March 24th, 2009 8 Comments » | View blog reactions
Summer is lurking just around the corner and it’s time to get the motorcycle ready for a new season of adventure and good times. Here’s the five things I do to my bikes before every season.
1. Change oil and filter.
There’s a lot of discussion on using synthetic oil vs. non-synthetic oil. I go with what ever the manufacturer of my motorcycle recommends. As far as I know it’s more important to get the viscosity right than if it’s synthetic or not.
2. Check tire pressure.
Easy to forget when you just want to go and ride. But quite a lot of air actually fizz out during the 3-5 months your motorcycles is parked for the winter. If you don’t have a pump at home, your first trip should be to the gas station checking that tire pressure. Again, I go with whatever the manufacturer recommends.
3. Recharge the battery.
It depends a bit on how old your battery are and if it’s a gel battery or not, how crucial charging your battery will be. I tend to go with gel batteries for my bikes since I can be arsed to check on fluid levels and all. I’ve had bikes that started on first turn after the winter without being charged. But it’s recommendable to charge it once or twice over the winter.
4. Check brake pads and chain.
Check chain tension according to your manual. But also check if the chain is worn and should be replaced. If you grab a link with two fingers on the rear sprocket and you can lift it from the teeth of the sprocket, the chain will need to be replaced soon. Check brake pads according to your manual. Usually you there’s no need to remove the brake caliber. Most brake pads have slits cut into them. If you can still see the slits, you’re fine.
5. Clean and lube.
When everything is checked, replaced as needed and fully charged. It’s time to give the motorcycle a thorough spring cleaning. Of course you cleaned it when you put it in storage. But if you’re like me you gave it a light spray lubricant of some sort to prevent rust and corrosion during winter. All that needs to come off and fresh bike spray needs to come on. It’s best to lube the chain while it’s hot. But if you just cleaned it with chain cleaner. Give it a light lube, go for a ride and lube again when you get back. Remember it’s best to lube more frequent than too much at one time. Now is also a good time to check your cables and give them a drop of lube.
If you do these five things, your bike will last long and always be in perfect condition. Riding a clean bike in good condition puts a smile on your face. After all that’s what it’s all about.