We hear it all the time. When the question gets asked “Is all the service up to date?” The most common answer is “Yes. I change my oil religiously at 3000 miles.” Somewhere down the road a lot of people get the idea that all there is to servicing your bike is changing the oil. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Now changing the oil is included in most service intervals but there is so much more that needs to be done.
I would be willing to bet that 99 percent of the motorcyclists in the world don’t really know what all needs to be checked and at what intervals. Most don’t even do a proper pre ride check. Not having the proper service done will miss things like the inspection and lubrication of steering stem bearings and swingarm bearings. Now those items aren’t done on every service but they are part of a 20,000 mile service. There are more than 30 additional items that need attention other than changing the oil at the 20,000 mile mark. And more than 20 additional ones every 5,000 miles.
We’ve heard this line too “My bike is running fine so all I need is an oil change”. My answer to that is: “How long would you like your bike to run well and keep you from being stranded on the side of the road or worse”. It could be a breakdown that causes a crash that ends your life! Imagine having your steering stem bearings lock up and not being able to turn. Or your brakes fail because there’s not enough fluid in the system due to a small hidden leak. Maybe even having parts fall off going down the road and injuring other riders in your group because of loose bolts not checked for tightness. It’s important for your safety as well as everyone around you to have the proper services done.
Many people work on their own bike and we think that’s great. It helps you understand the complexity of motorcycles and knowing your bike. If you are going to tackle the job of servicing your bike you need to invest in a proper manual that will explain everything in detail that needs to be done. But the manual isn’t going to be all you need. There are a plethora of specialty tools and techniques that are required to do the job at hand.
And that is why an actual 5,10 or 20 thousand mile service is more valuable than just an oil change. You may save some money by just changing the oil, but in the long run it’s gonna cost you dearly. So make an appointment to get that service done or get out in that garage and get your hands dirty. Your bike will love you for it.