Get your cycle in tip-top shape

Comments | Posted in News By Fanatical Fulmer

Apr 23, 2019 9:21:18 AM

As temperatures begin to heat up, we folks in the colder states are shedding our coats and mittens to welcome spring riding season.

If you haven’t yet been out on your bike, you may need to do a bit of prep work to make sure your first ride is your best. This is necessary even if you winterized your bike for winter storage.

 The first step is to remove the storage cover and any blocks used to keep the bike in place during the winter. Lower the bike onto its side stand. “Remove any plugs, rags or covers from the exhaust pipes and air intakes meant to keep out animals and foreign objects,” writes Sparefoot.com. “Wash away any coating you may have applied to protect the frame, rims and chain.”

 Did you know gasoline deteriorates very quickly? “Stale gasoline is an often forgotten yet very problematic issue with stored vehicles, so we recommend addressing your fuel and fuel system first, before anything else,” says bikebandit.com.

 If you winterized your bike correctly, you either drained the fuel or added a fuel to the fuel in the tank to extend the life of fuel to a year or more. If you drained the tank,  take a look inside the tank  for any rust, gunk, or condensation that could cause problems later.

Next, fill your gas tank with fresh premium fuel that contains no ethanol, advises Totalmotorcycle.com. Most regular grade fuels contain ethanol, which is not the best for power sports applications - especially if you are not using them every day. More importantly, TMW says, add the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer.

Many motorcycle manufacturers recommend that you change the engine oil and filter before storage and again in the spring, according to sparefoot.com. “During storage, the oil can separate, causing a condensation build up that may harm your engine. Whether or not you changed your engine oil before storage, you’ll still want to check the oil level before riding.”

After changing the oil and after the bike has completely cooled down, drain the float bowls – if accessible on non-fuel-injected bikes) as extra insurance. There is no draining required on fuel injected motorcycles, since it is sealed from the outside air, they add.

One of the most common issue with bikes sitting all winter long tends to be the batteries, bikebandit.com states. “Every time a battery goes dead, its life gets cut down, and it only needs to be drained a few times for it to become really problematic. Smart riders will have kept their battery on a trickle charger while it was stored, but if you forgot this step, it’s not too late to order one and charge your battery back up for that first ride of the season.”

Additional tips include giving your bike a good cleaning and coat of wax followed by lubing your chain – if applicable, check your air filter and spark plugs, make sure lights and turn signals work, and give your tires a good kick to make sure they are properly inflated.

“It’s better to check for these things in your garage than find out about them while going 65mph down the highway,” gearpatrol.com aptly writes.

 

Happy riding!

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