What Can Damage a Motorcycle Engine? You Must Avoid These Mistakes

Motorcycle engines are generally very reliable, but some circumstances can still damage them. As a rider, it is good to know how engine damage can occur to understand better how to prevent those from happening. Sometimes even the best motorcycles will show signs of wear quickly if you ride them too hard. But most of the time, damage can be prevented or minimized. Hence, listening to the engine’s words and keeping up with maintenance tasks are crucial.

The following are some of the ways a motorcycle engine can be damaged:

  • Not cleaning the carburetor
  • Fuel contamination (e.g., water or dirt in gasoline)
  • Exhaust leaks
  • Dirty air filters or dirty spark plugs
  • Old oil and contaminated engine parts.

A motorcycle engine can be pretty complex, so if you don’t know how to work with it, you can end up ruining it. However, every motorcycle owner should know how to prevent this situation. To help you, we will discuss possible mistakes people make and how to fix them if something goes wrong with your engine.

Are Motorcycle Engines More Prone to Damage?

Motorcycle Engine Diagram

The engine in a motorcycle has to work harder than any other engine on the road. Due to higher rotational speed and the capacity for the faster acceleration of the engine motors, Motorcycle petrol engines have to work overtime. Therefore, they are more prone to damage than a car engine with only one rotation per second than a motorcycle’s three r/s power-to-weight ratios.

These days, rebuilt motorcycle engines are even more powerful and efficient than their new counterparts. Plus, they’re so much cheaper to buy.

The higher output and quickly accelerating nature of motorcycle petrol engines make them more prone to damage. However, in recent years several fuel injection technologies have been introduced that keep the engine running more efficiently and for more extended periods, which is good for your machine and the environment.

Motorcycles and cars are different, primarily when operating at peak efficiency. The oil level is not constant in motorcycle and car engines; car engines have a relatively warmer oil that works at a consistent temperature, whereas motorcycle engines run more relaxed than a car’s engine and get hotter in different situations.

Furthermore, Motorcycle engines are naturally much smaller than their car-sized counterparts and operate at higher speeds. Motorcycles use more high-performance motor oil for lubrication, which means a different maintenance level than cars.

Also Read: Motorcycle Warning Lights Meaning

What Reasons Are Responsible For Damage?

Damaged Engine

There are plenty of factors that contribute to the damage to an engine. But in this section, we will only discuss the most popular and significant reasons for your motorcycle engine damage.

In any case, you must understand that preventative maintenance is the most important thing to do for your bike to run optimally and last long. Apart from the reason given above, other causes can affect the performance of your engine (we will discuss them in the next section here).

Here are the mistakes that can damage a motorcycle engine include:

  • Not Cleaning The Carburetor: Carburetors are responsible for the performance and control of your bike. Most of all, they control fuel flow. If you don’t adjust them properly, they can cause mechanical problems that may significantly affect how your bike runs and even how much fuel it uses.
  • Fuel contamination: When changing parts in your bike’s engine, fuel will go out through the same spots, causing materials to wedge into tight holes. You may not realize it, but there are lots of tiny spaces inside your motorcycle that can be affected by fuel contamination. If you don’t remove this contamination, it can result in damage to the bike engine at a later time. If you change or replace these parts, clean them thoroughly.
  • Exhaust leaks: Exhaust leaks can cause everything from loud exhaust noises to a loss of engine power and expensive repairs. Loud exhaust noises are an indication that your motorcycle has an exhaust leak. Exhaust leaks cause loud noises and lead to poor engine performance due to increased consumption. These leaks come from dirt traps or acks, so take the time to check them with a mechanic. And stay aware before riding to avoid more costly repairs down the road.

Also Read: Motorcycle Cranks but won’t start

  • Dirty Air Filters or Dirty Spark Plugs:

  • Filtering the incoming air in your vehicle is necessary to maintain clean combustion, protect your engine, and maximize its performance. Dirty air filters can cause problems with fuel delivery and make it difficult or impossible to accelerate or gain speed. Also, A dirty spark plug can significantly affect engine performance and efficiency because when old or improperly installed, it can cause diminished acceleration and stall at stoplights. As a result, It leads to damage such as carbon buildup in your cylinders and ultimately ENGINE DAMAGE.
  • Old And Contaminated Engine Parts: If you have an old and outdated stabilizer bar link kit, it may make your motorcycle challenging to ride. It results from poor lubrication that causes the connecting pieces to become loose over time. The Sway Bar Linkage Kit includes the durable, high-quality engine parts you need to help eliminate rattling while maximizing your vehicle’s ride quality. Over time, your motorcycle sway bar linkage can quickly become loose, leading to poor stability and unsafe riding conditions. Hence, the engine can be severely affected and damaged at later times.

How Do You Understand if your Motorcycle Engine is Getting Damaged?

