The weather is warming up, and you want to get out on your motorcycle. You can’t just roll it out of storage and ride off, though. The cold winter months and the snow that comes with them mean that your bike has been sitting for quite some time. Here’s what you need to do to prepare for riding season.
Get Rid of Old Fuel
If your bike has been sitting for a while, and if it has a carburetor, it’s time to take that carburetor apart and give it a good cleaning. When a motorcycle sits for a long time, the gasoline can create a film called varnish that coats important parts of the fuel delivery system. Cleaning your carburetor removes this coating and gives you a better ride. You should also add some fuel stabilizer to your gas before storing your bike for an extended period of time.
Check the Battery
Sitting in storage is not good for your bike’s battery. It will loose its charge, and you may need to get a new one when riding season comes around. But before you go out and buy a new battery, try charging your old one. Check the levels of distilled water in the battery, and use a hydrometer to check it.
Look at the Tires
Before putting your bike in storage, you should always partially deflate your ties since they’ll likely lose air anyway. As you’re prepping your bike for spring rides, check the tire pressure and add air as needed. Check your tire tread, too, and make sure that the rubber isn’t too dried out. Your tires are the only things that will be actually touching the road, so they need to be in good condition.
Ideally, you’d check your lights before every ride you take, but this doesn’t always happen. Spring, however, is the time to check your lights and make sure they’re in good working order. This takes only a few minutes, and it could make all the difference on the road. Fire up your bike and see if your lights come on and stay on. If they do, then you’re all set. But if not, replace the bulbs. If the bulbs still don’t work, then you may have a bad switch or a short somewhere on the bike.
Hydraulic brakes can be affected by long periods of inactivity. If you notice that your brakes feel a little soft, you may have some air in the brake lines. Even a small air bubble in the brake line can cause your brakes to function improperly. Take the cap of the brake reservoir off and tap the break lines with a wrench. Sometimes this is all it takes to get the air bubbles out. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to bleed your brakes. Take the time to make sure that you get your brakes working properly, because without them you may only take one more ride.