- Written by Carole Nash Editor
- Created: 03 September 2015
If you want to keep your motorcycle running year after year, then even the smallest amount of attention to its upkeep can go a long way. As a minimum, you should be doing a few simple checks at regular intervals. Take a look at our maintenance checklist below for some handy tips when it comes to keeping your two wheels on the road. It's also worth taking a look at your bike's specific owner's manual for a more detailed breakdown of what you should be doing, and when.
Looking for a motorbike maintenance checklist in PDF format that you can print off? We've got you covered, scroll down for more information.
Get your documents in order
Make sure you always have the following in place:
- The V5 logbook
- Insurance documents
- Road tax
- MOT (where applicable)
Before any ride – particularly a lengthy one – you should carry out a few quick checks:
- Fuel: check your fuel level. Sounds obvious, but that doesn't mean you should neglect it!
- Battery: check you have plenty of charge.
- Throttle: check it rotates smoothly and snaps shut.
- Cluctch: check the clutch and gear change levers.
- Brakes: check the level and pedal are nice and smooth.
- Oil level: start the engine and let it idle for five minutes. Stop the engine, leave it to stand for a while, and then use the dipstick attached to the filler cap.
- Front brake fluid: set the handlebars so the brake fluid reservoir is level, and check through the window in the reservoir body.
- Suspension: front and rear should be nice and smooth.
- Steering: should move smoothly from lock to lock.
- Drive chain: check it isn't too tight or loose, and lubricate if needed.
- Tyres: check for wear and tear, or anything stuck in the tread. Check the tyre tread is deeper than 1.6mm.
- Lights: check everything turns on and off again – headlight and tail light, brake lights, instruments and turn signals. Check the horn sounds properly, too.
Every 600 miles
After 600 miles, you should really pay a bit more attention to the drive chain – it will need a clean, lubrication and adjustment at this point along with the usual checks.
Every six months
After six months, you'll need to carry out a few slightly more thorough checks. Some of these may be a little tricky, especially the valve clearances, so it's always worth asking your local dealership or buddy to lend a hand if you're unsure about anything.
- Spark plug
- Engine idle speed
- Valve clearances
- Fuel system
- Crankcase breather
- Starter safety circuit
- Wheel bearings
- Steering head bearings
You should also do a bit of maintenance too – the following areas will need lubricating to stay in tip-top shape.
- Clutch and throttle cables
- Handlebar lever pivots
- Gear change lever
- Brake pedal
- Stand pivots
Every 12 months
In addition to the usual checks, at this point you should also do the following:
- Check nuts, bolts and fastenings on all areas of the bike, and tighten up anything that has come loose
- Change the spark plug
Every 18 months
By this point, you've probably had put your motorbike through its annual service, meaning that all oil and filter changes should already be done. If not, it's all of the above and more:
- Replace the air filter
- Clean the engine oil strainer
- Clean the centrifugal filter
- Change the front brake fluid
Download our Motorbike Maintenance Checklist
Click here to download our maintenance checklist PDF in a format that's easy to print off and keep up to date throughout the year!
Follow these checks and keep your motorcycle properly maintained, and you'll be sure to get the most out of your bike for years to come. It may seem like there's a lot to do, but these checks don't take long – proof that a little can really go a long way!