/ Tips & Advice

5 motorcycle maintenance hacks for everyday DIY

Make your garage work easier with these DIY hacks.

Chain Lubrication

If you’ve ever worked on your own motorcycle at home, you may find that certain inconveniences can really work against the rhythm of your work. Anything from having to clean up unnecessary oil spills, being frustrated with persistent stains, or simply having a hard time drying your motorcycle after a good wash. While it is frustrating to deal with a few of these inconveniences, finding a solution to our garbage problem can be quite the relief we all need. If you’re an avid DIYer looking for an easier time in the garage, a few of these maintenance hacks may very well be some of the solutions you’re looking for.

Chain lubrication

Manual Transmission Fluid

Finding the right lubricant for our motorcycle chains can be a tricky subject. Many owners will swear by expensive and branded lubricants for your chain, and on the flip side, other motorcyclists claim that cheap multipurpose oils will do the trick. Proper chain maintenance, however, can be done properly without skimping on cheap oils and without having to break the bank. Manual transmission fluid (MTF) or gear oil has been the go-to chain lubrication oil for many motorcyclists before mainstream and branded chain lubricants hit the market. A bottle of 90 weight gear oil will cost you a mere P300 or less and can last for about a year. When compared to mainstream and branded lubricants, gear oil protects and lubricates chains just as well—if not better, making it a great hack for those who maintain their own chains at home.

Trash bags

Honda XR150L Oil Change

If you’ve ever attempted an oil change or coolant flush job at home, you might know the difficulty of having to find a suitable drain pan for the job and the pain of disposing of the old fluids and cleaning the pan afterward. Trash bags, however, make for a great way to dispose of old fluids. Simply get a small or medium-sized trash bag and wrap them over a small bucket or container. Your fluids can drain straight into the trash bag, which can then be tied shut for proper disposal later on at a proper disposal center. You won’t need to purchase additional drain pans, nor will you have to deal with cleaning engine oil out of a pan.

WD-40 deep clean

Honda XR150L Cleaning

Acid rain and the variety of dust and dirt on the road can make for an unhealthy combination of contaminants for your motorcycle chassis and body panels. Some motorcyclists will know the pain of having to deal with pesky stains that won’t seem to scrub away no matter the strength of soap you use. If you’re cleaning your motorcycle and find a few stubborn stains that won’t ever seem to clean away with a normal wash, you might want to consider using a small amount of WD-40. Simply spray a small amount of the WD-40 lubricant on the dirty and lightly scrub away with a microfiber towel. If the stain does not go away, do not scrub harder—you might need a professional detailing job instead. But if the stain does go away, make sure to wash away the remaining WD-40 from your motorcycle with soap and water immediately as WD-40 can be harmful to your paint and plastics if left on for prolonged periods of time.

Homemade degreaser

Husqvarna 401 Degreaser

If you don’t have WD-40 at home for stain removal and are looking for a cheap, homemade solution to clean heavy stains on your body panels, chassis, and engine, you might want to consider creating your own homemade degreaser. For this garage recipe, you will need 1 part baking soda, 4 parts of liquid soap, and 16 parts of white vinegar. Mix the solution together until fully blended and pour into a spray bottle for usage on your motorcycle components. Make sure to give the bottle a quick shake and spray on a healthy amount of your homemade degreaser on your motorcycle components. As with any degreaser, leave the solution to sit on the motorcycle for a few minutes before scrubbing off gently. Make sure to clean your solution from your motorcycle with soap and water afterward in order to protect your components.

Drying after washing

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Gauges

A motorcycle wash is never complete without a thorough drying job. Unlike cars however, drying a motorcycle with a towel is not as straightforward. While certain plastic components and body panels may be easy to wipe, having to dry off the chassis and engine area can be a bit tiresome and difficult given how tight the space can be. If you’re looking for a way to quickly dry off these areas, simply fire up your motorcycle’s engine and let the heat speed up the evaporation process. You can even take your motorcycle for a quick spin around the block to shake up the suspension components for faster drying. Just make sure that your motorcycle is squeaky clean when you end up drying your motorcycle this way as you will not want a mix of dirt and water to dry out and stain your bike through this process.

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