Mechanic Advisor

Motorcycle Tune-Up

Posted February 14, 2014

If your motorcycle has been in a state of disuse or winterized for a considerable period of time, it may be necessary to conduct a proper tune-up and a thorough inspection before you hit the road. Even so, your bike will require a periodic tune-up to keep it in fit condition. Tires and wheels, chain and sprockets, brakes, air filter, battery, fluid levels, valves, fuel system, and major bolt torque specs need to be checked and set in top working condition.

Tires and Wheels

Tires must be checked for any cracks on the sidewalls as well as tread wear. If the tread depths have worn down to the wear bars, it is recommended to have the tires replaced. If the tires are found in solid condition, you should check the tire pressure and inflate them appropriately. Wheel rims should be inspected for any dents or any stones wedged between the tires.


The bike chain should be checked for any slackness. If you find it loose, it can be tightened through the wheel adjusters. If the chain shows traces of rust, you can clean it with Motorex 611 or a similar solution. Once the chain is cleaned and dried, you can lubricate it with a good lube.

Brake Pads

Brake pads must be inspected by either removing the calipers or checking below them to see whether the pads are worn out. If the pads appear reasonably worn out, you should have them replaced by the dealer, a mechanic, or if possible, replace them yourself. Rotors should also be inspected for any signs of heavy grooving. The front brake lever should have sufficient pressure, and the rear brake pedal should not be mushy. It may require professional expertise if you do not find the brakes up to the mark.


If you have removed the battery prior to bike storage and charged it periodically, it may be in fit condition. You can charge the battery and put it back in its place for an instant start. However, if the battery was not removed and fails to charge, you may need to take it to a garage for repair, have it replaced by the dealer, or buy another one from an auto/motorcycle parts store and just replace it yourself.

Oil and Brake Fluid

If it's been a long time since you changed the oil, it may be a wise idea to change it. You can get it done from a service company or do it on your own. The coolant overflow tank should also be refilled between the low and high notches. DOT4 brake fluid levels should also be checked, and if they are low, you should top them off.

Carburetors or Injectors

Your fuel system may have become stuffy after a prolonged storage. This means you will need to clean the carburetors or injectors. However, this is a sensitive area of your motorcycle, so if you're not confident about handling this task, you should take it to a garage where they do this type of work every day.

Air Filter and Valves

If you find the air filter to be filled with grime and smell, you may clean and re-oil it. However, if the filter cannot be cleaned, it's better to replace it. If the bike’s valve adjustment is due, have it done at a reliable motorcycle repair shop. Your bike’s valves are a crucial area and they need adjustment in periodic mileage increments.