Getting your bike out for Spring can be easy if you took the time to put it away properly before the snow fell, but life and the weather sometimes don't always work your way and maybe you weren't able to take as much care as you would have liked. We'll run you through going over your bike before hitting the road this Spring to make sure you have a safe riding season and your bike gets the love it needs.
1. CHANGE THAT OIL! If you didn't change your oil in the fall before putting away you'll definitely want to now before the season kicks in and going for a nice ride becomes more attractive than doing regular maintenance. Water from condensation can sometimes build up in engines from temperature changes especially if your motorcycle was stored somewhere unheated. Plus you just don't want to run your bike with used, shitty oil. It's not good for the heart of your bike. Drain old oil, install new a filter and fill 'er up with new oil. If you've never installed a magnetic drain plug or oil filter magnet it's an extra step you can take to keep your longer 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 one!
2. TAKE CARE OF THAT CHAIN Clean/lube chain if you didn't in the Fall. If you didn't do this in the Fall you're probably looking at a nasty, rusty, dirty chain. Spray down your chain with a chain cleaner like Motul Chain Clean. Motorcycle specific chain cleaners will not dry out or damage the o-rings found in most modern motorcycle chains. Tirox also makes a great chain cleaner that come with their proprietary chain brush that works great. Sometimes using a chain specific brush goes a long way and makes the job a lot faster. Wipe chain clean and dry and apply your favourite chain lube. We carry a ton and everyone has their favourite.
3. YOU CHARGED UP? If you've stored your battery on a tender it should be good to go. If it's been sitting all winter though it's probably drained and needs to be charged. Charge it up with a Battery Tender. We stock several and can advise which one to try for your battery. If you have an older conventional style battery check the acid levels and top up with Distilled water if any of the cells are low. If your battery is truly dead and won't charge we can special order you a new one quickly.
4. SMOOTH CRUISING Check suspension for oil leaks - 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. SHOW AND SHINE 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. YOUR MOTORCYCLES 'GO' JUICE If you put fuel stabilizer in your gas before storing it should start up without issue. If you did not and you're having a hard time starting your bike some fresh gas might be what's needed. Drain your gas tank and carb float bowls and 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.
6. HOW ARE THOSE ROUND THINGS? Inspect tires - Is there adequate tread depth? Are your sidewalls crack free? Do you have the correct tire pressure? Tire pressure is often a neglected area of regular maintenance but very important to having a safe ride. Your tires are the only thing between your bike, you and the road. If your bike runs great but your tires are worn out it can be a dangerous combination.
7. SERVICE MOVING JOINTS Spring is a great time to lubricate all your moving parts like levers, footpegs, swingarms etc. Levers, footpegs 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 swingarm.
8. DO OTHERS ON THE ROAD KNOW WHERE YOU'RE GOING? 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.
9. SAFETY CHECK YOUR HEAD After three or four months of not riding it's not a bad idea to take your first ride in a quiet area to make sure you're comfortable on the bike and ready to head back out there with all the four wheel cages rolling around. 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. Not a bad time to invest in a solid helmet, new pair of gloves or a quality riding jacket to keep you in one piece if things go sideways. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about gear, riding in the city or any other questions you might have about your motorcycle!