March 12th, 2014
After a brutal winter, you may want to work off the stress by getting on your hog and hitting the open road. Taking a joy ride on your motorcycle can be a great way to start off the spring, but after a long winter, your ride may need some maintenance. Going for a ride without getting your bike properly tuned up could result in it breaking down or getting in an accident. Even though you are protected by motorcycle insurance, you should still get your ride in shape. Here are a few ways to tune up your motorcycle for the spring:
Give it a wash
If your motorcycle has been sitting in your garage all winter, chances are it will need a little cleaning. Sitting under a tarp for months at a time can result in dust and dirt buildup, which may not be the best way to treat your prized possession. Begin your spring tune-up by giving your bike a quick wash. A quick rinse of water and soap and even a nice coat of wax can make all the difference when you hit the open road.
Check tire pressure
After you have given your ride a deep clean, check the shape of the tires. You may not have ridden your bike during the winter, but that does not mean the tires haven't expelled air during that time. Use a standard air gauge to make sure the air levels are at their proper gauge. If they seem low, fill them up at a local gas station.
While checking out the air pressure, see whether there are any cracks or punctures in the tires. Even the smallest puncture can cause air to escape, and a deflated tire can cause your joy ride to take a spill. If you are having trouble finding a crack, fill up your tires and listen for any air escaping. If you find that your tires have been compromised, you will need to replace them.
Make sure engine is working
The motor is the lifeblood of your bike, so make sure every facet of it is working at top capacity. First, check the voltage of your motorcycle battery. You can do this by using a simple voltage testing system. If your battery is not quite at 100 percent, it will still function properly. If it is working at 50 percent, it may be time to replace it.
While out on the road, you don't want to run into engine trouble. An engine breakdown could cause you to spin out. After staying in a garage all winter, the best present you can give your bike is replacing the oil. If you have already given your motorcycle an oil change while in storage, you can skip this step. If not, consider changing oil yourself or visit a mechanic who can help you. While checking the oil, make sure other fluid levels are consistent, including the brake fluid, hydraulic fluid and coolant.