Car and bike servicing edition: Maintenance guide for motorbikes

How to maintain your bike
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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Many people think that maintaining a motorbike is much easier than maintaining a car in Singapore because of the size and make of a motorbike. “Engine so small, so easy!” While there is some truth to that, having a bike that is supposedly “easy” to service can make motorbike owners procrastinate. 

What are some things you can do regularly to prolong the life (and value!) of your motorbike? We have a few quick motorcycle care tips so you don’t end up at the repair workshop too often! 

Regular engine oil change is the most effective way to prolong the life of your motorbike  

Wondering what is the best way to take care of a motorbike? We’d say that changing the engine oil and its filter regularly is one of the most important ways to maintain a bike. The engine oil lubricates and cools down the engine internals, preventing the engine from seizing due to excessive heat. 

As the engine of a motorbike is on the outside rather than inside (like a car), it is actually a fairly simple task you can do within an hour. You can refer to this set of instructions on how to change your engine oil.

When should you change your motorbike’s engine oil? Refer to your motorbike owners’ manual. This could be after every 6,000km but it depends on how frequently you ride your bike as well. You can manually check the oil on the dipstick and change immediately if the oil is black and gritty, or refer to your dashboard warning lights to know when you should change your engine oil and its accompanying filter. 

Using the right petrol is more important than using the most expensive one 

There is a misconception that a more expensive petrol with a higher octane number is premium and therefore better than regular petrol. If you have more money to spare, always go for the premium one, right? No. Not in this case anyway. 

A higher octane is necessary to support an engine with a high compression ratio. So, if you’re not using a motorbike that requires high-octane fuel (read: most 2A/2B bikes), using it wouldn’t give you any more power than your standard-compression engine can take. 

Pro-tip: Save your money and only use petrol with the recommended octane level as stated in your owners’ manual.

Keep your motorbike chains rust and dirt-free

It is a science – moisture and oxygen causes corrosion to metals. With the wet season upon us, bike owners feel that putting on a motorbike cover would minimise damage to their bikes. It does help to minimise the surface area in which corrosion happens and helps with damage to paintwork when it inevitably falls, but the motorbike chain will still be rusting away while it sits in the humid carpark. 

Caring for your motorbike isn’t too difficult. Whether it’s a simple- or sealed- chain, buy yourself a chain cleaner to brush away the grime and dry the chain. Once the chain is wiped dry from grime, apply a chain lubricant and you’re good to go! Check out this tutorial on how to clean and maintain the bike chain here.

Engage your workshop mechanic to get the best price 

When you’re looking for a motorbike servicing workshop, choose one that gives you good advice on what your bike needs, weighs your immediate against longer-term needs, performs high-quality work, and ultimately has your safety at heart. To do that, you’ll definitely need to spend time and money to develop a good working relationship with the mechanic. 

Should you go to the workshop your friend recommends? While your friends may encourage you to go to their “favourite workshop,” they may be encouraging you to go there because they have referral discounts. Take such recommendations with a pinch of salt. 

Instead, ask questions and have a good chat with the mechanic when you’re choosing a workshop. You shouldn’t feel coerced to commit to motorbike servicing you don’t need and packages you can’t afford. 

If you’re not keen to send your bike for servicing because of the costs involved, use Carousell’s motorbike maintenance checklist here! You can do the regular checks on your bike yourself, and then send it to the motorbike servicing workshops when it crosses the 6,000km mark.  

As a general rule of thumb, if the feeling of your ride changes or you start to hear changes in how the engine sounds, don’t ignore those signs. Use the Carousell motorbike servicing checklist, take a good look at the different parts of your motorbike and check before you take it out for another ride. 

 

Stay safe, and happy biking!

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