Thursday, March 14, 2013
Riding season is just around the bend. The bike has been sitting for months with maybe an occasional start up. It’s time to get ready for the road again, but there are a few precautions that should be taken:
Gas will go stale from being stagnant, especially today’s gas with all the ethanol inside. Make sure all old gas is removed from the gas tank and any varnish cleaned. For those who drained their tanks before the winter, this shouldn’t be a factor. Refill with fresh, high-octane gasoline.
Oil can either be changed before or after storage. Check the oil for moisture build-up as water in the oil will have a milky like appearance. Some bikes can use 3-in-1 oil that is used for the engine, transmission and primary. Others use three different oils that all should be checked according to manufacturer’s specifications. Let the motorcycle warm up for a couple of minutes before driving it out on the road. Oil may have drained completely to the sump so the oil will take some time to go through all of the passages. Let the oil pressure build up before taking the motorcycle for a ride.
Belt and Chain Tension
Belt and chain tension should be checked for wear and endplay. All cables and hoses should be checked for frayed ends and dry rot.
Tires should be filled to their recommended pressure, as cold air over the winter causes air inside the tires to contract.
Lights and Signals
Check all lights and signals to make sure they all work.
It’s always better to take precautions before heading out on the road. Identifying and correcting safety threats before they develop into something worse will save money and pain. A good thorough check of the motorcycle will give you peace of mind and an understanding of the machine.