Basic bike maintenance tips every new rider should know

Learner motorcyclist riding slalom in between cones

When learning to ride there can be a lot to remember, from your theory test to your practical riding skills. However there are a few maintenance procedures that every learner rider should know before they take their test and beyond.

Here the team at Bikesure provide the most common maintenance tips that every learner rider should know before they ask a mechanic or their parents for help.

Checking your oil levels


This is a simple task, but is crucial to ensuring your bike is functioning correctly when it hits the road. If your bike has aluminium parts such as the exhaust you will need to cover them. Being low on oil increases your chances of breaking down, which can cause further damage to your engine and of course to your wallet. Be sure not to put too much oil in as this can also cause damage.

Keeping your chain healthy

Keeping your healthy is arguably one of the most important parts of motorcycle maintenance. A clean chain makes your bike run smoother for a longer period than if you left it.

Of course you don’t need to do this everyday or every time you venture out on your motorcycle, but once you notice visible dirt or mud it’s best to clean it as soon as possible, ideally before your next ride. You can also check your manual for tips on how to clean your chain and also the recommended mileage at which you should do so.

Remember to make sure your bike is in neutral when you lift the back wheel before using your bristle brush. And always remember to use chain lubrication once the chain is clean to help protect it from further damage.

Along with keeping your chain clean, it’s always important to check your chain for tightness as well. When your bike is in active use it’s a good idea to check your chain for tightness every couple of weeks. If it has been laid up for the winter or for any other reason then you must check before your first ride and adjust accordingly. The last thing you will want is for your chain to come off whilst on the road.

Once again your bike manual will inform you of how often you should check your chain’s tightness and even recommendations on the swing arm in some cases.

Ensure your tyres are fully pumped up with enough tread


Ensuring your tyres are fully pumped up is a simple yet effective way of maintaining your bike’s safety. Having your tyres overinflated or under inflated can be dangerous and will affect how your bike handles. Having the pressure too high or too low can also affect their lifespan and damage the tread.

Checking your tyre’s inflation is simple too. Locate the valve on the wheel, remove the cap and apply the air pressure gauge onto the valve. To find out how much pressure your tyres need, simply check the sidewall of the tyre where you can find the information.

For the tread you can locate a small rubber knob that resides in the grooves of the tyre. Should the knob be the same level or near the same level that meets the road you will need a replacement. Or if you’re unsure it’s always best to check with a mechanic.

Keep an eye on your brake pads and fluid

Brake fluid often absorbs moisture over time and in turn they can become less effective. Replacing your brake fluid and brakes can ensure your bike remains in top condition.

When checking your brake pads you are looking at the thickness of the pads themselves. Allowing them to go right down to the metal brake disc is not only dangerous, but can make for a costly procedure the next time you visit a garage.

Changing your filter

If your air filter is clogged the throttle will become less responsive and the reaction time will diminish immensely. You should try to ensure your air filter is free from debris and dirt. However, in order to get to your air filter may require you to remove some important parts of your bike. If you’re unsure how to do this it’s always better to take it to a garage.

Keep your battery corrosion free


Most modern bikes come with a zero maintenance battery, however it’s always a good idea to clean the corrosion on the terminals. Taking care of your battery not only increases its life expectancy, but it will also be kinder to your wallet in the long run.

Is your bike E10 compatible?

E10 fuel is set to be at all garages up and down the country by September this year. If your motorcycle runs on petrol there should be no problem with you switching from E5 to E10. However it’s always better to err on the side of caution before you next fill up and luckily the government has a page where you can check if your bike is compatible with the new type of fuel.

Note using E10 when your bike isn’t compatible can lead to damage to the fuel lines, pumps and the engine’s ancillary systems.

Don’t forget motorbike insurance!

Don’t forget to consider the cost of motorbike insurance – which is a legal requirement. At Bikesure, we can offer great deals on young rider insurance to help you get on the road as quickly as possible.

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August 8, 2023