Get Your Motor Runnin’

There is nothing more sublime than having the freedom to ride through the highways and back roads with your own motorcycle. You’re not worried about getting back to work, or you don’t need to hurry to get to some place. Be it a new Harley Davidson or a vintage Indian Motorcycle, you will feel like riding until you run out of pavement — or up until your motorcycle sputters to a stop, leaving you stranded somewhere.

The thrill and independence of having a motorcycle bike will cease to exist if you fail to take care of it. So you need to have some type of maintenance going to guarantee that it runs smoothly on the road and that you remain safe riding it.

Here is a five-step program to start with, to keep your motor runnin’:

1. Follow the manual.
For starters, take your cue from the manufacturer’s manual. The manufacturer did design and engineer the bike so the manufacturer would be in the best possible position to tell you how to take care of it. So don’t just use it as a “suggestion” but rather as a guide to keeping and riding your motorcycle. You don’t have to carry it around with you (because that’s just not cool), but you should really read it, commit it to memory, and practice it.

2. Ride it the right way.
Speed up steadily. Turn with ease. And brake with care. Yes, you should be riding fast and hard but this doesn’t mean that you should be rough with your precious two-wheeled machine. Riding steadily, with ease and care, will help your bike parts last longer.

3. Change the oil and filter.
Make sure you know the instruction to changing your bike’s oil, and that you have quality oil, the right tools, and appropriate filter before you do the job. Changing the oil and filter will allow your engine to run (or roar) for a long time.

4. Invest in the right oil cooler.
High-performance bikes that aren’t water-cooled will need oil coolers; and the right one will prevent your motorcycle overheating in traffic. And check with the vendor if your oil cooler works for your type of braking system.

5. Look after the other mechanical parts and run a check before riding out.
The chain drive system can be one of the more maintenance-intensive sections of your bike. So keep an eye out for the belt cracking, for sprocket wear, and chain stretch.

Also, before you hit the road, do a pre-ride check. From the tire pressure and bolt tightness to brake fluid leaks and transmission oil, you’ll want to go over every part to make sure that nothing, absolutely nothing, interferes with the pure joy of riding your motorcycle on the open highway.