So you love your bike right? I’m even willing to guess it has a pet name. No problem with that, but how much care do you give it? Yes, it’s true that some upgrades and repairs will have you digging into your wallet a bit, however those regular checkups can really save you in the long run particularly when you’re looking to do that major overhaul at the shop.
With the economy making us tighten our purse strings more and more, here are a few tips that can help keep your bike happy and healthy. The best part is, they’ll barely cost you a cent!
Giving it a regular ride
Your bike, just like your body, needs some good exercise. Just as you need you heart, lungs, liver and other organs to function well in your old age you want your bike to hit the ten or fifteen year mark with no hitch whatsoever. If you use it regularly then all is well but if you are the kind who has it in the garage and use only during special times, then it might be time to reconsider your strategy. Show your bike some love and take it out for a ride!.
(Photo credits: Jerrycharlotte)
A good casual medium speed ride once in a while, ensures that the battery, cylinder walls, and tires are in much better condition. It is a waste of money to have a perfect working battery only for it to discharge from non-use. A bike that sits in the garage for long will end up in the auto shop more than one that’s on the roads.
The best part is that the cost is minimal (not counting the time you get to spend on the twists and turns of the road).
Get a motorcycle book
A good book written by an expert will get you covering the biking experience with ease. Much of the hurt on our bikes such as in the form of spoilt gears can come as the result of a lot of experimenting. When you have the hand of an experienced expert to guide you, you avoid the common mistakes and can skip straight ahead to having an awesome time with minimal damage on your bike.
(Photo credits: Pensiero)
The best way to learn yet is taking riding classes, however these will cost you much more than buying a book and sitting down. A book hones your skills and gets your brain exercising as well. However if you’re looking to improve your riding skills for professional reasons you, it’s generally a good idea to accompany your reading with some lessons.
Get rid of anti-fog coating
A silly but very common way in which many bikes end up hitting the tree or stone is, when the rider decides to wipe the helmet visor when they are on the road. In an attempt to see the road better, they end up harming themselves and their bikes as well. In order to prevent such occurrences and improve your riding performance, get a piece of cloth and some toothpaste.
(Photo credits: alles-schlumpf)
Smear a medium amount of toothpaste on the inside of the visor and wipe it off with the cloth. To get a good smell, use some shaving cream instead.
If you are on the road and want a quick solution; stop riding, get your helmet off, get the cloth out, spit some saliva, and wipe it with the cloth. Once you get home, wipe with shaving cream to get rid of the spit smell if it disturbs you.
Compared to the potential cost of a couple of seconds blind on the road, a couple of cents worth of toothpaste or shaving cream is a small price to pay.
Get the shine on
(Photo credits: kevbo1983)
Avoid at all costs having a dirty bike. It may look fine to you but shiny is definitely better and you’re going to have a much harder time getting a willing passenger with a dirty bike, so get cleaning. Cleaning regularly also prevents particles clogging the chains and gear or rust getting in unwanted places. As you give your bike a thorough cleaning, you will identify problems before they get major, allowing you to ideal with them early. The earlier you solve it the cheaper it is for you in the long run.
Get the soap and water out, wash well, and then give it a good wax. It protects the chrome from damage and gets your bike lasting longer. As you give it the wash and wax, look at the tires, bolts, brakes, chain and the brake pads.
The cost is nothing but your time and who doesn’t love some quality time with their bike?
How about you? What low cost maintenance do you use on your bike to keep it running smoother, longer? Share in the comments below!
Chad loves blogging about motorcycles and owns one himself He provides valuable advice on motorbike repairs Sydney and hopes to point readers towards where to get the best service for your bike.