Your Motorcycle Maintenance Checklist + Guide

Feb 5, 2024


motorcycle mechanic going through motorcycle maintenance checklist your motorcycle checklist guide

Maintaining your motorcycle isn't just about keeping it looking good; it's about ensuring safety, reliability, and longevity. Whether you're a seasoned rider, renting out your bike, or new to the motorcycle community, understanding the essentials of motorcycle maintenance and repair is crucial. In this guide, we'll walk you through a comprehensive motorcycle maintenance checklist: from general maintenance to specific, like before each ride, or what to do yearly. 

TIP: Screenshot these checklists on your phone, print them out, or copy and paste them into your notes to manually keep track of what maintenance you’ve done!

Standard Motorcycle Maintenance Checklist

☐ Engine Oil and Filter: Regularly check and change the engine oil and filter.

Tires: Inspect tire pressure and tread depth; replace tires when worn.

☐ Brakes: Check brake pads and fluid levels; service as needed.

Battery: Regularly test the battery and keep it charged.

☐ Chain and Sprockets: Lubricate and adjust the chain; replace if worn.

☐ Air Filter: Clean or replace air filters to ensure efficient engine performance.

☐ Coolant: Check and replace coolant to prevent overheating.

☐ Lights and Indicators: Ensure all lights and indicators are functioning.

☐ Suspension and Steering: Inspect for smooth operation and proper alignment.

☐ Fluid Levels: Regularly check and top up all necessary fluids.

☐ OPTIONAL: Wash/detail your bike to avoid any corrosion and help fight rust. 

Keep reading for more checklists!

Check out these in-depth guides to learn more about maintenance:

T-CLOCS Inspection Checklist (Before You Ride):


T-CLOCS Inspection:

Tires and Wheels: Check tire pressure, tread depth, and look for any signs of damage. Ensure wheels are secure and spokes, if present, are not damaged or loose.

☐ Controls: Check levers, pedals, cables, hoses, and throttle for proper operation and condition.

☐ Lights and Electrics: Test all lights (headlights, tail lights, brake lights, turn signals) and the horn. Check the battery condition.

Oil and Fluids: Check oil, brake fluid, coolant (if applicable), and fuel levels. Look for any leaks.

☐ Chassis: Inspect the frame, suspension, chain/belt, and fasteners. Ensure everything is tight and aligned.

☐ Stands: Ensure the side stand and center stand (if equipped) are not damaged and retract properly.

☐ Fuel Level: Verify that you have enough gas for your ride.

☐ Mirrors: Adjust mirrors if necessary

☐ Brake System: Check both front and rear brakes for proper operation.

☐ Lights and Indicators: Test your headlights, brake lights, and turn indicators.

☐ Horn: Ensure the horn is loud and clear.

☐ Engine: Start the engine and listen for any unusual noises.

☐ Gear Check: Ensure you have all necessary gear, including a helmet, gloves, jacket, and proper footwear.

☐ Weather and Route Check: Verify the weather forecast and plan your route accordingly.

☐ Emergency Contact Info: Carry emergency contact information and ensure your phone is charged. 

☐ Tool Kit and First-Aid: Carry a basic tool kit and a first-aid kit for unexpected situations.

☐ License/Insurance/Registration: Ensure you have your license, insurance, and registration handy. 

Monthly Motorcycle Maintenance Checklist:

☐  Oil Level: Check and top up if necessary.

☐  Tire Pressure and Condition: Inspect for wear and damage.

☐  Brakes: Check pads, fluid level, and responsiveness.

☐  Chain/Belt: Clean, and lubricate the chain; check belt tension and condition.

☐  Battery: Clean terminals, check the electrolyte level.

☐  Coolant Level: Top up for liquid-cooled engines.

☐  Lights and Indicators: Test functionality.

☐  Control Cables: Lubricate and inspect for wear.

☐  Air Filter: Check and clean or replace.

☐  Suspension: Inspect for leaks and proper operation.

☐  Horn: Test for clarity and volume.

☐  Bolts and Fasteners: Tighten any loose parts.

☐  Cleaning: Wash bike to spot issues like leaks or rust.

man checking his motorcycle brakes as part of a monthly motorcycle maintenance checklist to ensure safe riding DIY motorcycle maintenance

Motorcycle Winterizing Checklist:

If you live in a colder climate, winterizing your bike is necessary to ensure it stays in top condition longer, and to prevent future (unnecessary) maintenance costs. Follow this motorcycle maintenance checklist before winter

☐  Fuel System: Fill the tank and add a fuel stabilizer to prevent corrosion.

