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DIY Motorcycle Maintenance

13 May 2019

DIY Motorcycle Maintenance

This might seem like a strange topic to cover when we have our own service department, but as many of our technicians will tell you, there’s a lot of maintenance that should be happening at home. The advantages are that it’ll help the bike last longer and it’ll allow you to catch problems before they get out of control. Abernathy’s Harley-Davidson has provided some of these key maintenance checks that you should be performing at home, so that way when you visit our service department for a professional checkup, your bike will have a clean bill of health. We’re in Union City, Tennessee, near Jackson, Paducah, and Cape Girardeau.


This is an easy one for everyone, no matter what kind of skills you have with mechanics. Tire health is paramount to efficient and safe riding, so you’ll want to know right away if something is amiss. Check your tires every morning before you ride, especially if your bike’s been sitting for a bit of time.

Using psi recommendations from your owner’s manual, check the pressure levels in each tire and adjust as needed. This should happen first thing while the bike is still cold. You can use a simple tire pressure gauge to figure this out, which can then be tucked into one of your side bags. While you’re at it, inspect the tread for signs of damage or excessive wear and tear, which might mean you’ll need to replace it soon.


A bad battery means no motorcycle riding. Check the charge on your bike’s battery on a semi-regular basis. If you notice it’s low on power, you might just need to recharge it, although if your battery’s a little old, it might just need to be replaced.

When you know you’re getting ready to store your bike for an extended period of time, you’ll want to remove the battery entirely. This way, the bike can’t drain it when you’re not using it.


Just like your car needs a regular oil change, so will your motorcycle. We highly recommend changing the oil once every six months or so, but that doesn’t have to be the only time you look at it. Consider checking the oil level and condition periodically, just to ensure everything is still where it needs to be. Also inspect the oil to see if it’s dark or sludgy, which can be a sign that you need to get fresh oil. If you notice metallic shavings or powder, contact our service department and make an appointment to get your motorcycle inspected by a professional. Metal residue in the oil can be a sign that there are engine parts grinding together.


This is another easy one. If one of your lights goes out, you don’t need a professional to replace it. If you need to replace a bulb, you can always consider getting LEDs. These will shine brighter and last longer while drawing less energy from the battery.


Your windshield is designed to take all the bugs, debris, and wind for you, which can be incredibly useful and also dirty it up pretty quickly. If you want your bike to keep looking fresh, you’ll want to wash the windshield fairly regularly, especially when the bugs come out. Just make sure not to scrub too hard, since you won’t want to scratch the surface.

There are other maintenance checks you can do at home, but it’s a good idea to get a professional to perform their own checks using their expertise and specialized equipment. When this time comes, contact our service department at Abernathy’s Harley-Davidson and we’ll set you up with one of our experienced technicians. We proudly serve Union City, Jackson, Paducah, and Cape Girardeau, Tennessee.