Now that spring is officially here, it’s time to bring those bikes out of hibernation! We know you're eager to get back on the road, and pre-season motorcycle maintenance is an essential part of kicking off the season. Here are a few things you should check before you take your bike out for its first ride:
If your bike has been in storage for a few months, there’s a good chance that your brakes have either seized up or feel a little spongy. We highly recommend flushing out the brake fluid and changing the pads, if needed. At a minimum, you should do a thorough visual inspection and test your braking ability at a walking pace. Be sure to clean up any surface corrosion on your brake discs and check that any protective fluid you might have sprayed on last season is washed off.
Hopefully, you’ve had your bike on a tender over the winter but, if not, your battery likely needs a dose of TLC. If you run additional electrical items that increase the strain on the charging system, such as heated grips, a satellite navigation system, or an alarm, it's even more important to have your battery inspected before heading out on a ride.
If your battery isn’t sealed, be sure to check the water level using distilled water to top up and clean the terminals using a little grease on the connection. Most times, a slow charge will bring the bike back to life. Occasionally, long periods of non-use, like the winter, can affect the battery and may ultimately mean that the battery will no longer hold a charge. If the battery is struggling to turn the engine over or quickly loses charge, you should have the battery replaced.
Ideally, you would have put some fuel additive in the tank before storing your bike for winter. If you didn’t, there’s a good chance that the fuel will have “gone off.” This can cause the fuel injectors, or carburetor jets on older bikes, to get clogged up.
When getting ready for your first ride, start by putting fresh fuel in the tank to test the system. If the engine sounds "rough," you may need a technician to replace the
fuel filters and clean-up the injectors/jets.
Spring Motorcycle Maintenance At V&F
From repairs to regular maintenance, V&F offers the best motorcycle maintenance services in Western Mass. V&F can help you create an appropriate schedule considering your bike’s age, driving habits, and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Call us at (413)314-2280 to discuss preventative maintenance planning, or schedule an appointment online.
An annual favorite of our readers, this guide was originally published in April 2019 and is updated annually to reflect changing best practices. This is the first of a three-part series. Stay tuned for parts two and three, coming later this week!