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get your motorcycle ready for spring


By flood - Posted on 20 March 2009

motorcycle spring maintenance

Happy Spring Solstice! Today marks the first day of spring for 2009 - which means it is time to take your motorcycle out of storage and out onto the open road.

Here is a spring checklist to prep your motorcycle and you for new riding season.


Locate your storage checklist

If you had followed our motorcycle winter storage guide you would have a checklist itemizing all of the steps you had done to winterize your motorcycle. Now all you need to do is reverse all of those steps.

If you forgot where you put your checklist (or did not make one) - do not worry, we got you covered with the following list:

uncover

Unveil your motorcycle! Take a moment to get reacquainted with your beauty. It has been a long time since you and your baby have seen each other. Once you and your motorcycle have had a chance to catch up - clean off the cover before folding it up for storage. Make sure to wash it off properly in case any animal friends had decided to leave anything behind.

tires

Check both tires air pressure to ensure they are properly inflated. Refill your tires with air if needed.

Also, check your tires for any cracks, bulges or punctures that may have occurred during storage.



remove rags

Remove any rags meant to keep out animals and foreign objects from the exhaust pipes and air intakes.

Wash bike

Give your motorcycle a good bath to remove any dirt and grim that has accumulated over the storage season.

battery

Take your battery off it's trickle charger. Check the voltage to ensure it is properly charged. Once confirmed the battery is charged, reconnect your battery to your motorcycle. Clean off any corrosion that has built up on the terminals.

Inspect controls

Before you take your motorcycle out for its first ride of the season you want to ensure that all of the controls are in working order.

Carefully examine the cables and hoses for any cracks, kinks, or other damage. Test the levers and pedals to make sure they are well lubricated. Test the throttle to ensure it flows smoothly, that it does not jam or springs closed when released.

electronics

Test your lights making note of any cracks, burnt out bulbs, or dim light. Test your headlamp's regular and high beam light. Test both front and rear turn signals. Test your rear brake light and ensure it lights up when you engage the front, rear, and both brakes. Although not part of your lights - also check your reflectors for any cracks and that they are securely mounted.

Review your motorcycle's computer / odometer controls. Check your gear and turn signal lights are in working order. Inspect the lights that illuminate your heat and odometer gauges.

Test the horn to ensure it is in working order.

fluids

If you had changed your motorcycle's oil before placing your motorcycle in storage then you can skip the step of changing the oil again. If you had not changed the oil prior to storage, or you had used a lower-grade oil for storage, or simply would like the piece of mind of having fresh oil in your machine - then change the oil. When changing the oil also replace the oil filter.

Check the levels and consistency of all of the other fluids (gear oil, shaft drive, hydraulic fluid, coolant, brake fluid). Change any fluids that are poor quality and top off any fluids that need re-filling. When topping off fluids always use a new sealed container.


chain and sprockets

Your motorcycle's chain may have loosened over the winter. Test the amount of slack in the chain and adjust it if needed. While you are at it, now is a great time to review the condition of the sprockets. Check the sprocket teeth for any uneven wear and make sure that it does not look like the picture below!

Once your chain has been readjusted and your sprockets examined, lubricate your chain.


chassis

Take a close look at your motorcycle's frame and fairing for any signs of cracks, lifting paint, rusting, or dents.

Check your bike's rear suspension and front forks. Make sure they are set to the proper specifications.

lower your motorcycle

After you have given your bike a through inspection and the tires and chain have been looked after - remove any foam / wood blocks from under the tires and lower the bike onto it's side stand. When setting the bike on it's side stand hold the bike and test the stand by slowly placing your bike's weight onto it. If the stand had been bent you want to test it out before trusting it to support your motorcycle's weight!

paperwork

Return all of your motorcycle's documents such as your insurance papers and vehicle registration back into the bike.

revive the beast

Start your motorcycle's engine. Once the bike is warmed up check to see if it idles smoothly and at the correct RPM after reaching it's operating temperature.

brush up on your riding skills

Before you take your motorcycle out for a fabulous spring time joy ride - practice your riding skills at an empty parking lot or quite residential street.

motorcycle practice in parking lot

Your riding skills will be a bit rusty and you will have to bring your muscle memory back to normal by practicing your turns and emergency maneuvers.


enjoy the ride!

Once you have become comfortable again with operating your motorcycle you can safely take it out for your first ride of the season. Give yourself a hand for taking proper care of your machine. Enjoy your first motorcycle ride of the season and ride safe.