Riding a motorcycle is about freedom. Everywhere you look, you’ll enjoy uninterrupted views and feel the cool breeze as you cruise around town. You’ll feel the speed and your connection with the road. But make no mistake: owning a motorcycle is also about responsibility. Any rider can tell you that a motorcycle requires plenty of care.
Without upkeep and the proper parts, a motorcycle can become a very dangerous vehicle. To get the most out of your bike, you must invest in regular maintenance, the best parts, and a great relationship with a mechanic. Here’s everything that you need to know about managing your motorcycle.
Get a mechanic
Your motorcycle is a big investment. You may spend $5,000 to $10,000 on your first motorcycle — and you could spend a lot more, especially if you’re a veteran rider looking for a next-level bike.
That’s a valuable thing to own, and that means you need to take care of it. And while you may be good with a wrench, there’s a reason that some people dedicate their entire careers to mastering the care and maintenance of motorcycles. This isn’t something that you should handle as a hobby: you need a professional motorcycle mechanic in your corner!
Look for a mechanic who specializes in motorcycles and, ideally, in your particular brand of motorcycle. Ask around for recommendations, and keep in mind that you may need to head to the dealership for certain care in order to maintain your warranty.
Invest in preventative maintenance
The trust cost of owning a motorcycle is much steeper than the purchase price of a bike. For budget-conscious bikers, it can be tempting to skimp out on certain types of care.
But you need to be very, very careful about how you choose to save money on your motorcycle. If you skip maintenance and repair work that your trusted mechanic recommends, you’ll end up spending more money on your bike, not less!
Problems with your motorcycle won’t get better on their own: they’ll get worse. And neglecting routine maintenance needs can create problems where there previously were none. Ultimately, fixing the results of your own neglect is going to be a big expense, so do yourself a favor and take your mechanic’s advice—be very proactive in your care for your motorcycle.
Get great parts, especially tires
Your motorcycle is built tough, but it’s not going to run perfectly forever. The wear and tear of hard riding will eventually take its toll, and you will be forced to replace parts from time to time.
When you have to swap a part in your bike, be smart. Don’t try to save money by opting for the cheapest possible replacement: those parts are going to be shoddily made, and they’ll only fail again. And when parts are failing on your motorcycle, that’s not happening in isolation. The other parts of your bike are being strained by the failing parts, and that can create a chain reaction. This is why it’s crucial to invest in quality parts.
Your motorcycle’s tires of are particular importance. When the rubber meets the road, that’s where your handling and traction start. Invest in great motorcycle tires to get better performance and enjoy a safer ride on your motorcycle.
Create a schedule and stay committed
The advice above is only simple if you keep it in mind. You need to stay focused and be smart. A mechanic is no good unless you visit him or her for regular maintenance. Preventative maintenance has to be tackled early and often, and superior parts will only be an option when you take care of business and work with a great mechanic at the right time — before your bike is in more serious trouble.
So make a preventative maintenance schedule for your bike. Partner up with your mechanic to determine how often to stop by for care. And get advice from your mechanic immediately when you sense anything is going wrong with your bike. Vigilance and consistency will keep you on top of things when you’re managing the care of your motorcycle.