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How Much Should Motorcycle Tune Up Cost? +3 Tips To Save Money

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How much should a tune up cost for a motorcycle? What kind of work should be included in a tune up? How often should it be done?

These are VERY important questions that motorcyclists should ask before taking their bike in for service.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the typical motorcycle tune up cost and what’s involved. We’ll also provide some tips on how to do some basic maintenance yourself to save money.

Keep reading to learn more!

What is a Tune Up?

The word “tune up” is quite tricky, because different shops and riders understand it differently. There is no standard for a tune up on a motorcycle, but a tune up is considered to be periodic and thorough maintenance that helps keep your motorcycle running smoothly.

Some motorcycle mechanics consider doing an oil change and spark plug change as a tune up, but a proper tune up should include the following:

  1. Spark plugs & wires check or replacement
  2. Carburetor adjustment & synchronization
  3. Fuel injection system check & cleaning
  4. Air filter cleaning or replacement
  5. Oil & oil filter change
  6. Coolant check or replacement
  7. Battery check or replacement
  8. Valve lash check or adjustment
  9. Drive chain check & adjustment
  10. Clutch, throttle, and brake cable lube & adjustment
  11. Brake pad & disk check
  12. Wheel bearing & alignment check

As you can see, a tune up is really just a different name for thorough maintenance, but as I’ve said previously – a tune up can include more or fewer maintenance procedures depending on who is doing the job.

Now that we’ve got a better understanding of what’s involved in a tune up, let’s take a look at how much it should cost

What’s the Average Motorcycle Tune Up Cost?

The average motorcycle tune up cost is between $200 and $400. However, this can vary depending on the make and model of your motorcycle as well as the type of service being performed.

Some motorcycle tune ups can be as simple as changing the oil, cleaning the carbs, and checking the spark plugs while others may require more work such as valve adjustments or fuel injector cleaning.

cleaning a motorcycle carburetor

The best way to get an accurate estimate of how much your motorcycle tune up will cost is to take it to a qualified motorcycle mechanic and have them give you a quote.

Whether you go with a full, proper tune up that covers the whole motorcycle but costs way more, or with a cheap quick tune up that only goes over the critical components is up to you.

With that said, if you have the money and if your motorcycle hasn’t been serviced properly for quite a while, consider getting a full tune up that covers the whole motorcycle. That way, you’ll reduce or eliminate the chances of something going wrong when you’re out riding and prevent yourself from getting stranded.

How to Save Money on a Motorcycle Tune Up

If you’re on a budget, there are still ways that you can save money on your tune up without skimping on quality.

Consider doing some of the basic maintenance yourself such as changing the oil, checking and lubing the chain, or cleaning the air filter. These are all easy tasks that don’t require special tools or knowledge and can save you a significant amount of money.

Once you’ve gone over the easy stuff yourself, then you can give your motorcycle to a mechanic to do more complicated tasks, like carb synchronization, valve lash check, etc. That way, you’ll save at least $100.

Another great way to save money on motorcycle tune ups is to join a motorcycle rider group or club. In many cases, these groups will have their own mechanics who are qualified and experienced in working on motorcycles. They can often do tune ups for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay at a commercial shop.

Lastly, consider buying your own tools. If you’re planning on doing your own maintenance, then it makes sense to invest in some basic tools. You don’t need to go crazy and buy a complete motorcycle workshop, but a few basic tools will save you time and money in the long run.

A good set of motorcycle hand tools can cost as little as $200 and will last you a lifetime. Combine that with a full service manual that you can likely find on the internet for free and you will be fully equipped to do a tune up on your motorcycle and maybe even tune up other riders’ motorcycles for extra cash.

While the initial investment may be higher than taking your motorcycle to a shop, over time you will save money by doing the work yourself.

Just be sure that you know what you’re doing and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid voiding your warranty or damaging your motorcycle.

How Often Should You Do a Tune Up on a Motorcycle?

Most manufacturers recommend that you do a full tune up on your motorcycle once a year or at least once every two years, or 5,000 miles – whichever comes first.

Furthermore, if you’ve just bought a new to you motorcycle, it’s always a good idea to do a full tune up before you ride, as there is no way of knowing whether it’s actually safe to ride or ready to fall apart.

Final Thoughts

A motorcycle tune up is an important part of regular maintenance that should not be overlooked. The cost of a tuneup will vary depending on the type of motorcycle, the condition of the motorcycle, and where you take it to be serviced.

However, by doing some basic maintenance yourself, joining a motorcycle club, or investing in your own tools, you can save money on tune ups without sacrificing quality. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid damaging your motorcycle.

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