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You should consider how you use your engine as much a part of its maintenance as servicing it – get it wrong and its life will be substantially reduced.


The worst offence is to thrash a cold engine.


The engine oil is too thick to flow properly and you end up with metal touching metal just when the loads are at their highest and most damaging. Plain bearings such as on the crankshaft can partially seize while pistons score against cylinder walls.


The best way to warm an engine is not to leave it ticking over while you put on your lid – not enough heat is generated to do the job properly. Ride away as soon as the motor is started, but take it easy for a few miles – big air-cooled engines such as Harleys need 10 miles, but most are okay by three to five miles. In this time, avoid high revs or high loads and you’ll be repaid with much longer engine life.

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