If you suspect your motorcycle engine is gradually getting damaged, you will want to identify the cause. The first thing to look for is any knocking or low RPM sound. If there is air in the lubrication system, it may cause a knocking noise. Another problem is overheating when the temperature gauge becomes stuck halfway between hot and cold.

You’ll know a problem exists if your engine starts knocking or making a low RPM sound. As the cylinder temperature rises, so does pressure within the cylinder. An air bubble in the lubricant can cause excessive pressure inside your engine and result in metal on metal contact, which results in damage.

A second common sign is low compression pressure (oil on dipstick). It indicates damaged piston rings or cylinder walls. Nowadays, advanced motorcycles have a decompression button that releases air and fuel vapor when the bike is idling. If this occurs more often, you can bet that your engine will fail soon.

Simple Steps To Prevent Motorcycle Engine Damage

Yes, you can prevent engine damage. The condition of your motorcycle is essential and can affect how smoothly it operates. But still, your most powerful tool in preventing engine damage lies in your actions as a rider.

All you need to do is take care of your bike by following simple steps. For instance, Keep it sheltered when not used and avoid excessive wear on the engine parts. If you see that your motorcycle’s engine light is on, you should stop your bike and take action. The red light indicates a problem with your motorcycle’s engine that could become dangerous if ignored.

If you warm your motorcycle’s engine before you ride, it will help keep it in top shape. You can do this by letting the engine idle for a few minutes until it reaches full operating temperature or driving short distances at about half throttle.

Make sure to keep an eye on your motorcycle’s performance during your ride and check whether any unusual sounds are coming from the bike. If something seems off, take note of it, and don’t hesitate to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic.

Many motorists have classic motorcycles like Janus 250 nowadays. Remember, such two-wheelers have many different components and details. If you want to keep your bike running well, you need to often clean all its parts from time to time.

Also Read: Flooded Carburetor Motorcycle

Some Other Silly Mistakes to Avoid Engine Damage

There are some silly mistakes to avoid when handling your motorcycle. These mistakes lead to gradual engine damage. Fortunately, most of these are not very hard to avoid, but most people don’t know about them. Let us see some crucial errors we should avoid while driving a two-wheeler:

Revving The Engine

It’s vital to avoid over-revving your engine. Revving your engine too high and too often can cause damage to a machine. It’s not so much a problem with modern cars, but it’s easy to do with motorcycles because you have direct control over the throttle.

Exposure to high temperatures can warp cylinders and blow head gaskets or even melt the pistons. Some engines even have rev limiters that will prevent you from doing this. Apart from revving, it would be best if you did not show miserliness in case of using premium motorcycle engine oils. Use Castrol 4t oil, honda motorcycle oil, or similar ones for the best result.

Especially if you do it too often or while in first gear, it can lead to an engine wearing faster than expected. I used to ride with a friend on equivalent motorcycles. He was always one or two gears lower than I, so his machine worked harder than mine.

Do Not Accelerate Suddenly

Although it is tempting for motorcycle fanatics to accelerate suddenly, this step can end in a fatal result for your engine. It will damage the engine gradually.

It’s not uncommon for engines to overheat and fail, even if you are very gentle with your bike. The problem is that these damages usually happen gradually, so it is easy to forget them until they become too serious. Therefore, don’t ever get accustomed to the habit of sudden acceleration.

2 stroke dirt bikes or power sport bikes designed with acceleration in mind should be able to accelerate very quickly. Regular road bikes do not need this level of acceleration.

Your motorcycle engine is a blessing to you. When you maintain it regularly, it allows you to ride safely and smoothly. However, if you misuse your motorcycle, this is a mistake, which can damage a motorcycle’s engine. Even if it is a little bit of use, improper maintenance can cause severe damage to the engine of your bike.

An Incompetent Mechanic

In search of cheaper services, motorcyclists tend to shirk away from the established mechanics. They may end up paying twice as much on maintenance because they didn’t take advantage of the right mechanic.

The wrong placement of parts, tools, or components can harm your bike. Unfortunately, if some pieces don’t sit in the correct position, you may think that it’s just a tiny error and ignore it, only to realize later that it was a grave mistake. As a result, you can’t even blame the mechanic later due to not knowing what happened.

It’s always best to consult multiple mechanics before hiring someone.


Regularly check the condition of your bike tires, brakes and safety equipment. Two-wheelers can handle a certain amount of stress, but there are limits. If your motorbike exceeds the load it can take, it can damage the motorcycle engine.

Do not exceed the maximum speed limit or load rating on the tire sidewall. Do not carry heavy loads when riding on your motorcycle. It will cause your engine to overheat and damage it. For transportation purposes, I think getting a dedicated bike is much better.

It would be best if you managed to purchase a small motorbike, known as a quad bike, for transportation.