefully and fix things right away. In addition to the check you do each time you drive (see chapter 2), here are some things you should examine each week:

  • Tires
    Your tire tread should be at least 1.5 millimetres deep. If the tread is getting low, buy new tires. Inadequate tread depth will greatly reduce your braking traction on wet roads. If the wear is uneven, you need to find out why it is happening and fix the problem. Also check for cuts, cracks, scrapes, exposed cord, abnormal bumps or bulges or any other visible tread or sidewall defect. Also check the air pressure regularly.
  • Wheels
    Check both wheels for missing or loose spokes. Check the rims for cracks or dents. Lift the wheel off the ground and spin it, if possible. Watch its motion and listen for noise. Also, move it from side to side to check for looseness.
  • Coolant
    If your engine is liquid-cooled, check the coolant level. At the same time, inspect the radiator hoses, looking for cracks and leaks.
  • Battery (if your vehicle is equipped with one)
    Check your battery fluid level regularly.
  • Drive line
    Clean and oil the chain and check it for wear. Replace it when necessary. Your owner’s manual will describe when and how to adjust a chain. If your motorcycle has a shaft drive, check the fluid level.
  • Shock absorbers
    If your motorcycle bounces several times after crossing a bump or you hear a clunk, your shock absorbers may need to be adjusted or replaced.
  • Fastenings
    Check for loose or missing nuts, bolts or cotter pins. Keeping your motorcycle or moped clean makes it easier to spot missing parts.
  • Brakes
    If you hear a scraping sound when you try to stop, or if the brakes feel spongy, have them serviced immediately. If your motorcycle has hydraulic brakes, check the fluid level regularly.
Illustration of a rider checking the motorcycle to make sure everything is in good working order