Disclaimer: Owning and maintaining motorcycles is a lifelong commitment to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Always ride responsibly and wear a proper fitting helmet and gear. All of the tips contained below are based on experience and knowledge learned from some of the best in the industry. As you will be doing this maintenance yourself, you assume the risk contained therein. Make sure you understand the instructions completely as I am unable to be with you personally to see that they are done correctly. Use this page as a guide. Seek the advice of a trained professional if you have ANY questions.
Bikes will run on Unleaded, just make sure it is at least 89-92 octane, otherwise it will probably ping. If you have a 4 stroke, run straight gas. If you have a 2 stroke, you will need to mix gas and oil. For 2 strokes, I like buying race gas to mix with the pump gas 50/50 or 60/40. Your bike will run cooler and you will get less wear and tear on the parts so they will last longer.
Axle, Pivots, Bolts:
Brakes: Buy the Service Manual. It contains essential information for doing the job right the first time. Getting Started: Put the bike on a lift stand and remove the wheel assembly. Check the Caliper: to see how much friction is on the rotor by turning it by hand. A small amount of drag is normal. Remove the caliper pins holding the brakes in place. Inspect the pins for wear, replace as necessary if grooved. When replacing pins place a very, very light coat of grease on the pins. Replace the Brake Pads: If your brakes are squealing, the pads might need to be replaced. If your pads are worn down, replace. Simply align the new pads with the caliper pin locations and slide the pins into place and tighten using loctite on the bolts. Check the Rotor: If your rotor is dirty or rusty, use your wire brush to clean it. If a rotor is suffering from lateral run out, (i.e., is warped) the rotor must be replaced with a new one. An easy way to check this is to lay the rotor down (off the wheel assembly) onto a piece of glass. If it is slightly warped, setting it in the sun on the glass will sometimes flatten it back out. When in doubt replace. Lateral run-out tends to cause a shimmy and pulsation through your steering wheel when you apply the brakes. If a rotor is badly worn, you may be able to notice pronounced grooves on its surface. If you removed the rotor to repair, inspect or replace, attach rotor back onto the wheel assembly using loctite and tightening down the bolts in a star pattern in a uniform matter (not all at once). Check the Wheel Bearings: If it has a tapered roller bearing you can remove the roller bearing from the hub assembly and inspect it. Look for evidence of pitting or scoring. If it has these conditions, it should be replaced. Before replacing the bearing, it must be greased. Before handling the grease, take some hand cleaner and rub it onto your hands, especially concentrating on your fingernails, then wipe off the excess. Next, take a large portion of grease into the palm of one hand and the bearing in the other. Turn the bearing to its wider end and then press it into the grease, until the grease is completely through the holes in the bearing. Take some time to make sure that the grease is worked through the entire unit. Then, work some grease into the bearing race on the hub that holds the bearing and insert the bearing. Next, you must apply the grease seal. Many people make the mistake of pounding the seal into place with a hammer. This usually destroys the seal, forcing you to buy another one. However, you can save time and money by using a seal driver, which you can purchase at an auto supply store. This tool fits over top of the seal, then you hammer the top of the tool, which pushes the seal into place. The money you save on seals should cover the cost of the tool. I recommend using a Soft hammer to do this. Put the assembly back together: Now, you have checked all the components of your brakes and have replaced or fixed any parts as needed, it is time to put them back on the bike. First, take the rotors and wash them with soap and water or contact cleaner to remove any grease that may be left from your hands. Slide the rotor assembly through the brake pads. Align with the fork tub axle holes and slide the freshly greased axle into place. It's best to use a medium coat of waterproof grease. I like to add moly (antiseize) lube to the grease to help keep the axle and bearings from seizing under high heat. Use loctite on the threads before tightening the bolt. Very Important: Make sure you torque the bolts to the specifications outlined in the manual. Over- or under-tightening can cause major damage and/or could jeopardize your vehicle safety. Remove the Bike from the stand and apply the brakes repeatedly to seat them into place. You will know if they are seated properly if you have good, consistent pressure on the levers when the brakes are applied. Failure to do this will result in a crash and/or injury. Next, Bleed the brake fluid: Flush the old brake fluid from the master cylinder by removing the bottom bleed screw and pump the brakes. As you do this continue to pour in the new fluid, making sure to keep fluid in the master cylinder at all times. Go to the caliper and attach a rubber hose to the back of the bleeder screw and put the hose into a pan for it to drain. Have a partner pump the brakes while you open the nut to drain out the old fluid and bubbles in the line. After several times through, tighten the bleeder screw again. When you have good pressure and the fluid come out clean with no air bubbles the brakes have been bled properly. Be sure this is done correctly. Failure to do so may result in brake failure. Doing brake inspection and maintenance is a relatively simple task. However, brakes are essential to riding safety. Exercise the proper care in doing these procedures and don't forget to refer to your vehicle's manual as much as possible. If you don't feel comfortable doing any of the procedures above, don't hesitate to seek the assistance of a trained professional.
Chain and Sprockets:
Handlebar Set up:
Suspension Linkage Maintenance:
Tire Compounds and what they Mean: