This article lists many easy Motorcycle DIYs you can do at your home. It will save you money and keep your bike running healthy for long.
In the automobile segment, there is a huge need for proper education, which dealers or makers do not provide. By education, we mean the knowledge of proper maintenance and operational habits, care of the machine and so on. This is because of the fact that everything is more oriented towards achieving a particular sales target. Its actually rare to find someone who has been educated at the time of purchase about various aspects of the vehicle he is purchasing.
There was a time when 2 stroke motorcycles ruled the roads and if you had a plan to buy a machine back then, the dealer would have said a lot about the bike even before you actually bought it.
However, they also missed out on informing the new buyer, after he had purchased the vehicle, about the grade of oil to be used in the engine. This reportedly caused a number or engine seizures as the owner simply did not have the knowledge on the type of oil to use.
All vehicles, be it big or small, need great care for extended service life and reliability, you would know that not everyone around is directly or indirectly related to the automobile arena so a lot of them would just simply follow the principle of ‘fill it, shut it, forget it’ (specially after the free services).
Each machine has a lot of moving parts and the reality is that most of them depend on each other for proper functioning, if one of them were to fail, then the resulting event would be like a chain reaction which would lead to failures of different kinds.
There are spares which can and cannot be serviced and maintained by an average person, some of the parts which can be maintained also happen to be crucial components. They, can also be taken care of quite easily simply with a little spare time and a few basic tools, at most.
So how can I maintain the bike myself, you might wonder? Well, here is a list of things which can you can take care of, easily!
Easy Motorcycle DIYs – What Can I DO..?
- Main chain and sprocket
- Battery pack
- Greasing of joints
- Adjustment of Brakes
- Engine Oil Change
- Disc Brake Oil change
- Adjustment of Hinges (if any).
The above is applicable for almost all kinds of two wheelers. So, come on let’s begin with the DIY…
Main Chain & Sprocket
This is a really important part of the bike, and as you might know, the bike won’t move at all if it’s in bad condition. During the monsoons, bikes that have an open chain and sprocket against a covered one would need regular lubing, but at the same time, lubrications for a closed chain and sprocket can be done less frequently. In the good olden days the conventional way of lubricating chains was by using molten grease. This procedure was quite lengthy and used to take many hours to complete the job. However, it is very simple these days – you get special sprays for lubricating the chain system.
If your motorcycle is not equipped with a main stand, you can consider buying paddock stands. If you find them costly, we now also have small wheel rollers that cost a lot less. And in many cases you can simply apply some local jugaads as well. However, be very cautious during the whole exercise.
This happens to be an essential spare in a two wheeler. On our Indian roads, the horn, warning lights, electric start and few other systems require proper battery for functioning.
A battery is made up of lead, which is dipped in acid water. Acid water also means electrolyte, this means that the battery acid can actually damage the paint job and cause corrosion to other parts as well, so when you handle a battery, make sure you do so with care. Also, one common problem that batteries face is the oxidation on terminals. Each battery has a positive(+) and negative (-) terminal and overtime, the reactions in the battery cause these terminals to oxidize and that in turn reduces the voltage it can deliver.
So, how this can be avoided? There are special sprays available for battery terminals in the market. These can be sprayed on the battery terminals to remove or avoid oxidation. The spray avoids the terminals from direct contact to the air. You can buy these battery sprays online at Amazon.
If a spray is not readily available you can use VASELINE petroleum jelly. By applying some amount of petroleum jelly on the terminals oxidation will not take place. The main drawback of using jelly is that it has a low melting point and you may have to do it a little too often.
Control levers, brake springs, brake pedals are some of the common points where its advisable to apply grease. Different climates also dictates the use of different types of lubrication. When it rains, it would be unadvisable to use oil for lubrication as it would get washed away easily.
Grease would be best for the monsoon. In summer as we know the temperature is high and its usually always dry. Generally air flows with dust particles. So in summer using oil could be a better option for some areas. Grease attracts dust very fast and could create resistance in moving parts.
This process is very simple and can save you a lot more than money. Every vehicle would have its own basic tool kit. Generally all motorcycles, scooters have 13mm nut size for adjusting the rear brakes. A suitable tool for this bolt would be in the tool kit. There needs to be a little caution applied when tightening the brakes as a tight setting can jam the brakes and cause a lot of problems like engine and brake overheating and also low mileage, at the same time a loose brake setting can slow your reaction time down. So adjust it as required.
One of my friends used to wash his Bullet for at least 6-7 hours. Well yes 6-7 hours, wondering why? Passion. He used to wash with brush, diesel, cleaning soap etc.
Many washing centers simply use a soap mixture and a dirty towel (which can really scratch your paint job). They would just do it for the money. You, on the other hand, know your vehicle well and so it would be easy for you to clean it, here are a few tips that can help you.
Oil stains can be removed easily by using solvents like diesel or kerosene. First spray some water on the machine and then use diesel or kerosene. Then spray water for cleaning it. If you own a new machine, you can keep its paint looking like that everytime by following some simple steps. If you are really passionate and want to keep your machine licking clean, consider buying High Pressure Washers that can also be used for other cleaning purposes.
Use a soft, clean towel and try to wash the mud (on the painted parts) out rather than scrape it off. Also, as much as possible, use a Ph neutral shampoo. Look on the label before purchasing it. You can view different options and buy it online.
After washing don’t forget to lube and grease various parts. Dont do it before cleaning as all the lubes may get washed off.
Change Engine Oil
There is no doubt that engine oil is the single most important part of your motorcycle. You can simply do engine oil replacements at home. It just needs a few spanners, a waste fuel collecting bin and obviously packed engine oil cans. You can buy your preferred engine oils directly online.
Brake Oil Top Up
A lot of the current bikes come with disc brakes – most of them only at the front and some of them now also get rear disc brakes. There are small windows in the reservoirs to inspect the level of disc brake oil. You can simply change the oil if it is low or if it is 20,000 kms or 1 year old. You can buy DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake oil online.
These are usually found on Royal Enfield Bullets and Honda scooters. These hinges always require oil and rust cleaner spray to keep rust away and they can break loose if not well maintained.
So, there we go! A simple and quick list of DIYs you can perform at your home. This would fill your apatite towards motorcycling, bring you closer to your most loved asset – your motorcycle and save you a lot of bucks as well. Always remember, respect the machine, the machine will respect you.
– Chinmay Dangre