The Do’s & Don’ts of Motorcycle Maintenance

The Do’s & Don’ts of Motorcycle Maintenance
Whether you’re a first time enthusiast or a seasoned professional, there are certain things you should and should not do in terms of motorcycle maintenance. So without further ado, here just a few of the most essential do’s & don’ts of motorcycle maintenance.

Some Powerful Lube  

Do: Always used heavy-duty lubrication that is specifically designed for automotive use on your motorcycle chains. The tackier consistency can withstand the high speeds and require fewer applications.

Don’t: Do not use WD-40 or other non-automotive lubes for your chains. “WD” stands for “water displacement”, meaning it isn’t actually lubricating so much as it is lightly greasing, which for a chain that may take heavy abuse is useless. It may be great for forcing out stubborn dirt in hard to reach places, but should never be used in place of actual high-grade automotive lubricants.

Scrub-a-Dub-Do’s & Scrub-a-Dub-Don’ts

Do: Use soap that is specifically designed for automotive use. Only wash your motorcycle with soap that is safe and designed to clean but not damage the paint, metal, and urethane plastics on your bike. The best way to wash your motorcycles is with a bucket (or two) of soapy water, though you can carefully use a hose for gentle pressure. Be advised that certain parts of the bike should not get exceedingly wet such as the battery and other electrical components, which is why the bucket method is preferred, and wash all parts of the bike with the same soap. For stuck on bugs or particularly dried out crud on your motorcycle or helmet, use a warm cloth to rehydrate the effected area, making it easier to wipe down. Some even say using a dryer sheet is a great way to quickly soften up any gunk without damaging the bikes surface, just spray the area with warm water, lay down a sheet, and wait a few minutes for fast and easy bug, mud, and gunk removal. Some say the best way to dry a bike is with an electric leaf blower while others ague it could trap water into hard to reach places, so to each his or her own in terms of best drying method.

Don’t: Never use dish, hand, or other household soaps to clean your motorcycle. Dish soaps are incredibly alkaline to help with getting grease out of dishes, but will quickly tear through wax and other protective coatings you have on your bike. On the other hand, hand soaps have built in moisturizers that will leave you bike looking greasy. A greasy bike might temp you to use a high-powered pressure washer to get it all cleaned off, but aside from the dangers to the electrical components mentioned above the intense force applied to small sensitive bike parts may cause irreparable damage, similar to the way scrubbing too hard while trying to remove bug guts could damage the paint.

Keeping the Traction Alive

Do: Everyone’s needs are different but a good rule of thumb is to just follow the tread’s wear bars. If they look even with the tires surface than it’s time to get some new tires. Wait too long and you’ll end up wishing you hadn’t.

Don’t: Don’t wait around until you think it looks like your tires are low. Unless you’re an expert or professional, chances are you don’t know everything about motorcycle tires. It’s okay, that’s why there are wear bars.

When you need quality replacement gaskets for your vintage bike, call Gasket King at 817.562.8178 shop online today or complete the online contact form to send us a question or learn more.