The sun is shining, the weather is warm, and those motorcycle keys are burning a hole in your pocket. You have been waiting patiently all winter for spring to arrive, and now that it’s here, the only thing you want to do is burn rubber on the road.
Making sure you take the appropriate steps before doing so is essential, or else you could end up facing a few costly repairs, or worse yet, a bike that refuses to fire up!
What to do Before you Ride for the First Time This Year
While keeping your motorcycle stowed away in a garage or storage facility during the winter months is one of the best ways to safeguard it from rust and unneeded wear and tear, there are still a couple pre-driving maintenance tips that have to be adhered to.
Even though it may have only been a few months since the last time you drove your bike, it is worth keeping in mind that fluid change intervals are required on a distance and time basis, whichever comes first. So, despite the fact that your ride’s oil and transmission fluid could have been put through zero miles of use over the winter, you’ll still want to make a trip to get your liquids changed.
Prevention is Key
When you’re talking about fluids, you’re talking about the lifeblood components of your engine. Skimp on routine fluid changes and a domino effect of other things can go wrong. Cold temperatures are extremely harsh on motors, new or otherwise.
The next best thing to do is remove the gas cap and check the fuel tank. Here is an excellent tip for next year if you didn’t do it this time around: use a quality fuel stabilizer.
These additive products are designed to keep water out of your gas tank and lines, thereby preventing debris and condensation buildup.
If for whatever reason the fuel appears cloudy or appears to have particulates floating in it, avoid cranking the engine. Instead, drain the supply out of the tank, lines, and carburetor, and fill up with a new batch.
Lastly, check the battery terminals and cable leads for corrosion. Be sure to tighten the cables down if they are lose; never go for a ride without first ensuring your motorcycle’s battery has and is capable of holding a full charge. The last thing you want to get stranded on your first ride on the road!