Keep your bike in good shape

Keep your bike in good shape

The mechanics of motorcycle garages see motorcycles arriving for service in poor condition, even damaged, simply because basic checks and maintenance have been neglected.

A good part of the routine maintenance, checks and possible top-ups or adjustments, can however be carried out without worry and without tools by a beginner in mechanics.

Before each operation or dismantling carried out for the first time, however, it is necessary to find out about the tools and/or spare parts required.

Logically, a motorcycle that is old and/or in poor condition will pose more problems for a novice mechanic.

Adapt your interventions to your level of mechanics, ask for help if needed and train yourself as much as possible before you start.

Conversely, if you have the idea of ​​carrying out your maintenance yourself, choose your motorcycle according to your knowledge in the matter.

Secure your back

If you are afraid of “making a dumpling” and hesitate to embark without a safety net on a proper disassembly of your brand new bike, two securities to reassure you.

On the one hand, the look of an experienced motorcyclist or a more or less confirmed mechanic who will give you the necessary advice, at least for the first time (pay attention, however, to the friend who claims to be competent, there is a nuance between “carry out a mechanical operation” and “do it correctly”, without forgetting that the same manipulation can be done differently between two models of motorcycles).

On the other hand, reading the owner’s manual and/or the Technical Motorcycle Review (RMT, to be ordered from ETAI editions ) which will tell you how to proceed according to your specific model of motorcycle.

Sites, files and books

Otherwise, you can get a technical manual, mechanical works, RMT from specialized booksellers, online or not.

I point out among others the Moto Fiches site , which presents, in the form of microfiches, the manuals of very many motorcycles.

If you want to learn mechanics online, there are some specialized websites, more or less well done:

the All About Motorcycles site ;

the Moto Mécanique Facile website ;

the Mechanical section of Eric Cabrol’s site;

the Engine Bench site , which gives the main principles of general mechanics.

There are also books dedicated to motorcycle mechanics, most of which can be found second-hand.

Fortunately because most of these books date back more than ten years, from a time when many machines worked with carburettor engines, without electronic injection, where there was no need for a computer to operate on an engine and where a rider could still do all of their maintenance themselves without going to a dealership.

Today, it’s more difficult, but we still manage to tinker…

To start by understanding what we are talking about, two very good books, unfortunately out of print:

“  Motorcycle technology vol  the engine  ” and “  Motorcycle technology vol  the cycle part ”.

There was also a very good series of motorcycle technical books from the early 2000s, which must still be secondhand:

”  Motorcycle Maintenance and Technique “, ”  Motorcycle Electricity Practice  ” and ”  Breakdowns and Diagnostics motorcycles ”.

In new or recently used, these two books, which I find less good, but which have the merit of existing and of being easy to find:

“  Knowing your motorcycle  ” and “  Maintaining your motorcycle ”.

For an already more advanced level, two good books by François-Arsène Jolivet: “  Motorcycle, optimizing engine performance: Tools, Preparation, Engine, Lubrication, Tips and tricks  ” and “  Troubleshooting & restoring your motorcycle ”.

Finally, this one, which I don’t know: ”  Motorcycle and scooter, repair, maintenance “.


Enfin, pour aller plus loin et apprendre « en vrai », en pratique, avec des bons, il existe des stages de mécanique moto, souvent proposés par des associations

Create your maintenance plan

When you have acquired some experience in terms of maintenance, you will be able to establish your own inspection sequence for your motorcycle, more or less detailed depending on the conditions of use and your region.

For example, if you routinely ride off-road or if the environment is particularly dusty, you will need to clean or replace the air filter more frequently than is recommended as part of normal maintenance.

The beauty of regular maintenance is that it eliminates many small, inexpensive and easy-to-resolve problems before they turn into costly breakdowns that can keep the bike down for long periods of time.

By inspecting your motorcycle regularly, you will be able to detect problem areas and anticipate major interventions that may be required in the immediate future.

This will allow you to plan the work by ordering the parts in advance if necessary and by carrying out the intervention at a time when the immobilization of the motorcycle will bother you the least.

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