With spring officially here, it’s time to bring those bikes out of hibernation! In our last article, we reviewed some basic preseason maintenance but we’re not done yet. Don’t forget to check these things before you hit the road:
If you changed the oil and filter before laying your bike up, you’ve probably got nothing to worry about. But, you should still check the levels and check for any moisture that may have got into the system. If you didn’t change it, then do it immediately!
Pay particular attention to your tires. If your bike has not been on paddock stands or moved around over winter, you may find that the weight of the bike has caused some damage to the tires. Check the pressures using the owner’s manual as a guide. If there are any cracks on the sidewalls, change the tires. Don’t take any chances.
Suspension and Steering
You should give these a thorough inspection, checking for any excessive wear or extra play in the steering and shock absorbers. Tighten up any looseness in the steering head and check for leaky fork seals.
If your bike is liquid cooled, make sure to check your coolant. When the engine is cold, remove the radiator cap and check to make sure that it is both clean and above the minimum level. Dirty coolant can clog up the radiator and water jackets so, if it doesn’t look clean, have the system flushed out and refilled with a fresh mixture of anti-freeze and water.
Check all your lights are working properly and replace any faulty bulbs or fuses as necessary.
Before you hit the open road, give your bike a good clean and wax. Washing your bike is a good way to get up close and check for any damage or wear. This will also help to remove any surface corrosion or oily corrosion inhibitors you may have applied before the winter.
If you’re giving your bike a good once over, don’t forget your gear. Make sure all of your riding gear is clean, in good condition, and still fits well. If you’ve been out of the saddle for a few months, it’s advisable to start off with a nice gentle first ride out to get back into the swing of things.
From repairs to regular maintenance, we offer the best motorcycle services in Western Mass. V&F can help you create an appropriate schedule that considers your bike’s age, your driving habits, and the manufacturer’s recommendation. 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 second of a three-part series. Catch up on part one and stay tuned part three, coming later this week!