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motorcycle maintenance

Motorcycle Control System Maintenance




Motorcycle maintenance is essential for ensuring a safe and enjoyable riding experience. One crucial aspect of maintenance that riders often overlook is the control system. The control system comprises components such as the brakes, throttle, clutch, and suspension. Proper upkeep of these elements ensures that your motorcycle remains responsive, stable, and reliable on the road. In this article, we will delve into the best practices for maintaining your motorcycle control system, with links to external resources for more in-depth information.

1. Brake System Maintenance

The brake system is a critical component of your motorcycle’s control system. It is vital to ensure that the brake pads, brake fluid, and other parts are in optimal condition. Regular inspection and timely replacement of worn-out components will ensure your safety while riding.

  • Brake Pads: Check your brake pads for signs of wear, as thinning pads can reduce braking efficiency. Replace them when necessary, following the guidelines in your motorcycle owner’s manual.
  • Brake Fluid: Brake fluid degrades over time and can absorb moisture, compromising braking performance. Replace your brake fluid at least once every two years or as specified in your owner’s manual. For a step-by-step guide on how to change your brake fluid, check out this guide.

2. Throttle and Clutch System Maintenance

Proper throttle and clutch function are crucial for smooth acceleration and gear shifting. Here are some maintenance tips to keep these components in top condition:

  • Throttle Cables: Inspect your throttle cables for signs of wear, fraying, or damage. Lubricate the cables periodically to reduce friction and ensure smooth operation. This article offers a comprehensive guide on how to lubricate your throttle and clutch cables.
  • Clutch System: Check the clutch cable for wear and adjust the free play according to your owner’s manual. Additionally, inspect the clutch plates for wear and replace them if necessary. This guide provides detailed instructions on replacing your clutch plates.

3. Suspension Maintenance

A well-maintained suspension system ensures a comfortable and stable ride, as well as improved handling. Here are some tips to keep your suspension in top shape:

  • Fork Oil: Replace your fork oil as specified in your owner’s manual or if you notice any leaks. Changing the fork oil ensures consistent damping performance and extends the life of your suspension components. This tutorial offers step-by-step instructions on changing fork oil.
  • Shock Absorbers: Inspect your shock absorbers for leaks or damage. If necessary, consider rebuilding or replacing them. Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended service intervals and follow the guidelines for optimal performance.

4. Steering Maintenance

Proper steering maintenance is essential for a responsive and safe ride. Here are some tips for maintaining your motorcycle’s steering system:

  • Steering Head Bearings: Inspect and lubricate your steering head bearings regularly to ensure smooth steering operation. If you notice any play or roughness in the steering, it may be time to replace the bearings. Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended service intervals and guidelines.
  • Wheel Alignment: Ensure that your wheels are properly aligned to maintain stability and handling while riding. Misaligned wheels can cause uneven tire wear and poor handling. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended wheel alignment specifications and consult a professional if necessary.


Motorcycle control system maintenance is essential for a safe and enjoyable riding experience. By regularly inspecting and maintaining the various components of the control system, including the brakes, throttle, clutch, suspension, and steering, you can ensure that your motorcycle remains responsive, stable, and reliable on the road. Use the resources and tips provided in this article as a starting point, and consult your owner’s manual for specific maintenance guidelines and service intervals for your particular motorcycle model. Remember that investing time and effort into proper motorcycle control system maintenance can save you from costly repairs and potential accidents in the long run. Stay safe and enjoy the ride!

As the CEO of The Hard Tail, Jacob Stoner leverages years of immersion in the world of motorcycling. He not only embodies the spirit of the open road as a devoted rider, but also has experience in custom motorcycle design. Though he has dipped his toes into the realm of customization, his main focus remains on riding and the motorcycle community at large. The Hard Tail, for him, is more than just a professional endeavor – it's a reflection of his enduring passion for motorcycling.

motorcycle how to's

How to: Motorcycle Carburetor Cleaning




motorcycle carb cleaning

Maintaining your motorcycle requires more than just oil changes and chain adjustments. One of the key tasks that you’ll need to undertake is a “Motorcycle Carburetor Cleaning.” Understanding, cleaning, and maintaining your motorcycle’s carburetor is essential for optimal performance and fuel efficiency. This guide will walk you through the steps of recognizing when your carburetor needs cleaning, how to clean it, and how to reassemble and reinstall it properly.

