Tips For The New Motorcycle
It’s almost that time of year again!
Yes, riding season is just a short jolt around the corner so it’s time to start pulling those bikes out of the garage.
For those of you who may have acquired a plethora of new riding gear from the holiday season, I bet you would probably like to use it here soon. Good thing is that just a month(ish) away will be some much better weather for all of you readers to be riding in. But first things come first.
You may not have ridden much over the winter, if any. So you might be unsure if it is ready to go for another hard season of summer. Well fear not. We will make sure you start the year off fresh with some helpful tips to get your motorcycles in top shape for some great riding. Let’s see what we need to do.
First off, you should wheel your bike out of the garage and start with a good look over. This includes dusting/washing it off, checking for any signs of mice or other creatures building a home in it (yes this happens), making sure the motorcycle isn’t missing any obvious parts, or has any damage to parts that could cause safety concerns.
Next you will want to check your fluids and fuel to make sure the motorcycle is safe to start. A repair manual is a great tool for checking fluid capacities and type so if you don’t have one, get one.
You should now be ready to start the bike and make sure it runs just like you left it. Let the motorcycle warm up to operating temperature and listen for any odd sounds (Knocking, rattling, popping, etc.) and if you do hear something out of the ordinary then you should shut the bike off and perhaps call your mechanic. Only if you feel like it is running great and in sound mechanical shape we can move on.
Now that you are positive the engine still runs as it should, you can check to make sure everything else is in working order as well. You will need to inspect tires for wear/dry rot, check brakes for wear/brake fluids, check clutch/throttle/brake cable adjustment, look for any leaks, make sure the air filter is clean, inspect spark plugs for correct gap and wear, check chain/belt adjustment and sprockets for wear, test all electronics/lighting for proper function, check battery voltage and charging system, and check everything for loose bolts and parts.
Only after you have done all of this, should you now be ready to take a slow and short test ride to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Ride slowly and take a listen and feel the bike out. You should know your bike better than anyone; so if anything is odd, you or your mechanic can address the problem.
Also if you are unsure about your inspection abilities or just don’t have time, have your mechanic do the inspection and save yourself some trouble. Safety is the number one priority and many motorcycle deaths occur from lack of preparation. Don’t take anything for granted when it comes to motorcycles.