Whether you're new to two wheels or a long-time motorcycle veteran, it’s never too late to learn the basics of maintaining your motorcycle - especially during the winter months! Here you'll be able to find all-important motorcycle maintenance tips to help you keep your motorcycle in tip-top condition!
Keep checking back as we'll regularly add new tips.
Pictured: Worn brake pads that reached our workshop just in the nick of time
It’s an obvious answer really, worn out pads means reduced braking efficiency – that’s a huge gamble when it comes to your own (and other road users) safety. Safety aside, when your pads are completely worn out and you continue to ride, you’re grinding metal on metal every time you brake – this will destroy your discs and result in you forking out a small fortune for replacements!
Visually checking your pads takes just seconds and is something that can easily and regularly be done to save you some cash in the long run! Most brake pads have a wear indicator groove moulded or cut into the surface, so even those with zero mechanical know-how can tell. Grab a torch and look in to the calipers, once the pad is worn down so much that this groove disappears, or the pad itself is down to about 2mm – it’s time for new pads! It’s also worth mentioning that the legal minimum is 1mm.
Another tell-tale sign that your pads may be on their way out is the sound coming from your brakes. Listen and pay attention to any changes in sound. If something changes, check your brakes immediately – especially if you hear a scraping or grinding noise, this is a strong indicator of metal-to-metal contact and an obvious cause for concern.
If in doubt, click here to contact our workshop team here at Laguna Motorcycles, via email - they’ll be happy to advise.
Pictured: Squarish wear due to motorway riding
Knowing how to maintain your tyres through regular checks, and likewise, knowing when to replace them will play a huge role in the quality of your ride performance and most importantly, your safety!
When road conditions are less than ideal, the tread on your tyres is designed to push water away, improving grip. When the tread is heavily worn, you’ll start to lose grip and your bike will become more and more dangerous to ride! The easiest way to keep an eye on the wear is to look for the little bumps that sit at the bottom of the main grooves. When the depth of the rubber remaining gets to the level of these indicators (1mm), the tyre has reached its legal wear limit and must be replaced.
It’s quite common that a tyre may not get worn out completely, but that’s not to say that you’re not in need of a replacement. If you’re a motorway commuter, you may know what we’re talking about! One common example of uneven wear is the squarish wear of the tyre, whereby the tyre becomes worn out from the centre portion of the tread. This can cause a loss of grip when you then head out to the twisty country lanes! To offset this tyre of wear, try switching up your journey, moving from motorways to fast A and B roads every so often.
It’s also important to keep a check on the general condition of your tyres – too many punctures or cuts can mean that your tyres are no longer fit for use.
The last factor we’ll mention here is age. Even if your tyres are showing no signs of wear, most manufacturers recommend that tyres should not be used after years, the reason being that the oils in the rubber evaporate over time causing the rubber to harden up. To find out the date of manufacturing of your motorcycle's tyre, look out for a four-digit number on the tyre. The first two digits represent the week number and the last two will reveal the year of its manufacturing.
Pictured: Worn chain and sprocket
If you’re ashamed to admit that your chain care routine is currently non-existent, fear not. Here we’ve collated a couple of key top tips to help you give your motorcycle’s chain the care it deserves – and needs – to reach maximum performance each time you ride.
Firstly, let us touch on why taking good care of your chain and sprockets is so important. Performance aside, the last thing you want is for your chain to break while you’re riding! As you can imagine, it could wreck your swingarm, engine, gearbox casings – or worse – your leg.
Dramatic outcomes to one side, keep reading for an easy three-step chain care routine:
Step 1 – Inspection: Every time you ride, check your chain and sprockets for damage and wear. If you see rust spots, this may be an indication of poor lubrication – and if you see that the apexes of the teeth on the rear drive sprocket are curved (as shown in the photo), it’s new sprocket time. You’ll also want to examine the free play on the bottom run of the drive chain, you can then consult your owner’s handbook for guidance on adjustment.
Step 2 – Cleaning: Your chain must be cleaned (and properly dried) before each lubrication – the combination of chain lube/dirt and grit, simply won’t end well for your chain and you’ll be paying for a replacement a lot sooner than you would like. Find a product specifically designed for the job, ‘spray-on-rinse-off’ formulas tend to be our go-to. Never use a wire brush and avoid using a high-pressure washer. If it needs a bit of extra elbow grease, use a sponge or soft brush to go over the links with.
Step 3 – Lubrication: We’d recommend lubricating your chain every week if you can, after riding and not before. You’ll need to be able to rotate the rear wheel fully, so get your bike on its centre stand or paddock stand. Spray the chain with a thin and even coating of chain lube, aiming the spray nozzle at the inside of the chain, rotating the wheel until all areas are covered.
Now you’ve got your three easy-to-follow steps, you’ll want the right products! Pop in-store or give us a call to speak to a member of our friendly team at the parts counter and they’ll be happy to make some recommendations!
Home delivery: We are very happy to assist in arranging deliveries to your door of any items that we have in store, be it clothing, parts or accessories! Simply give us a call and let us know the details of the item(s) you’re after!
Sources: (Tip #1) rideapart.com / motorcyclenews.com / gov.uk (Tip #2) rediff.com (Tip #3) bennetts.co.uk