motorcycle_mechanic_logoAccording to the well-known insurance company, AllState, developing a motorcycle maintenance checklist can help you avoid costly (and unnecessary) repairs and potential safety issues. It’s also a good idea to become familiar with your bike owner’s manual as maintenance requirements can vary between models. If you don’t have the owner’s manual, you’ll likely find it available online.

To become a proficient motorcyclist, it requires a fair amount of human/mechanical interaction, and by performing your own basic maintenance you’ll get a much better understanding of how motorcycles function. You also develop a much better feel for the health of your bike. In time, you’ll be able to sense a small problem developing and deal with it before it becomes a big one, or worse, a serious safety issue.

First, a little practical knowledge can mean the difference between riding home or a long walk when you or your buddy’s bike breaks down by the side of the road.  Second, if you do take your bike back to the dealership for service, the staff there would much rather deal with a knowledgable rider than an ignorant one. Third, its comforting to have enough knowledge to understand what was done to your bike and why, as opposed to trusting in blind faith that it was needed and done correctly.

Mechanics who service large fleets of vehicles and airplanes rely on a system of preventative maintenance to do just that. By learning and performing regular preventative maintenance you’ll find the unexpected breakdowns will be few and far between. Your owner’s manual will provide you with a list of items that should be inspected on a regular basis. This blog will provide you with the best books that give a much better understanding of why those items should be expected, and how to go about it.

#1 – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

Top Motorcycle Maintenance books by Eric Gaulin on Motorcycle Maintenance blogThe story is basically a 17 day trip from Minnesota to California on a bike with the author and his son. During their journey they have various philosophical discussions on topics such as the concept of quality, then the difference between the romantic view of life and the classical (non rational vs rational), how important it is to have peace of mind and finally the importance of enjoying and loving what you do.  It’s a book which after reading it you will feel the need to not only try to improve your life but also enjoy it more in general; not many books can claim to do the same. – Source

#2 – The Essential Guide to Motorcycle Maintenance by Mark Zimmerman

Top Motorcycle Maintenance books by Eric Gaulin on Motorcycle Maintenance blogPopular motorcycle journalist and author Mark Zimmerman brings a comfortable, conversational tone to his easy-to-understand explanations of how motorcycles work and how to maintain them and fix them when they don’t. This practical tutorial covers all brands and styles of bikes, making it a perfect companion to the owner’s service manual whether you need to use the step-by-step instructions for basic maintenance techniques to wrench on your bike yourself or just want to learn enough to become an informed customer at your local motorcycle service department. This book includes more than 500 color photos and a thorough index to make it an especially user-friendly reference for home motorcycle mechanics of all skill levels. – Google Books

#3 – Motorcycle Workshop Practice Manual 2nd Edition by Haynes

haynes-workshop-practice-manual-14-1The Motorcycle Workshop Practice Manual (2nd. Edition) by Haynes, provides important and essential information for do-it-yourselfers on how to handle and use tools, fabrication of metal and plastic components, and how to tackle various common motorcycle repairs.

References: Zimmerman, M. (2004). The essential guide to motorcycle maintenance: Tips & techniques to keep your motorcycle in top condition. Center Conway, NH: Whitehorse Press.