If you just recently bought your first motorcycle, you’re likely feeling all kinds of excitement. However, a great degree of responsibility comes with this type of asset. You always should know how to repair a motorbike in case it ever breaks down someplace where high-quality help is difficult to find. The motorcycle dealership and repair market in the United States has grown substantially in recent years. According to IBISWorld, this industry’s revenue increased at an average annualized rate of 3.1% to $36.1 billion between 2014 and 2019. Here is the complete guide to motorcycle repair, from top to bottom and inside-out.
Where to Begin With Motorcycle Repair
It’s important to know, before anything else, that motorcycles are generally less difficult to repair than cars. This is largely due to the fact that almost every component of a motorbike is “out in the open” and can thus be more easily accessed than vehicle parts. You can disassemble a motorcycle with just a handful of tools and without having to contort yourself in a crazy position in order to repair it.
Changing the Oil
It’s crucial for you to ensure you get the correct engine oil for your motorbike, and this implies checking more than just the oil’s weight. Many motorcycles have something called a “wet clutch,” which signifies that the oil doubles as transmission fluid. Be sure to also change your bike’s oil filter, which can either be a screw-on type or a cartridge-style filter that is lodged behind a cover. A strap wrench can often work well to swap out the oil filter.
In order to check the oil level on your bike, simply take a look at the “porthole” on the crank case’s side. If the level is between the lines, then you are set.
Replacing the Tires
Many professionals would agree that regularly checking the tire pressure on a motorcycle (i.e. before every big trip) is even more essential than doing so for a car. You should also take the precaution of verifying that your bike’s tires are safe and won’t cause the bike to lose traction. A motorcycle accident due to faulty tires can sometimes be even more fatal than an automobile accident.
Some bike tires have tiny raised points known as “wear indicators” located in their grooves. Once those points begin to appear worn down, this means your tire should be replaced. Also, remember that many motorbike tires that appear to be identical can actually be noticeably different in terms of how they are meant to be safely utilized.
Given that, again, a bike is smaller than a car, you can handle the brakes yourself without professional assistance. Also, check the brake pads to determine whether they must be replaced. The master cylinders on a bike are essentially opaque, so you should have no issue checking the fluid level of your brake systems.
What Should Be Done by a Professional?
Here are some of the motorcycle repair tasks that should be performed by a professional:
Repairing the Frame
Motorcycle frame repair and straightening obviously vary according to the extent of the damage. Frame restoration experts will often utilize a tool known as a theodolite, which serves to measure angles from a distance. This tool allows professionals to detect dents and bends in a frame that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Fixing the Powertrain
A specialist will likely be able to repair your motorcycle’s engine more efficiently than you can. A professional should be able to carefully drain all fluids into the correct containers, disconnect the battery, remove the airbox and carburetors, and utilize special tools to remove parts, such as the clutch, alternator, and crankshaft drive gear. He/she should also know how to properly handle the weight change (if any) when replacing the engine.
Other motorcycle repair jobs that are recommended to be left to a professional include repairing the drive chain and fuel filters.
Contact Professional Motorcycle Repair Specialists
Reach out to the experts at Robs Customs & Restorations in Manassas, Virginia, to learn more about the proper way to repair a motorcycle. We provide both frame and rust repair, so you never need to worry about your bike suffering extreme wear and tear. Whether you are looking for a full restoration that allows your motorcycle to run smoother than ever, or are simply aiming to have your ride revamped to look flashy, Robs is here to help. We also offer custom paint jobs and four different types of engine swaps.