Spring Maintenance Basics
Prep Your Bike! Spring Maintenance Projects
It’s time to get your bike ready for the spring riding season! Do the dirty work now so you can enjoy safe riding this spring without any unexpected interruptions. By spending a little time routinely on your oil and air systems, tires, brakes, cables, and chain, your motorcycle will stay healthy and keep going strong, year after year.
If you don’t want to do the work yourself, scroll down to the ‘Let the Pros Handle It’ section for our recommended local mechanics.
Spring Maintenance Projects
Start your bike’s year off right with a fresh change of oil and a new oil filter. In addition to having a mileage lifespan, oil can accumulate water molecules if it sits unused for a long period of time. If you didn’t ride much during the winter, don’t skip the spring oil change, and always spend the few extra bucks and change the filter at the same time.
Road Rider has over 50 different sizes of K&N and Hiflofiltro oil filters in stock and 15 different brands of oil, so we’re always on standby with the goods you need for routine maintenance projects.
Air filters catch airborne particles, dust, and debris that would otherwise be heading towards your engine’s internals. When all that debris builds up on your filter, airflow is restricted and your engine’s performance and fuel efficiency suffers, so take the opportunity now to do an air intake service. If you’ve got a disposable paper filter, replace it. If you’ve got a K&N or foam filter, use the appropriate cleaning and lubing products to give it a thorough overhaul.
As a rule, check your air filter for buildup as often as you change your oil and oil filter, or if your bike has been sitting idle for a long period of time. If you haven’t already done it, consider upgrading to a reusable K&N High-Flow Air Filter to save money in the long run.
Now is the time to check your tires for tread wear, cupping, cracking, and other signs that it’s time for a replacement set. As a general rule, tires should be replaced when they reach 3/32″ of tread depth. Check your tire pressure regularly to get the longest life and a safe ride out of your rubber.
Head to Road Rider’s tire shop if it’s time for some new tires. Our experienced tire technicians provide mount and balance services seven days a week. Remove your wheels at home or ride your bike in and borrow our stands and tools to get the job done. If you aren’t up for removing your own wheels, call Sporttech or Superbike and they’ll work with us to get you back on the road ASAP.
BRAKE PADS & FLUID
Take some time this weekend to inspect your bike’s braking systems. Brake pads should typically be replaced when they are worn down to about 2 or 3 millimeters, but definitely check your owners manual for specific guidelines. Carefully check for wear, damage, and any loose bolts or screws.
Brake fluid degrades and loses pressure naturally over time, so it should be replaced every 1 to 2 years regardless of mileage. It is extremely important to use a brake fluid with the correct DOT rating for your bike. As always, check your manual before you start any project for indications specific to your bike. You can pick up the brake fluid and a variety of different brake bleeding tools at Road Rider.
CHAIN & SPROCKETS
Keep chain gunk to a minimum throughout the year by routinely cleaning and re-lubing. Make it easier on yourself with a Grunge Brush and some chain cleaner.
Chains can stretch out over time, while individual chain links can loosen or tighten. These inconsistencies will wear down your sprockets, so a worn sprocket is a good indication of a worn, irregular chain. Make sure your chain is correctly aligned from front to back and has the correct tension throughout a full rotation. Your bike’s manual will indicate how to check if your chain is too loose. If it IS time for a new chain, save yourself some work down the line and change your sprockets at the same time. You can pick up a chain breaker, chain, and choose from a wide selection of lubes and cleaners at Road Rider.
Your bike’s cables do a lot of the heavy lifting on your daily ride and require occasional TLC just like everything else. Once a year, inspect your cables for damage. If they don’t need replacement, apply cable lube using an inexpensive lubing tool. You can pick up everything you’ll need at Road Rider.
Take a moment at this point to inspect all the moving parts, nuts, and bolts on your bike.
LET THE PROS HANDLE IT
Even if your bike doesn’t look like that, you might still want to let the pros handle it because it can be tough finding the time, space, or the confidence to do your own motorcycle maintenance.
If getting greasy isn’t on your agenda, take your bike to the same pro mechanics we trust with our own bikes. Sporttech and Superbike are both less than a mile from Road Rider and routinely coordinate with our tire and parts departments to make sure you get back on the road as fast as possible after repairs, upgrades, tire replacement, or maintenance.
Questions? Call us at (408) 227-6936 and ask for the parts department!