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Enjoy the journey

If you’re thinking about getting into working on your bike then join the club – thousands of bikers do their own maintenance, while the die-hards will even tackle servicing and repairs. The thing is, you need to know what you’re doing, even if it’s just a few day-to-day, ‘looking after it to keep it running smoothly’ type jobs . Here the team at Bikesure, the freethinking motorcycle insurance broker, track down some online sources of advice and information on looking after your bike.

The first thing to underline is: don’t do anything unless you’re sure you know what you’re doing. Even cosmetic modifications, done wrong, can be dangerous. You don’t want anything failing or falling off at 70mph on the motorway – or anywhere else.

One site you might want to check is USA-based Dan’s Motorcycle. A motorbike mechanic since 1967, Dan has developed an online DIY motorbike repairs course. We haven’t taken it so we can’t vouch for it…

For a UK-based online course, check out Motorcycle Maintenance from Courses Plus. The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) has given the course ICS Approved Assessment Centre status, plus it has a Quality Assured Award (QAA). Unlike Dan’s course, however, it’s not free.

If you are going to do serious work on your bike, then it may well be worth getting a motorcycle lift. There are plenty to choose from – one that caught the Bikesure eye is British manufacturer KD Benches. Based in Falkirk, they make a wide range of products that should suit most applications.

One way to cut down servicing costs is to sort your own oil and filter change. Opie Oils sells motorcycle service packs for a wide range of motorbike brands. Each pack gives you the correct specification engine oil and a replacement oil filter.

Quite a few bikers want to upgrade their ride’s bodywork. Established in 1985, Pyramid Plastics offers a good choice and they claim to be “at the heart of bespoke after-market motorcycle accessory design.” The products range from huggers to streetfighter nose fairings.

Most of us will probably stick to simpler jobs when it comes to looking after the bike, and leave the tougher task to the experts. There are loads of places offering general maintenance tips, including another USA-based site, Total Motorcycle, which points out that ongoing general maintenance, such as checking tyres, brakes and battery, will help avoid unpleasant surprises on the road. It may be obvious, but do we all do it?