Maintenance – it requires time, money, attention to detail, and the relevant knowledge, making it quite troublesome. Let’s start with the vehicle itself. High-displacement vehicles have good build quality and strong performance, which can be compared to being “armed to the teeth.” They have complex structures that cannot be compared to 125cc motorcycles. Therefore, if you ride a 400cc motorcycle, you must not approach maintenance with the attitude of maintaining a 125cc motorcycle. Otherwise, various problems will arise in the vehicle before long. Firstly, maintenance must be done correctly based on the vehicle’s operating form, displacement, and number of cylinders.

  1. Engine oil is the top priority in maintenance. Here’s how to choose the right engine oil. You can consider the following: For multi-cylinder, high-revving engines with journal bearings on the crankshaft (not using crankshaft bearings like some domestic vehicles), it is necessary to use imported semi-synthetic oil or preferably full synthetic oil. Air-cooled engines have higher oil requirements compared to liquid-cooled engines. However, certain single-cylinder high-displacement motorcycles, which use crankshaft bearings, have relatively lower oil requirements and can use semi-synthetic oil or SG-grade oil. Note that engine oil is not a miraculous solution. However, synthetic oil can be used for a longer distance before replacement, making it more practical. Synthetic oil typically requires replacement every 3000-4000 kilometers, so there is no need for wastage. Additionally, ensure that the oil filter is consistently replaced along with the oil, as it helps keep the engine clean.
  1. The air filter is like the lungs of a good motorcycle, so using a clean air filter is crucial. We all know that air filters can be expensive, and some riders may hesitate to replace them due to the cost. However, this is not advisable. If the air filter is damaged, dust and sand will enter the cylinder through the carburetor (or fuel injection system), causing wear on the piston rings and valves. If the filter becomes clogged, it can result in reduced power and increased fuel consumption. Increased fuel consumption will inevitably lead to the emission of black smoke at high speeds. Over time, carbon deposits will accumulate on the valves, compromising the durability and performance of the motorcycle.
  1. Tires: If possible, it is best to buy new tires and keep the tread surface clean. Avoid getting stones stuck in the tire grooves. Most importantly, do not apply wax or oil to the tires because oils have an affinity for rubber and can cause the tires to crack and deteriorate, posing a risk to your safety. Motorcycles rely on tire grip for cornering, making tires the most critical component.
  1. Fuel tank: Domestic gasoline often contains impurities. If you have time, it is recommended to remove the fuel tank once a year, detach the fuel switch, drain any water or rust at the bottom, thoroughly dry the tank, and then reinstall it.
  1. Carburetor/Throttle Body Injector: Over time, carburetors can accumulate impurities. You can loosen the drain screw at the bottom of the carburetor to allow the impurities to flow out with the gasoline. If the carburetor is leaking fuel, it must be promptly inspected and replaced. Some carburetors are poorly designed, and if they leak fuel, gasoline can seep into the cylinder. If you continue riding in such conditions, the gasoline may even reach the crankcase, diluting the engine oil. If a significant amount of gasoline leaks, you will have to replace the oil frequently, which becomes costly. Moreover, if you enjoy revving the engine while having fuel leaks, your vehicle is not far from experiencing serious damage. This is why motorcycles with carburetor-related issues are often referred to as “junk bikes.” Nowadays, high-displacement motorcycles use electronic fuel injection systems, so it is necessary to periodically clean the throttle body and fuel injectors.
  1. Battery: It is recommended to recharge the battery every six months. Before starting the motorcycle, make sure to turn off the headlights. It’s a simple precautionary measure that can be done effortlessly.
  1. Clutch: Even a 250cc 4-cylinder motorcycle is capable of meeting daily speed requirements. As long as you don’t constantly ride in the redline and have proper engine oil, the motorcycle can be considered as being used normally. However, if you have the bad habit of half-pulling the clutch, it can greatly increase wear and tear on the motorcycle. I have witnessed a case where someone completely wore out the clutch plates of a 400cc sports bike in a single afternoon. The fragments from the worn-out clutch plates caused significant damage to the bearings. It is important to avoid this detrimental habit. I believe that the habit of half-pulling the clutch originated from the era of 2-stroke motorcycles and is a technique suitable for them, but not for high-power multi-cylinder 4-stroke motorcycles.
  1. Suspension: Front suspension oil should be replaced approximately once a year. If the rear suspension is leaking oil, replacing the seal while the core is still intact is sufficient. However, once the core is damaged, the entire assembly needs to be replaced.
  1. Valves: How can valves be maintained? One way is by using fuel additives. For typical 250cc motorcycles, one bottle of fuel additive can be used for 20 times. Before using the additive, the intake tract may appear brownish. However, after using the additive and disassembling the carburetor, the entire intake tract will appear shiny silver, looking brand new.
  1. Spark plugs and ignition wires: If you are concerned about the ignition system and have some budget, it is highly recommended to invest in upgraded high-performance ignition wires and a set of iridium spark plugs. This upgrade can greatly improve the performance and reliability of the ignition system.
  1. Sprockets and chain: Generally, there are traditional methods of lubricating the chain with oil or applying grease. However, these methods can be quite primitive as they tend to attract dirt and dust, leading to increased wear and even splattering on the wheel rims, which is unsightly.
  1. The correct method is to use chain lubricant. Chain lubricants come in two types: one that is similar to regular oil but more viscous, and another type that is in the form of a white powder and does not splatter. The second type is generally considered the best. Chain lubricant only needs to be sprayed thinly, and it can last for over a thousand kilometers, making it cost-effective. Additionally, chain lubricants have a long shelf life, so there is no need to worry about storage. By following this method, you can ensure that your motorcycle’s sprockets and chain remain worry-free for several years.
  1. Brake pads should be replaced once they are worn beyond two-thirds of their original thickness. It is not advisable to wait until they are completely worn down. There are two main reasons for this. First, it is a safety concern. When the brake pads are left with only one-third of their thickness, the heat generated during braking can quickly transfer to the backing plate of the brake pads, leading to the risk of the friction material detaching and causing accidents. Second, it can also cause excessive wear on the brake discs. Brake discs are expensive, and sacrificing them to save on brake pads would be a costly mistake. Additionally, if possible and feasible, upgrading to high-quality brake lines can greatly enhance safety and improve brake feel.
  1. Electrical system maintenance: Generally, it is important to avoid randomly cutting wires in the electrical circuit. Additionally, refrain from adding unnecessary electrical components to the motorcycle as it can increase the electrical load and strain the system. Nowadays, there are LED bulbs available for turn signals, brake lights, and other lighting fixtures. It is advisable to consider replacing traditional bulbs with LED bulbs. This not only reduces the load on the electrical system but also conserves valuable power resources.