☐  Oil and Filter: Change the oil and filter to remove contaminants.

☐  Battery Care: Remove the battery and store it in a warm, dry place. Consider using a battery tender.

☐  Tire Protection: Inflate tires to the correct pressure. Store the bike with tires off the ground if you can to prevent flat spots.

☐  Coolant Check: For liquid-cooled engines, ensure the coolant has appropriate antifreeze levels.

☐  Lubrication: Lubricate moving parts like the chain, cables, and controls to prevent rust.

☐  Exhaust and Intakes: Cover exhausts and air intakes to prevent pests from entering.

☐  Clean and Wax: Thoroughly clean and wax the bike to protect the paint.

☐  Cover the Bike: Use a breathable cover to protect it from dust and moisture.

☐  Storage Location: Store the motorcycle in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight.

☐  Insurance and Registration: Check the status of your insurance and registration for renewal dates. 

Yearly Motorcycle Maintenance:

Whether you ride more frequently or not, yearly maintenance on your motorcycle is inevitable. For those who don’t ride as often, these items will be more important to note, but if you ride frequently and haven’t checked these in a while, be sure to add them to your checklist. 

Oil and Filter Change: Replace engine oil and filter.

☐ Air Filter: Inspect and replace if needed.

☐ Brake System: Check pads, rotors, and fluid. Replace as necessary.

☐ Coolant: Replace coolant in liquid-cooled engines.

Battery: Test and replace if performance is declining.

Tires: Inspect for wear and replace if the tread is low. Double-check the year the tires were manufactured, and if it's over 5-7 years, plan on replacing them. If you’re not sure, look for cracks and if you find them, replace them immediately. 

☐ Chain/Belt: Adjust, lubricate the chain, or inspect the belt.

☐ Suspension and Steering: Check for proper operation and alignment.

☐ Lights and Electrics: Ensure all are functioning correctly.

☐ Fluid Levels: Top up all necessary fluids.

☐ General Inspection: Check for loose bolts and overall condition.

☐ Ride Test: Conduct a test ride to check for any unusual noises or behaviors.

picture of man adjusting chain on his motorcycle as part of a monthly DIY motorcycle maintenance checklist

How much does a motorcycle service cost? 

The cost of motorcycle service for maintenance can vary widely based on several factors, including the type of bike, the specific services required, the region, and the service provider. Here's a general breakdown:

Basic Service:

Includes oil and filter change, basic safety inspection, and chain lubrication.

Cost: Approximately $75 to $200.

Intermediate Service:

Might include everything in a basic service plus brake, coolant, and transmission fluid changes, and more thorough inspections.

Cost: Around $200 to $400.

Full Service:

This comprehensive service includes all items in intermediate service, plus additional checks, adjustments, and replacements like spark plugs, air filters, and possibly valve adjustments.

Cost: Can range from $400 to over $800, especially for high-performance or luxury motorcycles.

Other Factors Affecting Cost:

  • Make and Model: Some bikes, especially high-end or rare models, may require more expensive parts or specialized labor.
  • Location: Service costs can vary by geographic region due to differences in labor rates.
  • Dealership vs. Independent Shop: Dealerships might charge more, but they also typically offer brand-specific expertise.
  • Age and Motorcycle Condition: Older or poorly maintained bikes might need more extensive service.

Additional Considerations:

DIY Maintenance: Performing simple maintenance tasks yourself, like oil changes or chain lubrication, can save money.

Preventative Maintenance: Regularly checking and maintaining your bike can prevent more costly repairs in the future.

Shop Around: It's a good idea to get quotes from several service providers for comparison.

Remember, the costs mentioned are general estimates and can vary. It's always best to get a specific quote from your local service provider based on your motorcycle's needs.

Keep Your Bike Running, and Let it Make Money for You

With Rider's Share, keeping your motorcycle in top condition not only makes for a smooth and safe ride, but also turns your bike into income. By regularly maintaining your motorcycle, you make it an attractive option for renters who are looking for a reliable and well-cared-for ride. This approach not only helps in preserving the longevity and performance of your bike but also maximizes its earning potential. 

Every oil change, tire check, and brake inspection contributes to a higher standard of rental experience, attracting more users and higher returns. So, while you diligently follow your maintenance schedule to keep your bike running flawlessly, let Rider's Share help you transform these efforts into a profitable venture. Your well-maintained motorcycle isn't just a source of joy for you; it can be a rewarding investment, earning its keep and then some.