Personally checking my ride from tip to tail gives me peace of mind when I am out on the road. Believe me, an hour giving your bike a good once-over can’t be compared with an hour waiting for AMA by the roadside. When it comes to my bike I like doing more than the bare minimum, which is following the schedule on the service manual. I love rolling up my sleeve and getting dirty. Ready to get your bike ready for spring? Well, let’s do it.
Wash your bike
Give your bike a good scrub. I always start my pre-season inspection. I give special attention to each part and note any worn out and loose parts. With the grime out of the way it’s much easier to notice the leaking parts. This is an easier way to spot any ride-halting issues before they become big problems.
If I have oil streaks on my forks I know my fork seals are failing me. I investigate all drips under the bike. Is it oil? Coolant? Fuel? Then I tighten the loose parts and repair the leak sources if it’s possible or simply visit my mechanic.
I keep my battery on a maintenance charger so it doesn’t die. If you don’t do this then plug one in immediately. If it can fully charge, count your blessings. However, it’s not an absolute assurance it won’t crap out on your maiden trip. Use a multimeter to probe it and see how health or unhealthy your battery is doing. Nonetheless, if you have had it for almost five years, start planning for a replacement.
Wheels and tires
I am not overstating but tires roadworthiness is absolutely important. The most honorable death for bike tires is wear and tear. So, don’t get paranoid and replace them before then. But check cracks on the rubber, dry rot, or hardening from oxidation. Also check the wheel weights and bearings as they can drop, ensure they are still in place. You have to get your bike off the ground to check this. The perfect place to get replacement wheels is at an OEM motorcycle parts dealer.
Check the brakes, fluids, and filters
While your bike is still off the ground, check the brake pads and rotors. By rotating the wheels you can check the rotors for scoring, glazing, or warping. If there’s a little bit of rust, relax, your bike has been in storage for months. It will go away with use but a brake cleaner always works. Give your bike fresh coolant and use new oil filters. Also, check the air and fuel filters for replacement or recharging.