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How Often Should You Take Your Motorcycle In For Maintenance?

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Posted on February 5, 2024

person riding motorcycle along coastal road with the caption: "how often should I maintenance my motorcycle?"

Riding the open roads in the open-air design of a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience. A motorcycle is also a gas-friendly option for daily transportation to work or school. The maintenance of a motorcycle isn’t as complex as that of a car or truck, but that doesn’t mean a motorcyclist should procrastinate or ignore the bike’s need for routine maintenance.

A poorly maintained motorcycle not only devalues the bike’s worth but also presents significant safety hazards for the motorcycle rider and others on the road. Further,  if a motorcyclist with an inadequately maintained bike is involved in a motorcycle accident—even when a driver is at fault for the accident—the biker’s failure to properly maintain their motorcycle could be used against them in a fault-based insurance system. So how important is the maintenance a motorcycle requires and how often should a motorcycle receive inspections and maintenance?

Perform a Brief Maintainance Exam Before Every Ride

Before every ride, a five-minute safety check on your bike is an easy and essential way to minimize the risk of an accident caused by a faulty or broken part or a maintenance issue. Before every ride, perform a brief maintenance exam by checking the following:

  • Check the conditions of your tires to prevent flats and blowouts. If it’s been a while since you checked tire pressure, that’s also important to check before a ride
  • Having functional brakes in top-notch condition is critical. Take a moment to check brake fluid levels in each reservoir. In the first minutes of your ride, check the brake function to ensure they’re working well and not making squealing or grinding noises
  • Check the oil level
  • Verify that all lights and signals work properly
  • Make sure your tank is full or has adequate fuel to get you to a gas station

A routine check before a ride only takes about five minutes and can prevent safety risks as well as damage to your motorcycle by clueing you into any urgent maintenance requirements.

How Often Does a Motorcycle Require Maintenance?

Unless you are a mechanic and deeply familiar with motorcycle maintenance and repair, you should take your bike in for regular routine maintenance. This includes the following:

  • Check the tire pressure every month. Most riders do this at home. Check it more frequently during dramatic weather changes such as a sudden drop in temperature
  • Use compressed air to routinely clean your air filter
  • Run monthly checks on your fuel filter to ensure it’s not clogged and examine fuel lines to make sure they haven’t degraded
  • Every six months or every 4,000 miles—whichever comes first—take your motorcycle to a professional to change the oil and check the chain tension and lubrication
  • Also, every six months, check the battery for cracks and other problems caused by vibration as well as the electrolyte level. Keeping the battery 100% charged while not in use helps to extend its life
  • Every two years, flush the motorcycle’s cooling system
  • Have the carburetor tuned every two years

Regular Repairs and Routine Maintenance Helps You to Enjoy the Ride and Arrive Safely at Your Destination

Whether you’re a weekend road warrior or you use your motorcycle for daily transportation, your bike deserves consistent care. The above list of regular routine maintenance covers the basics, but you should also perform safety checks after any ride that could cause issues with a bike, such as a ride on a dusty road or trail that could cause a clogged air filter. Also, always check the directions in the motorcycle’s manual, since not all bikes are the same and some require different maintenance schedules.