How to Maintain Your Motorcycle’s Tires, Wheels and Windshield

Just as learning how to drive a motorcycle involves special training, learning how to maintain a motorcycle involves special considerations. You put time, energy and money into getting a motorcycle and learning how to use it. Knowing what it takes to care for your motorcycle is an important part of motorcycle ownership, enabling you to ensure that your investment lasts. You do not have to pay a motorcycle mechanic to keep up with certain motorcycle basics. Follow these tips for how to maintain your motorcycle’s tires, wheels and windshield.

1)Β Take care in cleaning your motorcycle windshield.

  • Clean bugs off your windshield as soon as possible because some bug residue has chemicals that can damage windshields.
  • Pre-soak the windshield for 10 minutes with a mixture of glass cleaner and windshield washer solution before washing your windshield. This helps remove dried, stuck-on bug residue.
  • Use a thick, industry quality sponge and a mild detergent to wash your motorcycle windshield.

2)Β Check and clean your motorcycle wheels regularly.

  • Perform a regular inspection for any cracks in the rim or hub.
  • Spin the wheels and listen for a rumble in the hub. This is a sign of loose bearings.
  • Watch how your motorcycle wheels rotate when the bike is lifted. A side-to-side wobble is indicative of an axle runout, while an up-and-down hop is indicative of a radial runout.
  • Tap each spoke with a wrench and listen. A high ping means the spoke is tight, the way it should be, and a dull thud means you need to have that spoke tightened.
  • Use a corrosion protectant after you clean aluminum motorcycle wheels to protect them against rust.

3)Β Maintain your tires for safety and to reduce tread wear. (Β It is not often that a properly maintained tire blows out, so it is very important to follow these guidelines for tire maintenance)

  • Replace your tires sooner rather than later and/or at the first sign of dry rotting (cracking), or when you see your treads are worn shorter than 0.3 inch (2mm).
  • Check your tires regularly for embedded objects and have them removed by a qualified professional as soon as possible.
  • Pay close attention to the air pressure in your motorcycle tires. You should always keep them inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications. Keep in mind that the air pressure recommendations can differ between the front and back tires.
  • Drive your motorcycle slowly and cautiously for the first 100 miles (259 km) to break in new motorcycle tires.
  • Use a mild detergent specially formulated for tires when you wash your tires.

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