I have a friend who has a 1984 FXST Harley-Davidson. “Ol’ Blue” has been rolling down Southern California’s highways and back roads for over thirty years now and that is a testament to my friend’s dedication and continued maintenance.
A motorcycle that is well-maintained never dies. In fact, because it is a machine, it can potentially outlive its owner. You should be able to perform some of the services on your bike yourself by now such as oil and filter, spark plug and air filter changes if not much more.
When your bike rolls up on 20,000 miles, chances are that you have owned it for at least two years. Since you’ve been diligent about its maintenance, you will know most of what should be done at this point. In addition to what I already mentioned above, you’ll also need to change the wheel bearings, brake and clutch fluid and coolant as well as repack the steering stem and pivot arm bearings. Other than these basic services, it is now time to simply restart the maintenance schedule all over again from the beginning. Just set up a schedule that is convenient for you to keep up on the maintenance that you have already been doing over the years by perhaps making annual or semi-annual appointments with OC Motorcycle like you would with your dentist. Diligence is the key now.
At some point, you will want to replace the fork oil, seals and bushings and then a bit farther down the road, say around 40,000 miles or after 48 months, you’ll need to start replacing worn parts. Always refer to your bike’s manual for the correct parts and never replace worn or damaged parts with used ones, which can make your bike dangerous to ride. Replacing clutch and brake lines, radiator hoses and cables should be done at this time.
Ongoing inspections of the electrical connections, brakes and brake pads and tires should be routine now. Remember that if you are not comfortable or are unsure about a service, part or repair you should contact a specifically trained mechanic like the ones at OC Motorcycle to do the work. Having the repairs and maintenance done correctly and in a timely manner is paramount and sometimes finding the time to keep up on it all yourself can be daunting.
If you are vigilant and conscientious about your bike’s well-being, it is very likely that you’ll have a lifelong road buddy like “Ol’ Blue”, who has over a quarter of a million miles on her!