Motorbike life

How to care for the sensitive parts of your motorcycle

5 minutes

Following our latest advice on checking and caring for your bike’s tires, brakes, and lights, we are now going to go over some of the actions to to perform in order to care for your engine, transmission, and suspension to keep them in perfect conditions for use.

Motorista desmontado
How to care for the sensitive parts of your motorcycle

Engine maintenance

· Check levels every 15 days
· Annual oil change

The heart of your bike requires meticulous care if you want it to keep taking you to your destination with the highest level of safety and longevity.

The critical area of an engine is its lubrication. The lubricant must be appropriate for your engine. Check your user manual. It will list the different viscosity grades (SAE) that can be used, as well as the minimum quality it should have.

Similarly, replacement terms will also be indicated in the maintenance table.

Detalle de motor
Detalle de motor

As a general rule, oil should be changed, depending on the model, between 4,000 and 6,000 km for scooters and 8,000 and 12,000 km for big bikes. The filter should be changed, at a minimum, with every other oil change, although there is no harm in changing it as often as the lubricant given its low cost. Some bikes do not have a filter and have a metal sieve instead that must be cleaned.

The level must be checked periodically, every 15 days minimum, since if it reaches lower than minimum levels, it may result in very serious engine damage.
Depending on the model, this can be checked through a small lateral window on the lower part of the engine or with a rod located on the lubricant tank cap.

If you are going to change the oil yourself, remember to do so when the oil is hot for it to drain well. Use the appropriate oil for your bike and discard the old one in green spots designated therefor. Additionally, if your filter is metallic when squeezing the new one, do so only with your hand without using tools while making sure to have previously lubricated the joint with some of the new oil.

Africa Twin con faro encendido

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enrtada de aire para refrigeración
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Cooling system maintenance

If your bike is equipped with an air cooling system, you won’t have much of a problem, since an annual checkup of the cooling find is sufficient. But if you have a liquid cooling model, there are many things you should pay attention to.

First, the level of liquid cooling, that must be checked when you look at the lubricant levels every 15 days. It must be replaced every two years.

You must also pay attention to various elements of the system. Starting with the radiator, which can be located at the front or side of the bike. Check that the vents don’t have accumulated residue on them and that there are no leaks. Then check the fan. You must ensure that the blades are in good conditions and, in the event it’s electric, that it works upon heating the engine.

Finally, check the state of the hoses, making sure that there are no leaks in the joints and that they are soft, without fissures or breaks.

detalle lateral del motor
detalle lateral del motor

Maintenance of other engine elements

Another important part of the engine is the ignition system. The spark plugs must be checked every 24,000 km and changes every 48,000 km. As with the rest of operations, ideally, you should check the manual since, depending on the type of spark plug, these distances may vary.

Lastly, you must make sure that the intake air filter is in a good state. An obstructed or dirty filer may make your bike consume more and lose power, as well as potentially cause damage to the engine. Usually, you should replace it between 18,000 and 24,000 km. If you have a foam filter, they can be washed and reused after being soaked in oil but be sure that they are not damaged.

Cadena y transmisión
Cadena y transmisión

· Check and lubricate every 1,000 km
· For scooters: belt change every 24,000 km

Pay attention to different things depending if your ride is a gear motorcycle with a chain, belt, or an automatic scooter. Similarly, you can have a model with shaft transmission, which greatly facilitates maintenance.

In the event you have gear motorcycle with a chain, you will have to check the tension and the state thereof, as well as the chain ring and sprocket every 1,000 km, cleaning and lubricating it, as well as tightening it, if needed. In the event you are circulating in rainy conditions, it is recommended that you perform this operation in a more regular fashion.

You have to make sure that your gearbox uses the same lubricant as the engine or if it is separate. In the latter case, it should be replaced every two years.

For scooters the trapezoidal belt must be examined, as a general rule, every 12,000 km along with the clutch and variator and should be changed every 24,000 km. The lubricant of the final group must be changed every two years.

The clutch in gear motorcycles should be checked every 12,000 km and should only be replaced when you notice it is close to the end of its useful life.


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Suspensión trasera de moto
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Suspension maintenance

· Monthly check up
· Oil change every two years

Your bike’s suspension allows you to take advantage of your tires’ grip and is constantly subjected to different forces and movements that can result in oil gaps and leaks.

A basic check is performed visually, you only need to check that your fork and shock absorbers don’t lose liquid and that the seals are not cracked.

A more in-depth inspection is recommended every 12,000 km. You should look for gaps in the pieces, trying to move them in every direction and pay attention to the noises that may come from this operation. You should also check the state of the bearings and lubrication of the navigation.

Frontal moto Honda
Frontal moto Honda

It’s recommended to check the state of the oil in the fork every two years, and to replace it if necessary. Remember that seals in good shape will help keep it in the best conditions.

When you’re on the road with your bike, make sure it circulates without making strange movements and that when braking or accelerating vigorously that neither of the two axles sink.

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