TWO UP RIDERS

3 Tips for Motorcycle Maintenance Before You Go Touring

3 Motorcycle Touring Mechanical Tips

A note about mechanical issues.

When taking a long trip, it is really helpful to know something about how your bike works and a bit about how to fix things on it, at least basic motorcycle maintenance. You should at least be able to answer these questions:

  • Where is the fuse box located and how do you change a fuse? Do you have spare fuses with you?
  • Where is the battery?
  • If you have a bike with a lot of plastic, do you know how to remove fairing parts to get at what you need to fix?
  • How would you change a burned out headlight or brake light?
  • How do you check and fill the tires with air? What should the tire pressure be? Remember, the front and back may be different pressures.
  • Do you have a tool kit that came with the bike? If not, I suggest putting one together with some commonly used wrench sizes, pliers, screwdrivers, tape, a flashlight, etc.
  • Do you have a repair manual? Not the owner’s manual, which is not very helpful, but a repair manual? If you have a repair manual, you probably can’t bring along the whole thing, but maybe look through and see if photocopying a few pages might be worthwhile.

Before you leave the comfort of your own garage, tinker with the bike a little.

Figure out what is where and how to remove some of the fairing components. Change the oil yourself. Check the brakes, check the fluids, etc. If you can’t do that, you would do well to figure these out before a long trip. This is where the internet is super helpful. I’ve learned so much about how to work on my Goldwing (as well as my 1985 VW Vanagon) from really helpful people on vehicle-specific forums. Answers that might take me days to figure out, were answered overnight by others that went through the same problem before me.

6 comments

  1. I am wanting to go on a trip with a few friends, and I certainly wouldn’t want to break down. I think that having the bike looked at to make sure you don’t have any underlying problems could be very helpful. I’ll have to look into having the bike looked at by a professional as I might not see everything.

  2. I agree that it is important to know where everything is located. At least in this case you would know where to look and what you were looking at while inspecting your motorcycle. Thank you for the reminder that sometimes the front and back tires have different pressure limits, this is what I always forget. I will definitely be using your article as a reference to make sure that I am taking care of my motorcycle!

  3. I am so glad that I came across this article! My husband recently bought a motorcycle and he is going to be touring with some of his buddies. I really want to make sure that he is safe and doesn’t have any problems. I’ll be sure to pass this information on to him, thank you for sharing!

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