Is it that time of the year already? Yes, it is. With winter snow melting and warmer temperatures kicking in, it’s time to relive one of your passions – motorcycle riding – the sheer joy of biking your two-wheeler on curvy roads.
But wait – not too fast. While we understand the excitement to pull your pride and joy out of the garage and hit the open road, we also recommend taking a moment to ready your motorcycle for a smooth cruise. Whether you winterized your bike for off-season storage or not, it is crucial to prepare your bike for the hot season – to ensure both safety and fun.
So, before you don your helmet on and gear up for the first ride, follow these smart tips to road-ready your bike for riding like a pro.
- Clean your motorcycle
After months of hibernating in the garage, cleaning your motorcycle should be a necessary spring ritual for every motorist. Doing so does not only embellish your ride but also helps detect loose nuts and bolts, wear and tear, and any potential damage. Before you ride, remove any covers or blocks placed previously, and lower your bike on its side stand. Dust off all the dirt and grime from the fairings and windshield and wash away any coating or protective spray you might have applied to protect your precious motorbike. Moreover, take a look inside the airbox and exhaust pipes to ensure no tiny critters are hanging out down there. Finally, wiping the brake rotors, frame, rims, and chains will help remove corrosion or rust caused by moisture during the winter months.
- Check the fuel system
Your fuel system can make or break when it comes to having a smooth road trip. Standing stagnant for an extended period, your fuel filter can weaken, so it makes sense to check the fuel system before running the engine. Make sure there is no gunk or stratification in the fuel tank when you remove the filter caps. In case you were considerate enough to use a fuel stabilizer, kudos for you; your fuel must look good and consistent. However, draining the fuel tank and clearing the lines is a smart choice if you did not. In addition, don’t forget to replace the fuel filters and examine for cracks or leaks in the tank.
- Change the engine oil
You don’t want to give your loyal steed a dose of old, filthy engine oil. Whether you changed the oil before winter storing your bike or not, now is the time to do it. This is because, during long months of storage, the condensation build-up caused by oil separation will harm your automobile. Therefore, make sure it’s well-oiled before riding.
- Top up the fluids
We can’t emphasize the importance of topping off the fluids enough. Just like a fresh dose of engine oil, your bike requires new and rich levels of other fluids for optimal performance on the road. To minimize the safety risks, check the brake fluid and top off if needed. Be sure to also look out for your coolant level or end up abandoned in the middle of nowhere with an overheated engine. If that doesn’t sound pleasant, flush your radiator and fill it with fresh coolant. In addition, inspect the fluid hose connections for any signs of cracks, leaks, or looseness. If you find anything out of order, get it fixed as needed.
- Go over the battery, wires, and electrics
Nothing more aggravating than a dead battery. While most passionate motorists remove their battery for storage, many others forget to hook up the battery to a tender and end up wondering who to call when car battery dies. So, if you are a passionate biker who keeps their battery charged even during the storage months, you can reconnect the battery after cleaning and greasing the terminals and cables. However, in the other case, the battery needs to be fully charged or replaced (if it doesn’t hold a charge). Likewise, go over your bike’s electrics and do a quick check of all the lights and indicators. Ignoring any fuses might not be a good choice, so replace any blown bulbs to make the best of your rides.
- Inspect the tires
Now that your bike looks pristine and charged take a moment to think about the tires. Chances are that your motorcycle was standing on its weight over the winter months, leading to stress marks and flat spots. Riding with underinflated, overinflated, or damaged tires can lead to horrible accidents. Thus, first, do a visual inspection around the wheels for any cracks, punctures, and bulges that indicate potential wear and tear. After that, check your tire pressure using a pressure gauge to ensure your ride is safe.
- Kick the brakes
For those with disc brakes, examine the brake pads and discs. If you find them wearing and thin, consider getting new ones so you can ride all summer without any risks. Inspect both the front and rear brakes and lubricate the front-brake lever and throttle cables. Also, clean the brake rotors using the brake cleaner. Furthermore, make sure the brake fluid is up to the appropriate level and simultaneously check the lines for any cracks or leaks.
- Assess the suspension, frame, and steering
Any movement or clunking from the steering is not a good sign. One last check before hitting the road should involve inspecting the frame and steering for hairline cracks. Look around the engine and transmission brackets areas, move the forks back and forth to feel any irregularity. Then lubricate all the bearings, nuts, and fastener, and grease the kickstand.
Contact Flag Towing for emergencies
Even after you clean your motorcycle, top up the fluids, charge your battery, and rejuvenate the tires and brakes, mechanical breakdowns can still happen. However, the situation can be a little less troublesome when you have a local roadside assistance plan. Fortunately, Flag Towing offers excellent motorcycle roadside assistance around the country. Our professional team takes pride in helping motorists in times of need using a fleet of tow trucks and state-of-the-art tools. So, get in touch with us today and get the best roadside assistance coverage for you and your family.