Understanding a Motorcycle Carburetor

Before diving into cleaning, it’s essential to understand what a carburetor does. A motorcycle carburetor is a part that mixes air and fuel in the appropriate ratio for combustion. It has several small passages and jets that fuel flows through. When these passages get clogged, it can lead to poor engine performance, making “Motorcycle Carburetor Cleaning” a necessity.

Identifying the Need for a Carburetor Cleaning

Typically, you’ll notice signs when your motorcycle’s carburetor needs cleaning. These can include hard starts, reduced fuel efficiency, engine stalling, or rough idling. If you see visible debris in your fuel or a dirty carburetor upon inspection, it’s time for a clean-up.

Tools Needed for Cleaning

Before you begin with the cleaning process, you’ll need:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Wrenches
  • Carburetor cleaner
  • Compressed air
  • A wire brush
  • Safety glasses
  • Rubber gloves

Remember, safety comes first. Always wear protective gear to guard against potential hazards.

Removing the Carburetor

First, drain the fuel from the carburetor and fuel lines. Disconnect the fuel lines and throttle cables, and then remove the carburetor from the engine by loosening the mounting bolts.

Motorcycle Carburetor Cleaning Methods

There are several ways to clean a motorcycle carburetor, each suitable for different degrees of dirtiness:

  • Dunk cleaning: This involves immersing the entire carburetor in a cleaning solution, useful for heavily soiled carburetors.
  • Ultrasonic cleaning: An ultrasonic cleaner produces high-frequency sound waves that create bubbles, dislodging dirt and debris.
  • Manual cleaning: Here, you disassemble the carburetor and clean each component individually using a carburetor cleaner and brush.
  • Spray cleaners: These work well for light cleaning jobs, especially when used with a brush to scrub away dirt.

Reassembling and Reinstalling the Carburetor

After cleaning, you must dry all parts before reassembly. To hold O-rings in place during reassembly, consider using a contact cement. Reinstall the carburetor, ensuring its proper alignment before tightening the bolts. Reconnect the throttle cables and fuel lines securely.

Post-installation, start your bike and let it idle for a few minutes. If the engine sounds healthy and the throttle response is smooth, you’ve successfully completed your Motorcycle Carburetor Cleaning!


In conclusion, understanding and performing a Motorcycle Carburetor Cleaning is essential to keep your bike running smoothly. With careful attention to detail and the right tools, any motorcycle enthusiast can undertake this task, contributing to a well-maintained, high-performing motorcycle.

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motorcycle how to's

How to Change Your Motorcycle Oil




The motorcycle, for many, is more than just a mode of transportation; it’s an expression of freedom and a symbol of adventure. As riders, the rhythmic hum of the engine, the wind against our bodies, and the thrill of the open road bring a joy that’s hard to match. But to keep this joy alive, it’s crucial to properly maintain our motorcycles, and an essential aspect of this maintenance is changing the oil. This article will guide you through the steps to properly change your motorcycle oil, helping to ensure your machine runs smoothly and efficiently.

Understanding Why and When to Change Your Motorcycle Oil

Motorcycle oil is the lifeblood of your bike’s engine. It performs several crucial functions such as reducing friction between moving parts, dissipating heat, flushing out contaminants and sludge, and preventing corrosion. With time and use, however, oil loses its efficiency, increasing the risk of engine damage and decreased performance.

Motorcycle manufacturers typically recommend changing the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. But it’s not just about mileage; various factors can affect your oil’s lifespan. These include your motorcycle’s make and model, the type of oil used, the condition and age of your engine, the ambient temperature, and your riding style.

