Kick Off the Season With a Motorcycle Check-Up
Motorcycle season is officially upon us and the anticipation of that exciting ride has many motorcyclists eager to hop on their bikes. However, if you kept your bike inside your garage all winter, it’s important that you perform a check-up on your motorcycle’s condition to ensure it is safe for the road.
With Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month coming to an end, we have compiled a list of things you can do to make sure your motorcycle is ready for the warmer temperatures.
If your motorcycle hasn’t been used for several months, it’s likely that the battery needs some attention. It’s important that you check the battery terminals for dirt, dust or corrosion. there is corrosive buildup on your battery terminals, it could prevent your motorcycle from starting. Popular Mechanics recommends scrubbing it away with a wire brush or toothbrush and battery cleaner.
Once you’ve cleaned your battery, charge it by connecting it to a motorcycle battery charger. If there are any problems with the battery while charging it, you may need to replace the battery. The battery might be completely dead.
Quality brakes are very important in helping to keep you safe and making sure that you come to a complete stop. You definitely don’t want to take a chance on riding with squeaky or worn brakes.
When checking your brakes, make sure that both the hand and foot brakes work properly. Listen for screeching or scraping sounds. These could be signs of a problem with your brakes.
Finally, inspect your brake lines for any leaks or cracks and check your brake-fluid levels to ensure the reservoir is full.
Top Off the Fluids
Motorcycles require lots of fluid in order to produce a smooth ride. When a bike hasn’t been used for some time, fluids left sitting in the tanks may degrade. Replace any oil, gas, and brake fluid that has a dirty look or a different color than the original. Also, check all fluid lines for signs of cracks or leakage.
Adjust the Chain
Your motorcycle’s drive chain must always be at the right tension or it could cause significant damage to your bike. Check the chain for any excess slack or tightness. Lubricate and adjust the chain to the manual specifications or have a mechanic do so if you suspect any issues.
When inspecting the chain, make sure to also look for any damaged teeth. Broken teeth can cause the chain to roll off and may ruin the motorcycle’s engine. Replace any damaged chains immediately before riding the motorcycle.
Shine a Light
Lights are important no matter what time of the day you ride your bike. When you are on your motorcycle, you must remain visible to drivers at all times.
When checking your lights, take a look at all lights such as brake lights, headlights, turn signals, and emergency lights to make sure they are working properly. If a bulb is not working or is too dim, replace it.
Also, inspect all lenses to make sure that they are free of dirt or any grime.
No Cable Problems
Motorcycles have lots of cables that connect to the bike’s throttle, clutch, steering and other controls. Make sure that no cable is broken, torn, or frayed. If you see any signs of damage, replace them immediately. Also, check to see that none of the control cables are bent or twisted.
Look Over the Tires
When motorcycles sit for a while, the tires can lose pressure slowly or even completely causing a flat tire. Low tire pressure can make handling a motorcycle very difficult — putting the rider in danger of an accident — and can increase wear and tear on your tires. It’s important to make sure your tire pressure is just right before you take your bike out for its first ride.
If your tire’s pressure is low or you have a flat, fill the tire to its recommended pressure level; typically found inscribed on the face of the tire. Make sure you do not overinflate the tires or you could experience a blowout while driving.
Also, check for any damage to the tire such as dry rot or cracks. These tend to develop from lack of use and during cold and/or wet weather conditions. If you see cracks in your tire, replace it to prevent a blowout.
Maintenance Makes a Difference
The excitement of taking your motorcycle out of hibernation may have you shaking with excitement, but before you go full throttle, check to make sure that the bike is ready to hit the road.
Proper maintenance of your motorcycle will reveal a big difference in your ride and may also help to keep you safe. However, even though you may take steps to keep yourself out of harm’s way, not everyone will do the same.
If you’ve been injured in an accident by a negligent motorist while riding on your motorcycle, we may be able to help. Our motorcycle accident attorneys are available and ready to speak with you about your rights. Contact us today for a free case evaluation — call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the form below.