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What Bike Maintenance Should Be Left to the Pros, and What Can You Do at Home?

August 06 2018

What Bike Maintenance Should Be Left to the Pros, and What Can You Do at Home?

Motorcycles occupy a unique and special place in American culture. More than anything else, they represent freedom; they're a rider's key to the open road and its infinite miles of possibility. Freedom, however, doesn't have to mean going it alone. When it comes to bike maintenance, even veteran riders know that there are some things best left to the experts. Here's an example of a task anyone can do at home and the kind of more complicated maintenance that requires professionals.

Changing the Oil: Do It Yourself

All motorcycle riders should at least know how to change their bike's oil. The first step is purchasing oil that's specifically for motorcycles. Most motorcycles use a wet clutch, meaning the motor oil does double duty as transmission fluid. Car oil isn't designed to handle that extra work. Remove the oil filler cap on top of the engine, place a pan underneath, and undo the sump bolt underneath or near the bottom of the engine. Let the old oil drain out, pull out the old filter, then screw the sump plug back in. Pop in a new filter after coating it in clean oil before tightening it in place, then fill the engine with new oil to the level specified in the bike's manual. It couldn't be more simple.

Rebuilding Worn Out Suspension: Go With a Pro

Even experienced at-home bike mechanics generally trust an expert with this task. While it's not too complicated for people familiar with advanced bike maintenance, it requires a number of special tools and parts. On top of new fork seals, dust seals, and fork seal grease, suspension maintenance requires a spring compressor, a 'soft' vise, an oil level gauge, and a fork seal driver, not to mention a stand to hold the bike in place. Add to that the fact that this job can easily take six hours, even for someone who knows what they're doing, and it just makes more sense to let a professional handle it.

The General Rule of Thumb

Motorcycles are performance machines with multiple components built to operate at high speeds. That means that small mistakes can cause big damage to both bike and rider. For those who know what they're doing, or can have a more experienced mechanic help them out at home, DIY bike maintenance can be a great way to really learn the ins and outs of their ride. When in doubt, however, maintenance tasks should always be trusted to a professional.

If you need professional motorcycle maintenance for your ride, trust the experts at Town & Country Sports Center. We have five certified technicians on site with over 100 years of combined experience. Our service department is here to keep you riding, not waiting. And our one-stop-shop offers more than just motorcycle service; we have all the repairs, parts, customization, accessories, and apparel you'll ever need. Check out our service specials for great deals or call 517-547-3333 to schedule a maintenance appointment today.