Noticeable signs that your oil needs changing include dark or dirty oil, a drop in performance, increased engine noise, and a burning oil smell. Regular oil changes, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, can keep your motorcycle in peak condition, extend its lifespan, and provide a smoother riding experience.

Preparing to Change Your Motorcycle Oil

Before getting your hands dirty, it’s important to prepare. The first step is to choose the right oil for your motorcycle. The type of oil you need depends on several factors such as your bike’s engine, the climate you live in, and your riding style. Always consult your owner’s manual for specific oil recommendations.

You’ll also need the following tools and supplies: a new oil filter, an oil catch pan, a socket wrench set, an oil filter wrench, a clean funnel, a new drain plug washer (if applicable), and several clean rags. Safety equipment such as gloves and safety glasses can protect you from hot oil and any unexpected splashes.

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing Your Motorcycle Oil 

Changing your motorcycle oil may seem daunting, especially if it’s your first time. But it’s a relatively straightforward process that can be broken down into manageable steps. Let’s walk through these steps one by one.

  1. Warm Up Your Motorcycle: Start by warming up your motorcycle for a few minutes. This thins out the oil, allowing it to drain out more completely and carry away more contaminants.
  2. Drain The Old Oil: With your motorcycle on its center stand, place your oil catch pan beneath the drain plug. Using your socket wrench, carefully remove the drain plug and let the oil drain out. Remember, the oil could be hot, so be careful to avoid any burns.
  3. Remove and Replace The Oil Filter: Once the oil is drained, use your oil filter wrench to remove the old oil filter. Before installing the new one, apply a bit of new oil to the new filter’s gasket. This helps create a better seal and makes future filter removal easier.
  4. Install Drain Plug and Add New Oil: After installing the new oil filter, replace and tighten the drain plug. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can strip the threads. Using your funnel, carefully pour the new oil into your engine. Be sure not to overfill; too much oil can be just as harmful as too little.
  5. Check Oil Levels and Look for Leaks: Start your motorcycle and let it run for a few minutes. This circulates the new oil and allows time for potential leaks to appear. Check your oil level using the sight glass or dipstick, and make sure it falls within the recommended range.

Disposing of Used Motorcycle Oil

Proper disposal of used motorcycle oil is crucial to protecting our environment. Used oil can contain harmful contaminants that should not be released into the environment. Never pour used oil into storm drains, on the ground, or in the trash.

Instead, pour your used oil into a sealable container, and take it to a local recycling center, auto-parts store, or service station that accepts used oil. These facilities have the means to safely recycle or dispose of used oil, turning what could have been an environmental hazard into a useful product.


Changing your motorcycle oil is a key component of bike maintenance, helping to ensure optimal performance and extending the lifespan of your motorcycle. Although it may seem intimidating at first, changing your own oil can save you money, give you a sense of accomplishment, and help you get to know your motorcycle better.

And there’s nothing quite like the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve personally taken steps to keep your motorcycle in top condition. So here’s to the open road, the wind in your face, and the knowledge that your well-oiled machine will carry you safely on your next adventure.

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motorcycle maintenance

Motorcycle Body Maintenance




Motorcycles, like any other vehicle, require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance, longevity, and safety. One aspect of motorcycle care that is often overlooked is body maintenance. By taking care of your motorcycle’s body, you can keep your ride looking sharp and protect it from damage, rust, and other issues that can affect its appearance and value. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of motorcycle body maintenance, with links to expert sources for further information.

1. Understanding the Importance of Motorcycle Body Maintenance

Maintaining your motorcycle’s body is essential for several reasons. First, a clean and well-maintained bike is more visually appealing, which can improve your enjoyment of riding and the resale value of your motorcycle. Second, proper body maintenance can prevent issues such as rust and corrosion, which can compromise the integrity of your motorcycle’s structure and components. Finally, regular maintenance can help you spot potential problems early, allowing you to address them before they worsen and become more expensive to repair.

