Replacement motorcycle parts are an often overlooked aspect of owning a bike. Here are 5 parts to include in your motorcycle replacement checklist.
On average, a motorcycle that hasn’t been involved in an accident or major breakdown should last over a decade — high-end bikes will last even longer.
However, you can extend a bike’s lifespan with religious upkeep and maintenance. This can seem complicated — not to mention expensive — but it’s really just a matter of sticking to a strict timeline for replacing fluids and parts. The idea is to pay for the little things now to avoid expensive repairs in the future.
Part of being a responsible rider is having a well-oiled machine — literally. So in recognition of National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, we’ve put together a guide on five common motorcycle parts that need regular replacement and when you should replace them.
Tires are not something you want to cheap out on or delay replacing. You’ll hear all kinds of advice about when to replace your tires.
For example, according to Michelin, you should have your tires examined by a mechanic after five years of use. Tires that haven’t been replaced in 10 years should be changed immediately, even if they look to be in good condition. You can also look at things from the mileage perspective — replace your front tire after 3,700 miles and your rear tire after 1,800 miles.
Both are good rules of thumb to follow. But you should still inspect your tires regularly, paying close attention to the wear indicators and defects such as squaring and cracked sidewalls.
Browse Service Honda’s range of OEM wheel assemblies for Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, and other motorcycle brands.
2. Brake Pads
Reliable brake pads are crucial to staying safe on the road. Bikes will come with one of two types of brake systems: drum or disc brakes. Both have serviceable brake pads designed to be replaced after a certain period or level of wear.
Fortunately, this is a simple job that even those with zero mechanical experience can do. Most brake pads have a wear indicator groove that disappears with repeated braking. Once that groove disappears, swap out the pads with a fresh pair.
The final drive is the assembly of gears connecting the front or rear axle to the engine. Modern motorcycles come in three final drive types: chain, belt, and shaft. Chains are the most common and can be serviced at home with regular tools. In contrast, belt and shaft systems typically require a professional mechanic.
Generally speaking, chains require the most maintenance but their exact time frame for replacement varies. A well-maintained chain and sprocket set can last up to 20,000 miles, but some bikes can require servicing after just 5,000 miles. Again, routine inspections are the way to go. If your chain is rusting or has too much slack, consider a replacement.
4. Spark Plugs
Corrosion is a telltale sign that your spark plugs need replacing. Spark plugs typically require servicing every 15,000 to 16,000 miles. But if you notice that your bike is sputtering, losing power, or taking too long to start, be sure to inspect your spark plugs and replace them if necessary.
5. Air Filter
The air filter is the thing that keeps dust, sand, and debris from entering your engine and wearing down its cylinder walls and piston rings. It’s generally recommended to pop in an OEM air filter every 10,000 to 15,000 miles, but be sure to consult your service manual for specific maintenance intervals.
What you may need to do more frequently, however, is to clean your air filter. If you live in a location with bad air pollution or do lots of riding in the sand and dirt, it’s a good idea to inspect and clean your filter every two months.
Over to You
Motorcycle parts are designed to be replaced. The key is to replace these parts before they fail and cause safety issues. Be sure to follow the Service Honda blog to get more safety tips and motorcycle riding guides. For your replacement parts, find OEM and aftermarket parts and accessories at Service Honda, and get up to 30% off on select items.