Are you ready to ride? Patrick from J&P Cycles walks you through the top ten things to check out before you get on your bike this spring.
- Check your fluids: oil, tranny and primary fluid—make sure you check them all. If you didn’t change them going into winter, now’s the perfect time. If you need help with that, we have videos to help you out.
- Check your fuel. If you didn’t stabilize your fuel going into winter, something like Star Tron will rejuvenate that fuel, so when you go out and ride, you won’t have old gas. Prepare your motorcycle with a little fuel additive before you get on the road.
- Check your tires. First and foremost, check your pressure. Make sure you have the proper pressure before you get out for the first time this year. Also, check on tread depth and weather checking on the sidewalls. Check out these helpful videos.
- Brakes. First, check out your brake pads. Make sure you still have a good amount of wear left in them. Check brake pressure at the handle and at the pedal. If you don’t have enough brake pressure, you will need to bleed your brakes – if you need help, check out our videos below.
- Check your cables. First, your throttle cables. We want to make sure you have a good return on those. Second, check your clutch cables. Make sure they operate smoothly. If condensation got in there over the winter, then can get bound up. And your clutch may also need adjusted.
- Clean your motorcycle. If you didn’t clean it going into winter, it’s probably dirty and it’s going to need it anyway. I always like to clean my bike, because if it develops a little leak going into winter, I’ll be able to find it easier.
- Windshields. If you’re going to go for a ride and it’s the first ride out, chances are it’s going to be pretty chilly. So a windshield is always a good idea to keep some of that cold air off you, and you’ll be able to ride longer. If you do have a windshield, make sure it’s in good shape, and if it’s detachable, make sure all of your hardware is on tight.
- Clean your helmet. This is my helmet, and obviously I put it away dirty. You don’t really ever plan to stop riding; you just stop when it gets too cold. If you’re like me, you put your helmet away dirty, and it probably smells awesome. Clean your helmet—clean the inside, clean the outside.
- Check your gloves. It’s going to be chilly out when you’re riding for the first time. Your hands will definitely freeze on those handlebars. These are mine, and I have some holes, so they’re something I’ll want to replace. If you do take a tumble, and if you have a hole, it’s going to be an easy place for it to rip. So be sure your gloves are in good working order and clean them.
- Jacket. Obviously, if it’s spring, you’re going to want a jacket to wear. Put it on, make sure it still fits right. If you gained a couple pounds over the winter, you never know how it’ll fit. Clean your jacket, too. Make sure it doesn’t smell. The last thing you want to do is get ready to go out for that first ride and have a smelly jacket.
Here are a few additional great tips sent in by a viewer:
- Once on the bike, be mindful of any remaining road salt, sand, etc. It takes a bit for this stuff to get off the road.
- Remember: you are rusty. Hit a parking lot once you leave the house. It allows you to concentrate on dusting off your skills and to make sure the bike is operating as expected.
- Take it easy. Your tires are not as sticky in the spring as they are in the heat of summer. This can cost you.
- Take it easier. Cagers have no idea about bikes on the best days during mid-season, let alone the start. Be vigilant about your riding and your positioning.
- Keep watching motorcycle videos 😉
Now, go get ready to ride your motorcycle.