Basic Motorcycle Maintenance Checklist

Basic Motorcycle Maintenance Checklist
Ducati Monster 1100 EVO, 2012. Photo: Old News Club

The ownership of the bike comes with maintenance concerns. Most people want what’s best for their motorcycle. Everyone wants to know the best handyman for the job. But do-it-yourself maintenance could save you a lot of money. In the end, when you draw the line, the best bike is the one that’s maintained regularly. This motorcycle maintenance checklist will introduce you to a few things that you can check for yourself.

Visual check

Even if you’re not experienced, you’ll be able to recognize “strange things” before they turn into a problem. First of all, you need to squat next to the bike and take a closer look and identify potential problems. It is not normal and it is never acceptable to see any leak, fluids, or greasy spots. These can be a sign of a much bigger issue that might not have yet shown itself to a full extent. That’s why it’s important to tackle it before it becomes more serious. Try to investigate where the leak or the grease comes from. This way you’ll potentially avoid inconvenience, in the best case.

Rims and tires

In order to ensure your safe ride and avoid speed wobble, you need to check your tire pressure. In case of low pressure, you might get a flat tire or a blowout. However, in case of high pressure, the bike handling might be affected. Luckily, the tire manufacturer’s manual usually will have air pressure measurements. You can measure a PSI level on the tires by using a tire pressure gauge.

Photo: Old News Club

In addition to tires, cast alloy rims also need to be checked every couple of months. Check the rims for any bends or cracks. Also avoid using heat or hammers to shape the rims, as it will cause even more damage. And remember that service centers can see if rims have been misaligned.

Chains and sprockets

how to maintain your motorcycle chain
Photo: Old News Club

Take a look at the chain to make sure it’s well greased. You need to know that chain grease is a special grease used for this purpose. Its waxy structure is meant for sticking to the chain and providing necessary protection against moisture and dirt. Try to spin the chain and ensure that the grease doesn’t come off. Also, the sprockets need to be relatively clean and with no cracks. Sharp teeth need to mesh with the chain. The teeth should not be rounded, but it’s reasonable if they’re just slightly rounded after some use.

SEE OUR GUIDE: How To Maintain Your Motorcycle Chain


Ducati Brembo Brakes
Ducati Brembo Brakes. Photo: Old News Club

Check the brake pads, brake fluid, and brake lines before setting out on your first ride. Replace worn pads or cracked lines. Also, is good to test front and rear brakes separately to make sure they’re in working order and free from scraping or squealing.

It is crucial to check your brakes before each ride to make sure they’re working properly. No matter if you have a scooter, or a hyper motorcycle, brakes need to be in working order. The thickness of your brake pads needs to be checked, as well as the brake lines. Remember that brake fluids should be replaced depending on the instructions in the manual. Usually, this is somewhere between one to two years.


Maintain your motorcycle battery
Photo: Old News Club

First, you need to know when the battery was put into service. For this, check the date on the batter tag. You will notice a symbol or a dot to indicate a month and year. It would be good if this was done recently.  Other than this, the batter should be clean and without corrosion. Connections to the cables need to be tight and without damages. Also, check if there are other connections to the battery cables. If this is the case, it would be good to know what these connections are for.


No motorcycle maintenance checklist would be complete without checking the lights. Make sure that all lights are working properly, including the light on the license plate, turn signals flashing, and the indicators. If one of these is not functioning, replace the lights before taking your motorcycle for a ride.

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