Harley Davidson Maintenance tips.
Here we are, the sun starts to shine, the days are getting longer, and we start to fell the summer vibes all around us. But some of us are still stuck at home. Due to the health emergency this year we have not yet been able to get our two wheels out. However, you can see the light at the bottom of the tunnel. But then, how best to prepare the return on the street with our beasts? Here you are a list of Harley Davidson Maintenance tips and precautions to keep in mind before starting the engine. Remember that it is advisable to take these precautions every time the motorcycle remains stationary for a while.
Why proper maintenance is a must?
First of all, let’s bust a myth. Harley Davidson bikes do not need more maintenance than other bikes. Harleys are solid and reliable bikes, especially when they’re taken care of with love and kindness, also when we’re not using them.
Following proper maintenance goes a long way. It keeps the bike always at top performance. You will save bucks thrown no-sense at replacement parts and ultimately, you will be always riding safely. Moreover, it will make your Harley feel loved, and it never hurts!
Regular maintenance can save your life.
Also, remember to always follow the user manual. It is pretty exhaustive and we think that is better to follow what the people who built the bike say.
When you’re not using your bike:
A battery does not give big problems even for a long time if well preserved. The best way to keep it in the best possible shape is to disconnect it from the motorcycle and make sure that it is not exposed to too low temperatures.
We particularly advise you to disconnect the battery if you own a gel battery. Gel batteries are more prone to lose charge and degrade performance when not used for a while.
Before starting the engine:
Probably your battery may require a recharge, but this is not a big issue because there are many rechargers on the market. Before putting the battery back on the bike, just make sure the posts (the battery contact points) are not covered with white or green powder or flakes. These are definitely signs of post corrosion. If the battery is corroded, it is better if you replace it.
When not using your bike:
We recommend keeping your bike on a stand for periods of inactivity, to prevent your tires from ovalize.
Before starting the engine:
Keep the bike on the stand and
- check that the tread wear is within the legal limits.
- Then spin the wheel and check that there are no cracks on the tire.
In the event that one of the two checks fails, we recommend changing your tires.
Now put the motorcycle on the ground and inflate the tires following the instructions stated in the maintenance manual. The pressure values are usually:
- between 1.9 and 2.2 bar for the front wheel and
- between 2.1 and 2.6 bar for the rear wheel.
The braking system is one of the most important elements of your bike. We advise you to check it regularly and not only during periods of inactivity.
- First of all, check that the brake fluid level is between the minimum and the maximum (the bike must be straight).
- If the level is below the minimum, don’t top up, but check the pads. Most likely they will be worn out and you will have to change them.
- Replacing them you will find that the liquid will have returned to its optimal level.
- If the pads are not worn, then check that there are no liquid leaks in the system and, if it is the case, contact a mechanic.
Oil maintenance tips.
Checking the oil is one of those checks we have to periodically do. The oil lubricates the internal parts of our engine and cleans it of any slags or residues.
For this reason it is important to always use quality oil and check its level, replenishing if necessary. If the motorcycle has not been used for a long time, it is advisable to completely replace the oil.
This is because over time the oil loses its lubricating qualities, even if not used. Be sure to use only certified products to avoid damages.
To check the transmission, we rely on checking that the chain is properly cleaned, lubricated, and tight. If during the rotation of the rear wheel you noticed a little fluid and noisy movement, the chain is probably not properly lubricated or tightened. it will, therefore, be necessary to clean and fatten it.
it is necessary to check that the chain links are flexible, as it may happen that after periods of inactivity some of them become blocked. if some of them are blocked, the chain must be replaced to avoid engine problems and safety problems.
To check the chain tension:
- Move the lower part up and down, and measure the oscillation with a meter. Usually, the reference value should be between 25 and 30 mm but it is always advisable to consult the use and maintenance manual.
- To change the chain tension, it is possible to use nuts close to the rear wheel.
It is always necessary to refer to the use and maintenance manual or contact the mechanic to avoid damaging the motorcycle.
Last but not least
After reconnecting the recharged battery you can start the engine and let it warm up to a minimum before leaving.
In the meantime, we will do the last but very necessary checks.
- It is quite important to fill up with fuel as the old one loses its anti-knock abilities.
In the long run, if you keep riding with bad fuel you may start to hear annoying bangs, and piston damages may occur.
- Then check all the headlights, remember that they are important for yours and others safety.
We also check that the coolant level is slightly above the minimum and that the pump and the fan are working.
- For pump and fan, just check the temperature of the liquid in the appropriate indicator (if the bike is equipped with it).
- After rising to the operating level, the level should remain fixed for a while, then it will rise and you will hear the fan starting. The fan will cool the liquid and the level should return to its operating conditions. If that is not the case contact a mechanic.
Once all the checks are done you can finally get on your bike. But remember to accelerate gradually at the beginning, the engine at this time has warmed up, but the other mechanical parts such as the transmission still do not.
We hope that you enjoyed these Harley Davidson maintenance tips! You can bookmark this page to have this mini-guide at hand whenever necessary! And don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter here above!
Now unleash your spirit and go where your bike takes you, but always in safety 🙂