Gadget's Motorcycle Maintenance
General Checklist

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General Procedure

Electrical Check head light high/low beam, tail/brake light, turn signals, instrument and driving lights.
Test Kill button/switch and inspect overall wiring for chafe. Use wire ties to secure loose wires. A shot of WD-40 will keep switches & locks healthy.
Check battery levels and clean terminals. Baking soda & water will clean corrosion from the post (Don't get it in the battery!), a little Vaseline or grease will help prevent future corrosion.
If the bike has a fuse box, check 'em and get spares.
Check levels. If engine/transmission oil is black or very dark & burnt, change oil & filter. Change oil if mileage/time indicates it's due.
Inspect fuel filter & screens for crud and check lines for chafe and dry rot.
Water cooled Engines: Check coolant/anti-freeze level, and check flow/pump/hoses.
Brakes Check and adjust lever & pedal travel. Refer to your owners/shop manual for specs.
Check master cylinders for
clean brake fluid & proper fluid levels.
Inspect pads/liners and replace if needed. Don't let a front brake grab on wet pavement.
Irregular or "jerky" stopping may mean a warped rotor or drum.
Brakes are possibly the most important component on a bike. Don't bet your life on worn brakes!
Tires &
Inspect tires for even wear and dry rot (cracking) or cuts in side walls.
Inspect valve stems for dry rot (and rim cuts on tube stems).
Check air pressure. Do not over inflate especially in
Hot conditions/climate.
Inspect rims for dents, cracks (alloy) and
Carefully tighten loose spokes.
Check axles, axle nuts & hardware for tightness & wear and lube the bearings.
Inspect drive chain(& lube) or belt for excessive wear and adjust/replace as needed.
Engine &
Check spark plugs. Brown to grayish-tan is good. Black is probably from burning oil or a rich fuel/air mix., light gray or whitish can mean a lean fuel/air mix or an intake leak.
Check carbs, and adjust float level(s) & idle/fuel/air. Clean carbs are happy carbs... Aerosol Carb/Injector cleaner can work wonders on carburetor or fuel injected motors.
Inspect/adjust ignition components & replace old spark plugs & wires.
About every 500 miles, check nuts, bolts & screws for tightness.
Inspect oil lines for leaks, cracks or chafe & look for oil leaks from the engine/trans. case(s).
Inspect air filter(s) and if dirty, replace or clean depending on type.
Inspect exhaust for leaks(especially at the manifold) and check mounting brackets.
Frame &
Check/tighten/torque all nuts & bolts & engine/trans. mounting hardware.
Look for hair line cracks around engine/transmission mounting brackets.
Check steering head/fork assembly for looseness/tightness and adjust if needed.
Lube steering(tree) bearings.
Check front forks for leaks. Replace seals if necessary
Check fork fluid level (refer to owners manual, use only approved hydraulic fluid).
Inspect rear shock(s), (replace if worn or soft) and check fender mounting brackets/hardware.
Inspect handle bars for cracks, check mounts and oil all cables.
Tool Kit &

(Admittedly an "over the top" list)
Wrench set. *Sockets with ratchet, extensions
U-swivel. Screw drivers. Pliers (needle nose, vice grip & slip joint).
Crescent wrench.
Hex wrenches.
Small utility knife.
Small hammer & punch.
Hack saw blades.
Thickness gauge.
12v test lamp.
Assorted nuts, bolts, cotter pins, etc.
Chain mast. link & spare links.
Spark plugs.
Ign. points or module.
Hose clamp.
Spoke wrench.
Elect. Tape.
Elect. wire.
Flat tire plug kit. (tubeless tires only)
Sm. tube silicon/gasket maker.
Picture (braided)wire.
1 Qt. Oil.
Shop rag.
Small flash light.
8'x10' poly plastic sheet.
Cell Phone

Some Items Should Be Checked Before Every Ride, Others During Spring/Fall Thorough Maintenance. You Should Determine What's Appropriate For Your Riding Style/Bike And Mark Items Accordingly. 

Please Ride Safe!!