Motorcycle touring maintenance on long dual sport adventures, for me, needs to start with preemptive maintenance, and that means checklists and some field mechanics!
Making sure you have a checklist with all you want to do, and the periodicity in which you do it is paramount for you to know you did not miss anything and you are on top of the situation. Needless to say, good homework to decide what to do and not to do, taking the tools to do it, and making sure you have spare parts is a necessity, however, taking all of that and not planning a checklist rundown from time to time, means you will be carrying extra weight with little to no use, and if something does break down because of a negligent maintenance scheduling, all you carry might not be enough to fix that problem and any subsequential one that might arise from it.
So what do I do? I use my aeronautical maintenance training and apply it to the bike as I would if I was working on those big fat metal birds! Routines, schedules and preemptive maintenance is what keeps planes flying, and that should be enough to keep my bike rolling.
On my daily routine of fueling up the bike, I added lubing my chain. Simple thing to do, and let's face it, the bike is already stopped to fuel up, and those extra 2 minutes to lube the chain will extend its life immensely, and keep the bike running smoothly.
Every couple of days, I like to check my tire pressure. A constantly pressured tire will run better, more efficiently and will wear in the best possible way. That means better feedback and better mileage, thus, fewer costs in rubber.
Checking the spokes, chain tension, checking the oil and coolant level as well as cleaning the air filter and giving the bike a walk around in search for leaks, loose or broken parts is something I leave for a weekly check. A good half an hour to an hour is enough to get all that done and the bike will greatly appreciate the TLC. Not only do I believe that will get you more in tune with your machine, it will make sure your bike runs smoothly and consistently without major problems.
Something I personally do is reduce the manufacturer's maintenance times. Those times are given according to averages. A fully packed around the world traveling bike is far from average use, meaning, it should not be submitted to average maintenance times. Yes, it might be a bit more costly, but on a marathon, as an around, the world expedition is, safety and the bikes best possible form, in the long run, is key.
This is how I manage my bikes schedule, I would love your input and to know how you adjust your maintenances while on the road.
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