The beginning of spring marks the first time many motorcyclists are taking their bikes out of storage. While we have already had a few nice days these past few months, the Lake of the Ozarks is on the crest of having continuously nice spring days. This means that more bikes will be out and about enjoying the weather. Before you hit the road this spring, there are a few things you do first.
1. Change The Fluids
Motorcycles require lots of different fluids for them to run smoothly from oil and gas to hydraulic and brake fluids. Checking the fluids at the end of a long winter is much more than just making sure all the reservoirs are full. Fluids that are left sitting for a couple of months may degrade, so it's important to look for changes in color and consistency and replace any fluid that looks dirty or different than it did when you first put it in. If you winterized your bike correctly, you would have either drained the fuel or added a fuel stabilizer. If you did drain your tank, take a look inside and check for any rust, gunk or condensation that could cause problems later. Refill your tank before you start it up, to make sure the gas running through the system is as fresh as possible.
2. Check The Battery
The most common issue with bikes sitting all winter long tends to be the batteries. Cold weather can be hard on a bike's battery. To prepare for the first post-winter ride, make sure your battery is still in good condition. The terminals should be clean and free of dust, dirt and corrosion, and make sure the connections are secure.
3. Look For Winter Wear
Cold temperatures can be tough on a number of different motorcycle parts, so it's important to do a thorough inspection of the parts before taking it out. Be sure to check:
- Hoses for cracks, bulges or leaks.
- Throttle for smooth movement.
- Cables for damage like kinks or fraying.
- Levers and pedals for braking or bending.
4. Spring Maintenance
While ensuring the bike's parts are in good condition, it's best to also take the time to do some maintenance on it. Check the air pressure in the tires. Tires lose pressure slowly over time, plus the weather changes can also affect the pressure in the tires. Improper tire pressure can make the motorcycle more difficult to handle and increase wear and tear on the tires. In addition to making sure the tires are properly inflated, check for cracks, dry rot or any other damage. After checking the tires, take some time to inspect the brake pads and lines. Test the front and rear brakes separately to make sure they work and listen for scraping or squealing. The brake line should be free of any cracks and leaks. Your safety depends on other drivers being able to see you. Make sure the headlights, brake lights, turn signals and flashers are all working and connected securely. In addition, make sure the lenses are clean and test both the high and low beams.
5. Have The Proper Safety Equipment
Before your first ride of the season, check your helmet for any cracks, dents or other damage, and make sure the inner lining and clean. Try on your leathers to make sure they still fit comfortably. Having the proper safety equipment is important, as they could help save your life if anything were to happen while out riding.
If you need any new gear for the spring riding season, visit our showroom in Osage Beach or visit us 24/7 at www.SurdykeYamaha.com. Surdyke Yamaha has everything you need for adventures on land and water! We have everything you need for summer days spent out on the Lake, as well as everything you need for your biking and ATVing excursions. Let's ride!