How to Correctly Conduct Spring Motorcycle Maintenance

If you own a motorcycle, the first thing you’ll want to do in the spring is grab your helmet and find the curviest road to ride. However, if you’re a new rider, you might not realize that you can’t just fire up a bike after it’s been sitting in your garage all winter. You have to winterize a motorcycle, so naturally, you also have to de-winterize it. Here’s your guide to spring motorcycle maintenance.

 

Take a look.

 

Start your motorcycle maintenance routine with a visual inspection of your machine. Check the body panels, storage areas, mufflers, air inlets, and fenders for signs of rodent activity and damage. Also, check the seals, plugs, brake-fluid reservoir, brake pedals, and brake calipers for leaks.

 

Check and change the fluids.

 

Change the engine oil and transmission fluid. We know you did this just before you put the bike up for the winter, but unused oil and fluids can get waxy or separate and become less effective.

 

Take a look at the coolant and brake fluids, as well. If you haven’t replaced them in a while, then you should probably do so. Otherwise, make sure your bike has the proper levels of each.

 

Re-install the battery.

 

Check your battery or have an expert check it, even if it’s been hooked up to a charger all winter. If it’s discharged, charge it and check the voltage and amperage. Also, look for leaks or corrosion, and if you have a wet cell battery, top the electrolyte levels off with distilled water.

 

Remember, always wear rubber or nitrile gloves when handling batteries. Never take risks with battery acid.

 

Test the tires.

 

Check your tires for cracks or flat spots, and then test the tire pressure with a gauge. Tires can lose pressure when they sit, so it’s important to get an accurate reading and pump them up if necessary. Make sure the tread depth is still sufficient, as well.

 

Go slow.

 

Take it easy on your first ride out. Let the engine warm up before you go and listen for any changes in it. Make sure you’ve completed all motorcycle maintenance steps before you zip down the highway.

 

And after you’ve established that your machine is still fit, check yourself, as well. You haven’t ridden all winter, so your skills could be rusty. Take it easy for a bit and remember how to drive before you try anything too risky. One of our agents can help you file a motorcycle insurance claim if you need it, but we would rather you stay safe.