Motorcycle Maintenance: What are the Most Replaced on a Motorcycle?

  • Motorcycle ownership means maintenance.

  • Maintain your bike properly and it will last for a long time.

  • But what the most replaced within every year?

Own a motorcycle and you have to keep maintenance in mind. Motorcycle maintenance is so much easier these days as parts and consumables last longer and are more reliable. That reliability means technicians only need to perform “big” maintenance jobs between longer intervals.

But what needs to be replaced the most frequently? Let’s looks at those items that generally fall within a single year of ownership.

1. Engine oil

The most obvious consumable that needs replacing. Oil change intervals can vary from motorcycle to motorcycle and the type of oil you use. Always check your user’s manual to confirm.

Mechanics usually recommend replacing semi-synthetics oils at 3,000 km and fully-synthetics oils at 5,000 km. However, there are manufacturers who recommend oil changes at 8,000- or 12,000 km depending on the recommended grade.

2. Spark plugs

Current iridium spark plugs need to replaced between 10,000 to 12,000 km, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendation. Of course, modern spark plugs are so good that they keep running even after 50,000 km but fuel economy and performance suffers. The degradation is progressive and you don’t even notice it. 

3. Fork oil

There are still many disputes about how often you should replace fork oil. Some manufacturers don’t even publish the interval in the user’s manual. It’s sad to say that fork oil is the most neglected consumable on a motorcycle.

Through personal experience, we replace it between 20,000 to 25,000 km.

The forks move up at down like the pistons in the engine do, albeit slower. That movement squishes the oil through orifices in the fork piston or cartridge to convert kinetic energy to heat. Hence the oil will definitely break down in time.

Do not wait until you see it starting to leak because you may not be sure how much has leaked out. Also, do replace the seals.

4. Brake pads

Brake pads slow you bike down by clamping down on the spinning brake disc, converting kinetic energy (movement) to heat.

The rate of wear depends on how you apply your brakes, from how fast, type of material riding condition (highway, dirt, rain) so there’s no set mileage. As such, you ought to check them at least once a week when you inflate your tyres. (You do check your tyre pressure right?)

5. Final drive i.e. chain, belt, driveshaft

The final drive is also one of the most neglected part. All types need to be kept clean, but the chain is the most maintenance intensive. Do clean and lubricate it after riding through a rain storm or after riding for 400 km. 

Again, depending on how you ride, maintain and type of chain you use, a good set should last you around 30 to 40,000 km. I’ve personally seen a poorly maintained chain with their broken rubber rings sticking out after just 8,000 km. Not only did he never cleaned it, but he never once lubed it, as well.

6. Battery

Modern batteries are really lasting provided that they are well-maintained. The common AGM (absorbent glass mat) maintenance battery could last approximately 2 years or if certain steps were taken since new. A new battery has to be charged after filling the acid, and plugged into a trickle charger during extended downtime. Also, the bike’s charging system shouldn’t undercharge or overcharge it.

An incorrectly activated or maintained battery can go kaput within 8 months to 1 year.

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