2. Cleaning and Washing Your Motorcycle

The first step in motorcycle body maintenance is cleaning and washing your bike. Regular cleaning can help prevent the buildup of dirt, grime, and other contaminants that can damage your motorcycle’s paint, chrome, and other surfaces. Use a gentle motorcycle-specific cleaner and follow these basic steps:

  1. Rinse your motorcycle with water to remove loose dirt and debris.
  2. Apply the cleaner to your motorcycle, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Use a soft brush or sponge to gently scrub your motorcycle, working from the top down.
  4. Rinse your motorcycle thoroughly to remove all soap and residue.
  5. Dry your motorcycle using a soft, clean microfiber cloth or chamois.

For more detailed information on cleaning and washing your motorcycle, check out this comprehensive guide to motorcycle washing.

3. Polishing and Waxing Your Motorcycle

After cleaning your motorcycle, it’s important to polish and wax it to protect its paint and keep it looking its best. Polishing can remove minor scratches, swirl marks, and other imperfections, while waxing provides a protective barrier against the elements. Choose a high-quality motorcycle polish and wax and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Be sure to use a soft, clean microfiber cloth or applicator pad to avoid scratching your motorcycle’s paint.

4. Protecting Your Motorcycle’s Paint

In addition to regular polishing and waxing, you can take additional steps to protect your motorcycle’s paint. One option is to apply a paint protection film to vulnerable areas of your motorcycle, such as the fuel tank, fenders, and fairings. This clear, durable film can help shield your paint from scratches, chips, and other damage caused by road debris, insects, and everyday wear and tear. Another option is to use a ceramic coating on your motorcycle’s paint, which provides a long-lasting, hydrophobic layer that repels water, dirt, and other contaminants, making it easier to clean and maintain your motorcycle’s appearance.

5. Addressing Rust and Corrosion Issues

Rust and corrosion can not only damage your motorcycle’s appearance but also compromise its structural integrity and functionality. To prevent and address these issues, follow these tips:

  1. Keep your motorcycle clean and dry, as moisture and contaminants can cause rust and corrosion.
  2. Inspect your motorcycle regularly for signs of rust or corrosion, particularly in areas prone to moisture buildup, such as the frame, exhaust, and suspension components.
  3. Treat any rust spots or corrosion as soon as possible, using a rust remover or corrosion inhibitor, and repaint or touch up the affected areas if necessary.
  4. Store your motorcycle in a dry, well-ventilated area to minimize moisture exposure.

For more information on preventing and treating rust and corrosion on your motorcycle, check out this guide to motorcycle rust prevention and treatment.

6. Inspecting and Maintaining Motorcycle Plastics

Motorcycle plastics, such as fairings, side panels, and fenders, require regular inspection and maintenance to ensure they remain in good condition. To maintain your motorcycle plastics:

  1. Clean them regularly with a gentle, plastic-safe cleaner.
  2. Inspect them for cracks, scratches, or other damage that may require repair or replacement.
  3. Use a plastic polish to remove minor scratches and restore the shine and clarity of your motorcycle plastics.
  4. Apply a UV protectant to help prevent fading and discoloration from sun exposure.

7. Caring for Motorcycle Chrome and Metal Parts

Chrome and metal parts, such as exhaust pipes, engine covers, and wheels, can become tarnished, stained, or rusty over time if not properly cared for. To maintain these components:

  1. Clean them regularly with a chrome or metal cleaner to remove dirt, grime, and other contaminants.
  2. Inspect them for signs of rust or corrosion, and treat or replace them as necessary.
  3. Polish chrome and metal parts with a high-quality metal polish to restore their shine and luster.
  4. Apply a protective coating or wax to help prevent future tarnishing, staining, or rust.

By following these guidelines and regularly performing proper motorcycle body maintenance, you can keep your motorcycle looking its best and ensure it remains a reliable and enjoyable ride for years to come.

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