You’re pleased to see so many fellow bikers on your first ride of the season. The spring air has brought bikes out of their sheds and riders back to life, but your steering feels a bit more sluggish than it did last year. The cars around you seem to be moving more aggressively...or maybe you’ve forgotten how much drivers hate sharing the road. Is it you—or your bike—that has gotten rusty over the winter?
6 Ways a Spring Tune-Up Can Prevent a Motorcycle Crash
The truth is that both you and your motorcycle need a little spring cleaning before reclaiming the road. Your bike will need a full workup to test all of its systems, while you will have to acclimate to the hazards of your surroundings. Here are a few ways you and your bike can get in shape for spring:
- Replace your fluids. If you didn’t empty your gas tank before storing your bike for the winter, you may have condensation in your tank. Drain the remaining fuel from your tank and use new gasoline. You should also do an oil change and top off the rest of your fluids.
- Check your battery. Battery terminals may corrode in storage, so make sure your battery is free of corrosion and check your spark plugs to avoid problems starting up. While you’re tuning up your electrical system, check to make sure all of your lights are working and replace the bulbs that aren’t.
- Check your air circulation. Check both your oil and air filters to make sure the engine is properly ventilated. You should also inspect your hoses for kinks, leaks, and other damage.
- Stop and go. Inspect your tires, brakes, and pads to make sure you can stop safely and with adequate distance. Make sure your chain is running smoothly; oil it or adjust it if your acceleration is affected.
- Check your gear. Do your leathers still fit you properly? Are your goggles clear and crack-free? Is the foam in your helmet in good shape? If not, invest in new riding gear.
- Take a short spin. Once your bike has been tuned up, give it a good scrub and inspect it closely for any further damage. Always take a test ride down your street or in a nearby parking lot before taking your first full ride—and even then, stay off the highway. It’s better to discover a problem at slow speeds than on the freeway.
Attorney James Roswold knows how hard it is for bikers to get the respect they deserve on the road. To help his fellow motorcyclists stay safe, he has compiled the best safety tips and solutions into a single book, The KC Biker Bible. Click here to request a free copy!