Get Your Bike Summer Ready
Get Your Bike Summer Ready
Perfect time for this is spring between March and May
After a cold winter and a hit and miss spring, your motorbike is probably only just awakening from it’s long hibernation. If you think you can just pull of the cover and hit the road, you may be in for a surprise. Hibernation sickness can take it’s toll on a machine but luckily, we’ve compiled a little maintenance checklist that should get your bike back to fitness in no time and see you back on two wheels, enjoying the summer weather at its best.
First things first, take a good look at your motorcycle and dream of what adventures you can go on together this summer.
Once your daydreaming is over, it’s time for the work to begin!
A Thorough Wash
Begin your season with a fresh start – that means getting the pressure washer out, your cleaning kit, your tools lined up in order and those all important lubrication products. As soon as your working area has everything ready and waiting, begin by cleaning that machine. A good clean will tackle the layers of gunk and grim – sure – but it will also let you take a good look at your motorbike from every single angle. You’ll be able to see loose bolts, rusted metalwork and anything that may need closer attention later on. It’s also a lot of fun, especially with the right soundtrack and a few cold beverages…
The Tyre Health Check
If you left the bike on stands for the winter, you should’ve avoided any unnecessary pressure on the tyres (often known as flat-spots) but that doesn’t mean that the bike is ready to ride! Take the time to really examine your tyres, looking for cracks in the rubber, general wear and tear or any slow punctures. If you have any doubts, it’s time to buy a new set entirely. If everything seems ok, grab your pressure gauge and check that everything is where it should be then take another look at your rims and spokes (if you have them); if anything is buckled or broken, buy new!
Have a look at your brake pads, checking that there is enough friction left to work efficiently. Some pads can be affected by the damp and actually corrode, so make sure everything is tip top before moving on. Next stop is a good old fluid level check and customary brake light check. Fortunately, the brakes are a relatively quick and easy fix if anything isn’t up to scratch.
Don’t Let The Suspense Kill You
Your damping fluid is probably a bit cold and will need a bit of warming up before you can revert back to your racing setup from last year. To keep things ticking over in the mean time, try a softer setting until your motorcycle is back to it’s old self. Basically, you want to make sure that your suspension has some spring left in it at all after the months of storage!
If you didn’t remove your battery for winter storage or regularly start your motorcycle then consider it a lesson well learned. Batteries need to be taken care of and even if you did take care of it over the winter months, then your battery will still need a bit of a boost before your first summer ride. Whip out the battery charger and give it a bit of juice, make sure the acid levels are within the correct parameters and top up if required. You should also give it a clean up, removing any corrosion that might have appeared too. If it’s an older battery, it might even need replacing altogether, especially if your motorbike is equipped with some of the more modern electric comforts, like ABS etc.
And finally, it’s time to get the good stuff out and lube up everything. Start with the chain, giving a good clean and a good dose of medicine. You can also treat your clutch and throttle cables to a bit of silicone grease and the lever pivots too.
Take a look at your coolant and oil levels, topping them up if necessary. If you didn’t change your engine oil before the winter storage period, then definitely change it now. Remember these steps for next year and prep your bike for storage accordingly next winter.
Often Forgotten Extras
Fresh fuel should assist your starting up regime but it’s not essential. As the winter period is only between three and four months, your fuel is unlikely to turn into varnish but fresh fuel can’t hurt. If you’re worried about your fuel when you pop the bike away for good this year, try adding a fuel stabilizer to keep it healthy over the winter period.
Lastly, your paperwork: if you SORN your bike, it’s time to cancel that. Also check that you’re taxed, insured and licensed; newer licenses may expire and older ones need to be updated. Keep all this in mind before you head out on the road.
Hopefully your motorbike is running, your paperwork is in order and your head is full of dreams. Now you’re ready to head out and enjoy the summer, in all it’s two-wheeled glory!
And When the Winter is upon us again Book it in to see us!