You know the feeling. The days are getting longer and brighter. The temperature’s rising. Green stuff’s starting to grow, and something deep inside you screams out for a brand-new adventure. Spring’s here, and that means it’s time to dust off your leather jacket and get your bike ready for riding season.
Don’t want to risk skipping something important because you’re in a rush to hit the road? A systematic approach will ensure you do everything right, and we’ve got just the list you need.
- Spring Cleaning
There’s no time like spring to clean, and you’ll want to give your bike a good wash before you start going through your inspection checklist. We bet you didn’t put it in the garage for the winter without cleaning it first, but there’s a good chance some dust and dirt will have accumulated over the cold season.
Now that your bike’s sparkling clean, you can move on to the inspection. Start by giving your tires a good once-over to check for wear and tear, cracks, bulges, cuts, and tread depth. Replace them if necessary. If your tires are still in excellent condition, you should check the tire pressure and inflate your tires.
Your brakes are undoubtedly your bike’s most essential safety system, and no rider should be out on the road without conducting regular inspections. As you gear up for the rest of the year, always check your brake pads for thickness and wear and tear, and switch them out with quality, OEM-recommended pads if needed. Take a look at your brake fluid and top it up if it’s low, while avoiding mixing different types. Carefully examine your lines for damage and breaks. If you’re not sure about the condition of your brake system, a professional inspection will give you peace of mind that you’re ready to ride safely.
- Fluid Levels
Your bike’s transmission and engine will thank you if you take good care of your fluids, so here is a 3-in-1 for you. Inspect your levels of engine oil, coolant, and transmission and clutch fluids, and top them up if they’re low, but don’t stop there. You can definitely do with an oil change if your motorbike has been idling all winter. Be vigilant for any leaks, and get them taken care of immediately.
If your bike’s been sitting in the garage all winter, there’s no way you won’t need to charge your battery, so start there. While you’re at it, make sure the terminals and connections are spic and span, and test the voltage before you hit the open road.
- Lights & Electrical
Some riders may overlook these obvious points or take them for granted, but not you! As you gear up for a great year, you’ll test whether your headlights, tail lights, and turn signals are still working, just in case. Look over your wiring to see if you can spot any damage that needs to be addressed, and make sure the horn works.
Ensuring that your drive train is in top condition is one of the essential tasks of getting your bike ready for spring. Lube your chain and adjust the tension, checking the manufacturer’s recommendation if you need to. Next up, give your sprockets a good look and replace them if they’re worn.
The suspension doesn’t just increase your comfort on the road, but it also impacts your stability and overall safety. Scan your bike’s front and rear suspension thoroughly to check if you can spot any damage. Check if your forks and shock absorbers are in good working order, and fine-tune the suspension if you think some adjustments would be in order.
- Controls and Cables
Assessing your bike’s essential controls is key to a safe riding season. It’s a good idea to put your bike’s throttle, brake levers, and clutches to the test ahead of riding season. Squeeze the brake levers to examine whether they engage smoothly, without too much resistance or a spongy feeling. Test the throttle for any sticking or hesitation,
In addition to testing the controls, riders should also lube the cables and check that they are still in good condition. Moisture, dust, and wear can all threaten their functionality.
- Fuel, Exhaust, Frame, & Fasteners
It’s time for some good spring cleaning, starting with your air filter. Checking your fuel system off your to-do list also requires you to see if there are any leaks and test the fuel pump and injectors. Your exhaust is a similar story — tighten up any loose bolts and connections and make sure there are no leaks or cracks before you take your bike for a spin.
Keep going around the frame to tighten up bolts wherever they’re a little loose, and again, look for any damage or wear.
- The Rest
If you’ve already gone through all the steps above, that should leave you with minor miscellaneous bits and bobs, like your mirror and windshield. Basically, lay eyes on any part of your motorbike you haven’t already intimately reacquainted yourself with so far.
- What About You? Are You Ready?
Have you meticulously inspected every last inch and serviced your bike? Hold on — you’re not ready for a test drive just yet. After all, it’s not just your bike that needs to be ready for the road. The same should be true for you, too, and you won’t be before:
- You make sure your registration and insurance are up to date.
- You’ve got your motorcycle license on you.
- Your helmet, jacket, gloves, and boots are in solid condition.
- You’ve got your basic emergency kit set up, including tools, first-aid, your trusty pocket knife, and anything else you usually carry. You never know which of your supplies have deteriorated over the winter!
Servicing your bike regularly is a must. It’ll ensure top performance, keep you safe, and prolong your motorbike’s lifespan. If you’ve overwintered your bike in the garage, going through this guide will help you make sure you’re all set for the upcoming riding season.