Get Your Motorcycle Road Ready
Blues skies, warm temperatures, the wind in your face, and the sun on your skin. Now that the weather has finally broken here in the Chesapeake Area, you are itching to get out on the road, but are is your motorcycle road ready? Here at Chesapeake Cycles, we totally relate. But after this cold and wet winter, we have to all make sure our cycles come out of storage in top notch shape before we get ready to hit the road this season. Here are seven tips to get your motorcycle road ready after winter storage.
1) Refresh Your Memory
Get out your owner’s manual and scan through it. Often the manufacturer will include a section in the manual that has a checklist for your particular make and model cycle. This is a great place to get started. Also, if possible go to the manufacturer’s website to check for updates or recalls.
2) Check the Fuel
If you properly winterized your bike you probably either drained your tank or added a fuel stabilizer. If you drained the tank, make sure to scan the inside for signs of rust or other sediments that may have accumulated over the winter. Also, if you did not treat the gas, and you have old stale gas in the tank, you should drain it and start fresh. Old fuel can cause a host of issues such as condensation mixing water in with the fuel, or sediment build-up, which can clog fuel lines, filters, jets, or injectors.
3) Test the Battery
A smart winter storage trick is to place your battery on a trickle charger while it is stored. It slowly adds the charge to the battery and does not allow for the normal depletion of charge that batteries commonly have. Every time your battery goes dead it cuts down the life of the battery unpredictably. Try to test the battery a couple of weeks BEFORE you want to ride, in case it needs to be replaced. Don’t waste precious road time waiting for a battery!
4) Inspect the Tires
You should be checking your tires every time before you ride. Consider that there is just inches of rubber keeping hundreds of pounds of metal and you on the road. So, check the tire pressure, look for flat-spotting (especially if it’s been sitting a while), inspect the treads for general wear and tear. Look for very small cracks in the tire tread or sidewall. These are signs of tire dry rot and one of the primary reasons for tire failure. This is easily prevented through proper inspection and replacement. If you notice any issues, it is best to invest in new tires and not take any chances.
5) Monitor the Fluid
Fluids left sitting will degrade over time. Make sure to look for changes in color or consistency, and replace anything that seems dirty or gunky. Look at the oil, brake fluid, and steering fluids at the very least and refer to your owner’s manual for suggested schedules. Also, check that oil filters are clean, and fluid lines are not cracked.
6) Ensure Lights Work
Do a quick scan through to make sure your blinkers, headlights, and brakes lights are all in working order. Switching out a burnt light bulb is simple and can save your life! Anything you can do to ensure other motorists are aware of you and your cycle is best for your and their safety.
7) Examine All Safety Equipment
Every time before you ride you should be checking your helmet for any dents or cracks. Make sure the inside lining is clean, and check all the straps for any tears. Take a quick inventory of your safety kit, replacing anything used last season, or that is expired.
Stop by and visit us at Chesapeake Cycle if you have any questions or concerns about getting your motorcycle road ready after winter storage. This is just a general checklist, but your particular model may have other requirements. It is best to ask the experts if you think you are missing or forgetting something. We all love riding as much as you do, so come on in and we will help you get the most out of this riding season!