This photo of my bike Bajaj Dominar 400 is taken on April 2019 after a ride of 300km and without washing. I purchased it in June 2017 and it is still as shiny as it was in week one.
All I did was consistent basic maintenance.
In this post, I will talk about how I took care of my bike since day one to today. I will try to cover all the aspects of bike maintenance and easy self-servicing.
In case you own KTM Duke, KTM RC, Mahindra Mojo, Royal Enfield Classic, Thunderbird, etc. , you can follow the procedures and you will get the same result.
Let’s begin with body paint.
Taking care of the motorcycle’s paint
I have seen bike owners grossly ignoring the paints, whereas it is a principal determinant of the visual appeal of our bike.
Generally, the first year of purchase does not require any special care. Just basic wiping of the bike body with soft and clean cloth serves the purpose.
Along with this, I take my bike for shampoo wash at least once a month or I water clean it myself.
Never ever pour petrol on the paint.
The bike is not required to have a Diesel wash during the first year. Still, if you wish to have diesel wash, ask the cleaner to leave the paint surface.
Also, no shining liquid or any other form of chemical agent is required to make the paint more glossy. The company invests enough in their paint technology.
I had a chat with a Technical Manager of Bajaj workshop, he said, ‘Dust is the biggest enemy of paint. Once you let it settle on the paint it will do its job. All you have to do is clean off the dust without rubbing it hard on the surface.‘
Do not get a paint job done on your bike just before the monsoon begins.
It will likely be wiped off due to rains. The ideal time to get the job done is post monsoon as it will prevent the luster of paint from the harsh sun.
When should you use Wax and when to Polish??
I have seen lots of owners getting wrong with waxing and polishing. Here is the thing,
Waxing is a protective layer on the paint. Waxing is coating the surface and it fills minor scratches.
Applying wax on your bike will offer basic protection from water, dust and Ultra Violet light.
Polish has more to do with paint correction.
It is an abrasive substance and treats discoloration of paint and oxidation.
Polishing is not recommended when the paint is still new that means paint surface does not have significant scratches or the bike is not older than a year.
Nowadays, sellers offer hybrid sprays which have wax and polish content both. I would recommend going with separate items.
Taking care of Oil and Air filters
Filters are very critical to the health of the engine. Dirty or leaking filters can make the engine go from bad to worse.
Whether in city or villages, regular (at least once in 90 days) checkup and cleaning of filters are MUST.
In a place where there is a lot of dust, air filters tend to gather and choke with dust very easily. Clean your filters just by shrugging off dust and then rinsing it with a cleaning liquid.
Do not stay with it for a single day if the condition is bad enough. It can cause a good amount of harm to the engine. Genuine Bajaj air filters cost no more than Rs. 250. You can get it from an authorized workshop.
If your bikes Air filter gets choked up your bike average may reduce drastically. This is due to less air available for combustion as a result system injects more petrol to cover-up leading to reduced average.
Air filters are somewhat difficult to take out in Bajaj Dominar as you will need to take out multiple screws and fuel tank. Taking out oil filter is not that tedious.
Make a habit of keeping a check on the oil level and get your oil filter cleaned up during regular servicing.
Replace it if it gets worse. Some petrol pump shamelessly sells adulterated petrol. If you knowingly or unknowingly make use of such pumps, you better keep a check on your oil filter.
Maintenance of Chain and Sprockets
Loose chain or worn out sprockets teeth reduces the optimal transfer of power from the crankshaft to rear wheel.
This will make you burn more petrol to cover up the loss of power. Fix up the loose or dirty chain immediately.
Bajaj Dominar 400 and other bikes in the same category do not have regular chain links. Dominar’s chain link has a small washer between two metal links. This genre of chain links is called as the O-ring chain. Read chain clean and lube in detail.
It’s not recommended to apply grease over this type of chain. Instead, the cleaning process is to spray chain cleaners, let the dust and oil drop off. Then spray chain lubricant throughout the chain link.
Maintenance of peripheral electrical
Peripheral electricals include dashboard, indicators, switches, and lights.
Time to time and particularly during monsoon I spray a good amount of WD 40 inside the electrical parts. This prevents short circuits and rusting of exposed metal parts if any.
You should always take care not to switch on the bike just after washing the bike with jet spray. I have experienced multiple short circuits in my previous bike when I switched on the bike after wash. Eventually, I got to replace multiple wires.
Always keep a check that water does not enter the lighting and indicator system. Seek a mechanic in case water seeps in.
If your bike doesn’t have a centre stand I suggest better go for paddock stand instead of roller paddock stand. I tried using the roller paddock stand and didn’t find it quite useful.
Taking care of your bike in monsoon season
Different seasons and different climatic conditions require somewhat different maintenance. The way we take care of our bike in Summer is way different from Monsoon and winter.
Also, regional climatic conditions play a role in the deterioration of motorcycle parts.
I live in India in the western coastal region. Air is humid here and carries salt. Salty atmosphere boots rusting and decay of metal and electrical parts.
I have advised many of my friends that the best place to park your bike is under a roof. It not only protects the bike from the harsh sun but also from heavy rains.
However, I never got a chance to park my bike under the shed. From day one my Dominar took heavy sun and rain throughout the year on itself.
Spend on a good bike cover
Do not hesitate to spend on a good bike cover. I recommend keeping your bike covered during summer.
If rats infest your parking area, it’s very likely of rats to take shelter inside the rain cover during rains. They not only damage the seat but also ripoff wirings beyond repair.
To protect the bike from rats, I have seen some of my friends keeping farm insecticide wrapped in a cloth below the seat and somewhere below the horn. And it works.
In my previous bike, rainwater used to get inside the fuel tank in good quantity affecting the carburettor and engine. However, even my Dominar kept under heavy rains I never experienced this, as the fuel tank top cover is designed as per BS-IV norms.
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