Taking your Harley Davidson out on the open road and feeling the wind rushing past is an exhilarating experience. The last thing anybody wants is for their Harley to have a mechanical problem on the road that requires an expensive trip to the auto shop. By tackling preventative maintenance on your Harley sooner, rather than later, you can save both time and money.
Preventative maintenance refers to the regular maintenance tasks of a vehicle that are done to help reduce the likelihood of a total mechanical breakdown. Tasks such as oil changes, tire rotations, fluid top-offs, and more all fall under the umbrella of preventative maintenance. It can be easy to neglect these tasks since they don’t actively cause a breakdown, but this neglect can potentially compound in the future and result in serious repairs.
To those unfamiliar with the term, preventative maintenance may not sound important. Regardless of whether you drive a car or a bike, it’s important to learn to follow a preventative maintenance schedule for a variety of reasons. Some of the primary benefits of following preventative maintenance include:
- The ability to spot problems earlier than normal
- Keeping your bike running in peak condition
- Getting more use out of your bike in the long-term
- Auto repairs will be able to be completed quicker
- You will save money on large repair jobs
- Your bike will have a higher resale value if you ever decide to sell
All vehicles have a recommended maintenance schedule listed in their owner’s manual. Refer to the one you received to get started with preventative maintenance, especially if you already missed passed check-ups. On top of that, handle any seasonal maintenance tasks your bike may need to help ensure it’s running properly.
Caring for your bike is about more than just taking the vehicle in at the recommended time. Below are five effective and cheap preventative maintenance tips that can save you money in the future:
If you think your bike’s tires look a little low on air, trust your gut and measure them yourself to see. Most street motorcycles have tires in the 28 to 40 psi range but check your owner’s manual to see what is recommended for your specific Harley. Avoid driving around on underinflated tires as this can damage them over time.
Following the general rule of thumb that recommends replacing your Harley air filter once a year or every 20,000 miles, whichever comes first, is a smart strategy. However, don’t just stop there. Chance out the oil and fuel filter while you’re at it to ensure everything is fresh.
Depending on the specific model your ride and its specs, a new Harley battery can range in cost from $60-$400, which is why monitoring its level is so important. If you notice something seems to be going wrong with your battery, take your bike in for troubleshooting so that the problem doesn’t get worse and cost you money.
Most Harleys will want to get an oil change after 2,500 miles following the initial 1,000-mile inspection. If you use semi-synthetic oil, then you can ride for 5,000 to 6,000 miles afterwards before getting a chance. However, if you use fully synthetic oil then you can enjoy a recommended 7,000 to 10,000 miles between oil changes. If you’re ever not sure a chance is necessary, check the oil levels yourself.
On a motorcycle, reaction time is everything. To that end, making sure your brakes are working properly always needs to be a top priority. You should aim to inspect your brake pads every 2,500 miles for wear and tear, but more frequently at 1,000 miles if you ride in rougher conditions. Also make sure to check the brake fluid level at this time as well.
No matter how well-constructed your Harley is, it’s inevitable that it will develop mechanical problems over time. Fortunately, preventative maintenance can help delay that from happening for as long as possible. You also don’t need to worry as much about major repairs being needed so long as you follow your maintenance schedule. Preventive maintenance will help you get back on the open road by saving you time and money.
Umar Nisar was born and raised in the busy city of Abbottabad. As a journalist, Umar Nisar has contributed to many online publications including PAK Today and the Huffing Post. In regards to academics, Umar Nisar earned a degree in business from the Abbottabad UST, Havelian. Umar Nisar follows the money and covers all aspects of emerging tech here at The Hear Up.