Absolutely, no bike enthusiast wants to cut short their riding time. With that being said, they spend extra effort in taking maintenance sessions which will most likely extend their motorcycle’s life for as long as possible.
Hence, if you are one of them you might also want to give tune-up some attention. Through this process, you can ensure that your bike will be road-ready for any ride you take for the years to come.
Most mechanics if not all will agree that regular bike check-up is the key to maintain road safety. So take time in reading this article for we will discuss what a tune-up requires along with its cost.
We will also tackle why it is a necessary part of motorcycle ownership. Otherwise speaking, you are about to know everything about a motorcycle tune-up.
What Is A Tune-Up?
From the day you purchase a bike, it is essential to change the air filter, brake fluid, coolant, and engine oil regularly. You might as well need to inspect and fix other components such as the spark plugs, chain, rotors, and brake pads.
To put it simply, a tune-up is checking all those stuff, replacing what has to be replaced, and adjusting what makes sense to be adjusted.
Why Does Your Bike Need to Be Tuned Up?
Tune-up is primarily done to improve the engine’s volumetric efficiency.
This means that after a tune-up, the engine can produce significantly greater power from similar displacement. With that being said, your bike will run as smoothly as new once again.
However, you must understand that a single tuning like changing oil, for example, cannot improve the engine's performance. Rather, it will be a result of collective modifications that are done in harmony.
What Is Included in the Tune-Up?
From this point on, we will discuss the things that need tuning as well as how you will be able to perform it just by yourself.
This step requires you to remove both wheels so that it will be easier for you to clean the frame and to tune-up its wheels. But before that, you first need to disconnect them from the brakes.
Use cleaning tools such as a rag for example to clean the sprockets of the wheels. Wipe down the rims, spokes, and hubs of both wheels using a dry rag. But if it is quite hard to clean you can soak your rag on water.
Then, check the hub adjustments. See to it that they spin freely and are not loose. Sometimes, you need to overhaul or adjust them.
But if you have limited time, you can just check both of the tires for wear and flat spots, change them if needed. Also, make sure that the pressure is correct.
Check the surfaces of brake pads by peeking underneath or you can also unbolt the calipers, then trim the wear ridges as needed. You have to use a razor blade for this, then use sandpaper to resurface them.
But if the pads are already worn past the indicated line, replacing them would be necessary. You need to do this specifically when the metal can already be seen on the surface.
Replacing them is not that hard, but you should go for a mechanic. See to it that the front brake has enough pressure wherein the lever will not hit the handlebar.
Also, check whether the pedal of the rear brake is strong. You will need to bleed the entire brake system if this is already mushy.
Your bike’s components such as its drive chain, ignition keyhole, fuel cap, and the brakes need lubrication. Thus, you need to put a few drops of light lubricant in these areas.
But you have to ensure that the oil will not get into the brake pads. Otherwise, it will collect dirt, so you have to wipe away any excess oil.
Other Necessary Adjustments
After the mentioned inspection and tightening on some parts, you now need to reinstall both of the wheels and to reconnect the brakes.
Adjust the cable tension and the brake pads as required. Then check the chain, you need to clean and lubricate them also.
But more importantly, you have to check the fluid levels. Replace the filters and oils as required.
Then check the battery of your motorcycle, charge it using the battery tender, and put it back after that. You also need to inspect and change the spark plugs when needed.
Make it a habit to perform the aforementioned steps so ensure that you will be good to go off-road. Start your bike and test drive on an open road to determine whether your bike can deliver the performance that you desire.
If you are wondering whether you should get a tune-up and how often it would be, then it would depend on how frequently you can afford it. As much as possible, get a tune-up after a 5,000-mile ride. But engine oil has to be changed per 2,500 miles.
Nonetheless, it would still depend on your usage, performing it semi-annually would be sufficient if you are not much of a heavy user.
But if you are, then a tune-up should be done more frequently. It too will depend on the road conditions as well as the model of your motorcycle.
Besides, the frequency will also vary with regard to the age of your bike or the specific part which requires inspection. For instance, brake fluids are typically changed every 2 years in approximate.
Whereas, things like engine oil and brake pads ought to be maintained regularly. But as you go along, you will naturally feel whether your bike needs it or not just yet.
In addition, make it a habit to check the tires, brakes, indicators, and lights every time you go for a ride.
It is also ideal to inspect the lubrication and chain tension monthly. At the same time, checking your bike’s control cables every two months would also be necessary.
A motorcycle tune-up has no particular cost. It varies across users because as I have mentioned earlier it will be dependent on your usage. Much more, it will also depend on the mechanic.
But usually, it would cost at least 60 dollars to change your bike’s oil or even for general maintenance which will keep it running smoothly.
Conversely, if your motorcycle needs inspection upon other parts such as spark plugs and filters for example, then the cost would of course increase accordingly.
You also have to take note that if you own a high-performance motorcycle then the cost would be relatively higher than the standard tune-up cost.
This is because such bikes require synthetic oil which is priced higher than the ordinary ones.
As such, you need to look into the owner’s manual to check the performance and specifics of your bike before bringing it to the mechanics for your tune-up session.
Now that you are already aware of the average cost of a tune-up as well as the recommended frequency of doing it, you will be able to keep your motorcycle running in good shape for a long period.
Not only that, but you can also save money now that you already know how to perform tuning up by yourself even if these are the very basic ones only.