Top 10 Tips Before You Get Out and Ride

//Top 10 Tips Before You Get Out and Ride

Top 10 Tips Before You Get Out and Ride

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.

  1. 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.
    1. How to Change Transmission Fluid
    2. How to Change Motorcycle Primary Oil
    3. How to Change Motorcycle Oil
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
    1. Motorcycle Tires Buying Guide
    2. How to Check Motorcycle Tire Pressure
  4. 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.
    1. How to Install Motorcycle Brakes
    2. How to Bleed Motorcycle Brakes
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Take it easy. Your tires are not as sticky in the spring as they are in the heat of summer.  This can cost you.
  4. 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.
  5. Keep watching motorcycle videos 😉

Now, go get ready to ride your motorcycle.

By |2015-04-14T14:49:14+00:00February 25th, 2015|Categories: How-To Articles|1 Comment

About the Author:

Patrick Garvin began his stint with J&P Cycles at the start of 2008 after doing some installs for us at Daytona and Sturgis for two years. Currently, Patrick splits his time between the eCommerce team and purchasing, finding new and exciting products for our website and catalog. When he’s not at his desk, he’s zigzagging across the country with J&P’s event crew. Patrick has an obsession with going fast on just about anything, a trait he shares with his 6-year-old son Race. You can usually find both of them wrenching in the garage or ripping through the fields on dirt bikes. Emma, his beautiful wife of 7-plus years, puts up with his antics and keeps his head screwed on because he certainly wouldn’t be able to find it without her.

One Comment

  1. James nelson March 27, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I ride all year but the tips are good and definitely appreciate the r&r brakes video thanks j& p cycle like that I can call and get tech advice I purchase practically everything for my flstc from you but my name won’t show up on your customer list because I either have my brother John Nelson up in camp verde ax or my brother Joey Carroll here in Austin order for me. Me and Joey recently bought tires mine of course was the one ups lost your service is great got my tire found in a couple days

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