It’s time to blow that winter dust off the bikes! Whether you ride on the street or the dirt, this time of year gives us all the itch to get out and ride.
When your bike has been sitting for even a couple months it’s a good idea to give it a good check over before jumping on and heading out for that first ride. Assuming you are still riding an old school engine and haven’t moved into the world of electric motorcycles, then your bike needs 3 things to run: compression, spark, and fuel. It’s unlikely you would lose compression on a bike that was running recently. If you suspect your bike to have a compression issue, your first order of business is to get a compression test. This is something you can do on your own or find a certified mechanic to handle it for you.
Once you know your motorcycle’s compression is normal, you can go through a few simple checks to make sure it’s in tip top shape before the first spring ride. If you were on the ball this last fall/winter and got your bike all winterized before the long sit, then you have a lot less work to do now (and we applaud you!)
- Check your battery. Check it over for cracks or leaks. If you see any kind of damage replace your battery. If your battery needs to be charged, make sure to charge it slowly. Make sure your terminals are clear and clean. You can use cool water to rinse your battery off if need be.
- Check your oil. Is it time for an oil or oil filter change? Is your oil level normal? If your bike has been sitting for an extended amount of time, we recommend changing the oil.
- Fuel. If your fuel is more than 6 weeks old, we recommend replacing it. Better safe than sorry with gummy fuel. If you planned ahead and added fuel stabilizer to your full gas tank, you are one step ahead!
- Check your tires. This seems like an obvious one but it’s something that can easily be overlooked. Check your tire pressure and look over your whole tire for any signs of cracking, bulging, or abnormal wear.
- Check over the whole bike. Check your cables, lights, tubes, fluids and connections. One good once over can prevent you from having a major problem down the road.
Another good thing to check before heading out this spring is your helmet. Many people forget that a helmet has a 5-year expiration from the date of manufacture. On the inside of your helmet, sometimes inside the lining, you will find the manufacturer’s date. 5 years from this date is the expiration. The inner lining starts to compress and become less effective over the years, so even if you haven’t dropped, bumped, or crashed with your helmet it may be time for a new one. An older rider once told us, “you can’t ride without a head”.
Whether you’re just wiping down your bike or doing a full oil change, make sure to remove any metal rings. Getting a finger caught in a tight engine or scratching a nice paint job are just a few of the issues you can avoid with a silicone ring. Check out our selection of rings!