Avoiding Common Motorcycle Problems
Harley-Davidson® motorcycles are some of the most entertaining bikes to ride. They’re designed for superior longevity, and you can count on there engines to perform consistently day after day. But even though these hogs are designed to be very user friendly, that doesn’t mean that you can ignore common maintenance practices. If you neglect to keep the fluids topped off, lubricate the belts, or pay attention to your tires, you could find yourself stuck on the highway with some expensive mechanical issues. You don’t want to encounter premature damages, so this guide from Bergen County Harley-Davidson® explains how to stay on top of basic maintenance to avoid common motorcycle problems. Then, when you need to bring your Harley® bike in for more complicated repairs or parts, stop by our service department in Rochelle Park, near Clifton, Hackensack, newark, Ridgewood, and Paterson, New Jersey.
Lubricate the Moving Parts
An engine on a Harley-Davidson® motorcycle can generate loads of torque and horsepower, but the juice from those cylinders doesn’t mean anything unless they have a path to effectively distribute it to the wheels. That’s where the transmission belts come in, a common design feature on hogs. These are virtually maintenance free, as they’re much more reliable than chains, can adjust automatically, and don’t rust as easily. Nonetheless, you’ll need to check them occasionally for tightness. They should be pretty tight, but there still needs to be a little bit of slack on them. Once they start feeling out of whack, be sure to bring it into the shop for an adjustment. What you can do to prevent damage is make sure the belts are lubricated properly, using a spray lubricant. You can also check for frays and other damage, and if you see any blemishes on your belt, it’s time to get it in for a replacement.
Check on Your Brakes
Your Harley-Davidson® bike relies on hydraulic disc brakes to generate its stopping power. There are two braking systems front and rear and each one has a fluid reservoir that’s very important for its functionality. To check these fluids, just open the reservoirs and check to make sure they’re filled up to the marker. Once they start dropping too low, get some brake fluid that’s approved for your model, and top it off before riding again. However, if you notice that the fluid’s completely gone, there could be a leak, and you’ll need to bring it into the shop immediately. You can also take a look at the brake pads, just to make sure that they’re in good condition. They should be smooth and evenly worn, but if they have jagged edges and look too scraped up, it’s time to replace them. You’ll also know that your brake pads are deteriorating when your motorcycle starts feeling bumpy while braking.
Tires are easy to take care of, but they’re very important. This isn’t so much of a DIY maintenance task as it is every rider’s responsibility. Namely, you need to inspect your tires and tire pressure before every ride. You don’t want to risk a blowout while on the highway, so purchase a simple tire pressure gauge and check that pressure every morning. You can also identify tire damage by inspecting the sidewall and tread, making sure neither are too worn down or compromised in any way.
The last inspection that every rider should do on a regular basis is fluid checks. Make sure you have enough oil and coolant on your bike, because you need these to lubricate your engine and keep it from overheating. You’ll probably never need to flush the coolant entirely, but as the oil starts getting dirtier, it’ll definitely need to be replaced, along with the oil filter.
With these basic maintenance procedures, you’ll avoid most of the common motorcycle issues and keep your Harley-Davidson® bike running healthier for much longer. If you need any more information or repairs, feel free to come visit us at Bergen County Harley-Davidson®. We’re located in Rochelle Park, near Clifton, Hackensack, Newark, Ridgewood, and Paterson, New Jersey.