10 Steps To Get Your Bike On The Road For Spring
Life, or the weather, or about a million other things can get in the way of putting your bike away properly, sometimes things don't always work your way, and maybe you weren't able to take as much care with your bike as you would have liked. We can run you through some easy steps to get your bike ready before hitting the road this Spring, and make sure you have a safe riding season and your bike gets the love it deserves.
1. TAKE CARE OF THAT CHAIN! Clean and lube your chain, if you didn't in the Fall. If you neglected this important detail you're probably looking at a nasty, rusty, dirty chain. Spray it with a chain cleaner like Motul Chain Clean. Motorcycle specific chain cleaners don’t dry out or damage the o-rings found in most modern motorcycle chains. Tirox also makes a great chain cleaner, which comes with their proprietary chain brush that works great. Using a chain specific brush goes a long way and makes the job a lot faster. Wipe that chain clean and dry, and apply your favorite chain lube. We carry a ton and everyone has their favorite.
2. GET CHARGED! Stored your battery on a tender for the off season? You should be good to go, but If it's been sitting all winter, it's probably drained and needs to be charged. Charge it up with a Battery Tender, we stock several and can tell you which one to try for your battery. If you’ve got an older, conventional style battery, check the acid levels and top up any low cells with Distilled water. If your battery is truly dead and won't charge we can special order you a new one quickly, just send us an e-mail or contact us on the live chat.
3. CHANGE YOUR OIL! If you forgot to change your oil in the fall before putting away your bike, you'll definitely want to now. Doing it now before the season kicks in, is always better than waiting for the time when going for a nice ride becomes more attractive than doing regular maintenance. Temperature changes in your engine can cause condensation which builds up over the winter, especially if your motorcycle was stored somewhere unheated, plus you just don't want to run your bike with used, shitty oil. The engine is the heart of your bike, and the oil is the blood, you gotta take care of it.
Drain the old oil, install a new filter and fill 'er up with new oil. It’s that easy! If you've never installed a magnetic drain plug or oil filter magnet, it's an easy extra step you can take to keep your motorcycle running like new for longer - Just make sure you order the correct size! If you don't see your size get in touch and we'll help you find the right fit!
4. SCOPE YOUR SUSPENSION Take a look at your front and rear suspension for oil leaks. Leaking fork seals can get oil on your brakes or tires and need to be fixed or replaced right away.
5. BUBBLE BATH TIME Spring is also a good time to thoroughly clean the bike if you didn't in the Fall before putting it away or if collected a layer of dust over the last 3-4 months. While cleaning your bike take special care and look for any damage or any potential maintenance issues that need to be looked after before getting on your bike.
6. GET YOUR FUEL GAME TIGHT If you put fuel stabilizer in your gas before storing it should start up without issue. If you didn't and you're having a hard time starting your bike, some fresh gas might be what's needed. Drain your tank, and carb float bowls then fill with new gas. If problem persists you may need to take a closer look at your carbs / petcock to check for clogs or varnish build-up.
7. UNDER PRESSURE? Get intimate with those tires. Is there adequate tread depth? Are your sidewalls crack free? Is the pressure correct? Tire pressure is often an often overlooked area of regular maintenance but is integral to having safe ride. Tires are the only thing between your bike and the road, so if your bike runs great but your tires are worn out it can be a dangerous combination. We've got all the tire stuff you need to keep your rubber on the road and get in touch if you need some new tires and we'll help you source a great new set for your bike!
8. GET THOSE JOINTS LUBED Spring is a great time to lubricate all your moving parts, levers, foot-pegs, swing-arms etc. Levers, foot-pegs and kickstands can be lubricated with ACF-50 or a similar all purpose lubricant. Refer to your owners/service manual to check the recommended service for lubricating your swing-arm.
9. MAKE SURE YOU ARE SEEN All those big distracted drivers riding around in things much larger than your motorcycle can't read your mind let alone care to. Help others on the road know what you're doing and where you're going by making sure turn signals, tail and headlight are all working as they should. If not check for burnt bulbs, loose or dirty connections, etc.
10. HEAD CHECK/ SAFETY CHECK After three or four months off the road, it's not a bad idea to take your first ride in a quiet area to make sure you're comfortable on your bike and ready to head back out there. Stay alert and never assume that cars and trucks can see you. It's also a good time to make sure your riding and safety gear are in good shape. Time to invest in or replace worn out gear, a solid helmet, new pair of gloves or a quality motorcycle jacket can keep you in one piece if things go sideways. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about gear, riding in the city or any other questions you might have about your motorcycle!