YOU DON'T have to have the mechanical know-how of a MotoGP technician to perform simple home-servicing tasks; some decent tools and a little common sense are all you need to keep your bike in tip-top shape.
Ideally, get hold of a workshop manual for your machine for a better understanding of how each task should be carried out. Most will give pictures detailing each part of the process; a good manual will also list the tools you'll need to complete the job. Find yours here.
Tools are like knives to a chef; using good ones is half the battle. Save the under-seat tool-kit for roadside emergencies and invest in quality for home maintenance.
If you're lacking mechanical confidence, ask someone more experienced to help.
When was the last time you checked your bike's tyre pressures? It should be done weekly, but many of us forget or don't bother with what is a crucial element of bike set-up.
Under-inflated tyres affect handling and braking, as the lack of pressure means the tyre wall isn't firm enough to properly cope with the forces on it. Over-inflation can reduce the size of the contact patch on the road, affecting grip.
Use a quality pressure gauge to accurately check the pressures. Consult the manual for the correct pressures. Remember, your tyres may need more pressure if you regularly ride with a pillion passenger. Always check pressures when the tyres are cold.
While you're at it, check the overall condition and tread depth.