Motorcycling is one of America’s greatest past times, but from the time you leave the motorcycle dealer, you’ll need to always be aware of when your bike needs maintenance. Unlike a car, which can go thousands of miles without a tuneup, you’ll need to check on your bike a little more frequently. Fortunately, much of your motorcycle maintenance can be done at home, and as long as you’re fully stocked with the appropriate motorcycle equipment, you’ll hardly ever need to take it into the shop.
Air Compressor and Tire Pressure Gauge
As with dirt bikes, motorcycles will only have a good ride if the tires are in good condition. Experts recommend always inspecting the tires for abrasions or uneven wear. You can carry a tire pressure gauge with your other motorcycle equipment to make sure that the tires are broken in evenly, and if pressure is low or uneven, be sure to add air. This is especially important in the winter months: as the temperature drops, so too does tire pressure.
WD-40 and Chain Lubricant
To be clear, WD-40 should never go near your chain. It is crucial to have some on hand for sticky foot pegs and screws (some motorcycle enthusiasts even use it to wash off grease), but it can actually dry out your chain instead of lubricating it. Therefore, your motorcycle equipment kit should include manufacturer-recommended chain lubricant.
These protect you and the bike. The oils on your hand don’t need to be on the bike, and the chemicals and grease on the engine are toxic and can harm your skin. What’s more, the bike will be hot after a ride, and without gloves, you run the risk of burning your hands. Of course, mechanic’s gloves also allow you to get a better grip on your torque and socket wrenches, which will speed up any repair job.
Whether you’re strictly a biker or you’ve branched into snowmobiling, dirt biking, and boating, always have a well-stocked tool box with wrenches, screw drivers, rags, and a plastic mallet. With a little prep and elbow grease, you can keep your vehicles on the road, the trail, or the water all year long.