Spring is right around the corner and if you are like us and live somewhere that experiences winter weather, your motorcycle has likely been holed up for the last few months. Hopefully you conducted the proper recommended maintenance before storing your bike, but even so, it’s important to take some basic steps to get your motorcycle ready for its first spring ride.
Brakes are crucial to your safety and are very important to inspect before hopping back on your bike. At the very least, a thorough visual inspection is necessary, though it may be a good idea to take it a step further. Remove any visible dust and dirt and top off your brake fluid. It may be necessary to replace the brake fluid (as the fluid may have absorbed moisture) and changing pads.
When your bike won’t be used for an extended period of time, put your battery on tender (or Optimate) to keep it in tip-top shape. If you did not, your battery will need some maintenance before it’s ready for a ride. If it isn’t sealed, check the water level and clean the terminals.
Give your battery a crank and confirm that it can hold a charge and doesn’t struggle to turn the engine over. If it struggles, it may be time to replace it. In the future, keep in mind that non-use can affect the battery and lead to loss of charge.
Check your tires pressure (or PSI) and tread and look out for unusual wear patterns. Visually inspect your tires and look out for cracks on the sidewalls, which indicate that the tires need replaced. Your tires are important to a safe ride, so it’s a good idea to regularly check the PSI throughout the riding season to make sure they are not overinflated, underinflated, or showing signs of unusual wear.
If you are storing your bike for an extended period of time, it is recommended that you put fuel additive in the tank. Without this additive, it’s likely your fuel has gone “off”, which can cause issues with your fuel injectors. Replacing your fuel may be necessary and a brief visual inspection of your fuel lines and filters are a good idea before you hop on for your first ride.
Did you change the oil and filter before storing your bike? If so, you are in good shape, though you should still check your levels. If you didn’t, go ahead and do it now. Make sure you have your bike on a level surface and warm up your engine to ensure you don’t overfill.
If you have a bike that is liquid cooled, make sure you check your coolant. When the engine is cool, check that your coolant is clean and leveled off. If it looks dirty, flush out your system as dirty coolant can cause clogs. Replace with fresh anti-freeze/water.
Suspension & steering
Thoroughly look over your suspension and steering and check for excessive wear or give in the steering and/or shock absorbers. Tighten as needed.
While you’re examining your bike, don’t forget to check lights, turn signals, and your horn. Keep an eye out for flickering lights or low light strength, as these may indicate it’s time for new bulbs.
After giving your bike a total look-over, give it a good wash. This will not only help your motorcycle look its best for its first ride this spring, but it will also give you another opportunity to check for wear and tear. Make sure you are protected with the right motorcycle insurance for the right price. Get a free quote from Safe Auto Group Agency online today.