A Harley Davidson motorcycle is a major source of pride among its owners and performing maintenance is an aspect of their bonding experience with the bike. It’s also necessary to get the most out of your investment and give yourself the safest ride. Listed are some primary points of reference for bike maintenance.
Standard Maintenance Schedule
The oil and filter should be changed at the first 1,000 miles, then 5,000 miles, then every 5,000 miles thereafter. The transmission lubricant should also be changed with the first 1,000 miles, then every 10,000 miles, along with the spark plugs. The following should also be tended to:
* At 10,000 miles, the steering head bearings need lubricating.
* At 20,000 miles, lubricate the steering head bearings again and adjust them if necessary. Also, change the front fork oil.
* At 25,000 miles, lubricate the master cylinder pistons, the front brake lever pin and the brake caliper pins. Replace the brake caliper boots, bushings and the rubber components in the master cylinders and calipers.
* At 30,000 miles, replace the rear fork bearings.
Maintenance for Winter Storage
Putting your bike away for the winter entails more than parking it in the garage. You want to store it in prime condition so that it runs properly when you restart it. Storing your machine for the winter entails:
* Changing the oil and filter.
* Adding fuel stabilizer and running the bike so the fluid flow through the fuel system.
* Remove the battery and plug it into a battery tender that will keep it charged through the winter or run your bike for a few minutes every few weeks to keep the battery charged.
* Properly inflate the tires and move the bike occasionally to even out the tire pressure.
* Clean the bike, polish your chrome and aluminum surfaces, wash the windshield and treat the leather surfaces with a protector.
* Store it indoors, or cover the Harley with a motorcycle cover, to protect it from the elements.
Pre-Ride Check List
Inspecting your Harley whenever you ride is a good idea, but it should always be done before you go on a long trip. A pre-ride review should consist of the following check points:
* Your fluids.
* Your controls, such as the brakes, throttle and steering.
* Your tire pressure.
* Your breaks.
* Your lights, like your signals, headlights and tail lights.
* Your mirrors, to make sure they are properly adjusted.
* Your battery.
* Inspect for leaks related to oil, fuel and hydraulics.
* Examine the drive belt and sprockets.
Make sure the tires are inflated so they wear properly and the bike handles normally. Check that both tires have their valve stems and they are in good condition. Test that your wheel spokes are tight by lightly running a screwdriver tip over them. A loose spoke sounds different than those with the correct tension.
A battery’s terminals and connectors should be kept clean. Test that the clamps and cables are tight since loose connections are usually the culprit when it comes to sudden battery failure. Keep the vent tube clear of any kinks and/or blockages.
The rotors to your brakes need to have a smooth surface that’s free of debris. Examine where the brake pads come in contact with the rotors to see if there’s any discoloration. Check your manual to verify the proper thickness of your brake pads.
It’s a good idea to have a friend look at your lights–front, back, brake and blinkers–while you flip the switches. You can use a wall or window for a reflection if you are testing them alone.