How To Look After One’s Motorcycle To Keep In Tip-Top Condition (Part 1 of 4)

Many people opt to use the motorcycle compared to cars nowadays due to its low fuel consumption, handy to operate, no parking problem, no problem with facing traffic jams and of course maintenance is much lower than cars.

But in reality, when you continue to read this article, you’ll be surprised, maintaining the motorcycle in good tip-top condition isn’t as simple and cheap as you think. Well, you are welcome to make your own conclusion after you have completed reading this article.

At first, it was not my intention to do a write-up on motorcycles. But after weighing the amount of articles my blog has concentrated on “cars”, I feel slightly uneasy some readers might think I am biased towards them, especially those who ride the 2 wheelers.

So then here goes.
1) Road Tax and Insurance Problem – There is no problem regarding this issue. Road tax is free. Pay only for the Insurance. Whether its 1st Party insurance or 3rd Party All Riders’ Insurance. I beg being unable to furnish you details. If you are using a runner’s service or the Post Office, you obviously, have to pay a small sum of fee.

2) Wear ideal clothes for motorcycle riding – Unlike cars, for motorcycles, ideally one is expected to wear jackets and gears for protection purposes. Wear leather gloves, high leather boots (up to knees ideally) and “goggles” for protection against dust, sand and insects. And no slippers, please.

3) Then there is the question of Safety Helmets – Here I mean Approved Sirim safety helmets. Ideally, use the best available in the market. If you have ever heard of “Bell“, that would be good. Hope the sound of the helmet doesn’t ring any bells in your head.

With the latest decision by the Transport Minister, Y.B. Ong Tee Keat regarding the banning of the “half coconut” looking so called “helmet” recently, you had better “chuck” the stupid looking thing into the nearest river.

For those who do not know the cost of a “Bell” helmet is, it is anything between RM500 to RM1000. Can you even imagine you and your girlfriend wearing this brand of helmets?

Another thing regarding helmets. The “shell”, after lapse of time, can become brittle, thus becomes unable to protect your “shell” (head) instead. So periodic inspection and purchasing of new helmets is necessary.

The “straps” of the helmet also undergo “wear and tear”. Therefore, they have to be changed.

A final word of advice. Choose bring coloured helmets like white, yellow and anything “bright”. Safer, so say the “experts”.

4) Checking of both the front and rear brakes – This is utmost importance. The “front” brakes and its cable can sometimes be jammed. It becomes difficult to “pull” or “apply” so to say. Do spray some “W.D. 40” on it. Don’t be lazy! It might save you some day from some nasty accident.

The foot brake has also to be adjusted periodically. Ensure the free play of the rear brake mechanism has no more than 1 – 1 1/2 inch of free play. Too much free play is “dangerous”.

If you yourself is capable of adjusting the rear brakes, well and good. If not, its time to visit “Wah Motor”. Hope you understand what my message is.

Some newer motorcycles nowadays have “hydraulic” brake system. You not only have to check the hydraulic fluid level in the plastic reservoir on the right hand side handle bar of your motorcycle but you also have to check the condition of the “disc brake” in the front wheel and also the condition of the “drum brakes” in the rear wheel as well.

5) Even small bikes, like bigger C.C. bikes nowadays have clutch cables to change gears. Cables means the possibility of getting jammed up. Make sure periodic “oiling” (use W.D. 40) to the cables is thus maintained.

Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4