15. For liquid-cooled motorcycles, it is recommended to use genuine coolant. There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, using genuine coolant helps prevent issues with the cooling system. Secondly, in extremely cold regions, it helps prevent the cylinders from freezing and cracking. If the water in your motorcycle’s radiator is yellowish, it is necessary to clean the cooling system thoroughly. You can purchase a specific powder for cleaning radiators from a dealership. Add it to the radiator, run the engine until it reaches operating temperature, and then drain the radiator. Repeat this process until the system is clean, and then refill it with genuine coolant from the manufacturer.

  1. When it comes to gasoline, high-displacement multi-cylinder motorcycles generally have higher compression ratios. It is advisable to use gasoline with a higher octane rating for such motorcycles. Please note that good-quality gasoline has a distinctive smell, often described as slightly sweet. If the gasoline you are using has a foul odor, it is recommended to immediately stop refueling. This information is for reference purposes only.

17. It is advisable to purchase a motorcycle cover or a parking cover to protect your bike. If you leave your motorcycle uncovered, it can quickly accumulate dirt and grime, even within a few days of not being used. However, by using a motorcycle cover, you can keep your bike clean even if it’s not ridden for a couple of weeks. This reduces the need for frequent washing.

Summary: Loving your motorcycle means not only taking care of it but also enjoying the thrill of riding it. Whether it’s going on long trips, tackling challenging mountain roads, or revving the engine when needed, don’t hesitate to have some fun. Burning through a little extra fuel is a small price to pay for the experience. Remember, proper maintenance is crucial for safety. As long as you take good care of your bike, it will reward you with enhanced safety and performance. Your efforts will always pay off in the end.