Motorsports are a blast, but they’re not exactly the world’s cheapest hobby. To hit the dirt bike course or take to the open road, you’ll need a vehicle, and those can be very pricey indeed.

That’s a big part of why riders should be very careful with their bikes. No matter how hard you might ride yours, you should take the time in between rides to make sure that it’s properly cared for and maintained.

But when it comes to motorcycle care, what you don’t know can hurt you — and what you don’t do can hurt you even more. Smart people learn from their mistakes, but wise ones learn from the mistakes of others. That’s why you should read on and see some of the most common and most devastating mistakes that people make in their efforts to care for their rides.

Mistakes to Avoid When Caring for Your Motorcycle - motosport, motorbike, mechanic, maintenance, bike

Not returning to the same mechanic

Your mechanic isn’t just someone who fixes your bike when it breaks down. Your mechanic should be your partner in maintenance and care, and you should be paying him or her a visit regularly — not just after things go wrong.

Find a trustworthy mechanic, ideally one who specializes in your make and model of motorcycle, according to experts who offer automotive, diesel and collision repair academic programs. Then, return to that mechanic often.

Sticking with the same mechanic is a good idea, because you’ll develop a relationship with your trusted advisor. Then you can count on them having all of the records and paperwork that they need to ensure that your bike is getting the proper care. Of course, you shouldn’t be afraid to change mechanics if you’re at all worried that you bike isn’t getting the treatment it needs.

And remember, don’t skimp on any maintenance that your mechanic recommends — they’re the professional, not you. If you think that you’re saving money by putting off important work, you may be in for a very nasty surprise when your neglected bike ends up needing costly repairs that you could have avoided.

Not getting brand-name parts

You’ll pay your mechanic for parts and labor. Labor will be charged at a rate your mechanic sets, but you might have some wiggle room on parts, depending on where you get them and what sorts of parts you want.

But be careful, recommend the experts at Chaparall Motorsports. When it comes to motorcycle parts, not all products are created equal. Depending on the importance of the part, it can be well worth upgrading to the tough name-brand part. It will last longer and perform better, and that will spare you more costs down the line.

Remember, the parts on your motorcycle don’t just toil in isolation. They rely on each other, and putting a weak teammate into the mix could cause you problems all over your bike. So invest in great parts, and rest easy knowing that you’re giving your bike the parts it deserves.

Being overconfident about your DIY skills

There are lots of motorcycle maintenance tasks that you may be able to handle yourself, but be careful. It’s nice to save money, but there’s nothing more expensive than a botched DIY job. Besides, going the DIY route means that you’re going longer between visits to that mechanic, and the work you do may not be properly documented in your mechanic’s records.

When in doubt, rely on the professionals. Discretion is the better part of valor when it comes to DIY projects related to something as expensive — and as personally important to you — as your beloved bike.