If your bike has been in the garage for awhile, or you drove it home from work last night, it's always good to check it out a little bit more carefully, especially if you're about to go on a long trip. Not only does it save you time and money in the long run, but you can never simply take things for granted when you're out of the road. An old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure". We know a few things about bikes and have some tips for you that maybe you thought of, or maybe you haven't.
Check your headlights, directionals, tail light, and brake light every time you ride. Not only do they help you see where you're going, but they help others see you! Also, nobody needs a ticket: we've heard the cost of a citation for a tail light being out is a little bit more than the cost of a new bulb. If a light is out, it is easy to do it yourself. Consult your owners' manual and/or service manual for correct type and removal.
Before you ride, sit on your bike and take a look in the mirrors to be sure they're adjusted properly. How do they look? Can you see behind you? How clean are they? It's good to do this in the driveway before you get on the road; adjusting them while the vehicle is moving is very dangerous. Plus it's really hard to spray Windex on a mirror going 70 mph.
It's good to check tire pressure often, and daily when you are on a long trip, and always using an accurate gauge. Your owners' manual will tell you the correct tire pressure and load rating. Keep in mind that air pressure can change with air temperature. If there's less than 50 percent of the tread left on your tires, or if there's any noticeable cracks, cuts or signs of distress, replace them. Tires should be changed by an authorized Harley-Davidson® dealer, like your friends at Worth-Harley Davidson in Kansas City, Missouri.
Check your bike for any fuel, oil or hydraulic fluid leaks. Give the cases and lines a once over to make sure there are no leaks or damage. If any lines look cracked or worn, it's a good idea to have them replaced. We can do that, too.
One of the great things about Harley-Davidson® motorcycles is that they're made to make oil changes as easy as possible. Don't ignore the maintenance schedule if you do it yourself. And make sure the used oil is properly disposed of. Seal it in an approved container and take it to a legitimate oil disposal facility. This is no cost, most of the time.
Check the levers and controls of your bike to make sure they're working properly. There's a few things to check out: front and rear brakes, throttle, clutch, and shifter levers. Also examine the steering for smoothness by turning the handlebars through the full range of operation. It always feels better knowing that your bike is ready for everything before you have to find out for yourself.
Lots of high-mileage bikes have chains in need of lube, or maybe have debris stuck in them. It's easy to take care of both. Also keep your eyes out for excessive rust. Small amounts can be easily removed but large amounts can mean it's time for a new chain. A decent quality motorcycle chain should give you about 15,000 to 20,000 miles, sometimes more sometimes less, but don't just take that for granted.
This isn't quite as crucial, but you extend the life of your battery by regularly checking and correcting its water level. It's as easy as looking at it with a flashlight for most models. In warm weather climates, like Missouri in August, check the water level on a regular basis. Otherwise, every 2,500 miles is a good guideline. For those who can't ride as often as they'd like, install a battery charger with a convenient disconnect. If you travel often, for instance, the charger will help you avoid a dead-battery right before you need to leave. Newer batteries, even though not filled with water, still need to be checked for their ability to hold a charge. Stop by with us if you do not have the proper equipment to perform this check.