If you rode all winter, then your bike should be ready for spring but if your motorcycle spent the entire winter in the garage or some other storage facility, then it’s far from ready to just get and go.
How exactly should you prepare your motorcycle for spring? Below is a checklist you should use every time before you hit the road on your bike:
Check Your Stands
You want your stands to work properly whether it’s a kickstand, side or center stand. They have to be secure to the bike. You don’t ever want to be the guy whose kickstand falls off the bike and you end up leaning it against the wall to support it.
Check Your Chassis
We are talking about suspensions, including your battery. Your belts and chains might require a few adjustments but your driveshaft might not. You don’t have to be a mechanic to see that your bike’s belt is worn out, torn or loose. If it doesn’t look right, don’t ride your bike regardless. Have a trusted mechanic check it out instead.
Batteries don’t usually require maintenance nowadays but they have a life expectancy of about five years. You don’t have to wait until your battery dies out before replacing it. It’s a good idea to change yours at the start of the fifth year. The last thing you want is for it to die on some back country road. It’s also a great idea to use a battery tender all the time even if you ride your bike on a regular basis.
Check Your Oil And Other Fluids
If your bike was packed away all winter then you should make it a point to check all the fluids. Check the brake fluid, the transmission fluid and the oil. Check to make sure the reservoirs have enough fluids.
The oil shouldn’t be dark or thick. Depending on the condition of the oil, you can change it or just top it up. If you are not sure the oil is good, change it out.
Check Your Lights And Mirrors
Check to see that turn signals, tail lights and headlight all work properly. Change the bulbs if they are out and check your mirrors to ensure they are free from scratches and they are snug and secure. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you are going at 50mph and your mirrors are flying off.
Check Your Controls
Your throttle, hoses, clutch and brake cables, pedals and levers have to be connected and working properly. The hoses should not be hanging anywhere. Check your throttle by rolling on it and making sure it snaps back to its original position.
Check Your Tires And Wheels
Check for flatness or dry rot in your tires and also check for air pressure. Tires loose pressure slowly over time. If you try riding your bike when the tires have low pressure, not only will you increase wear and tear but the motorcycle will be hard to handle.
If your bike was stored on a cement floor the entire winter, check to see if it has developed a flat spot on the bottom. It should easily correct itself when you inflate the tire.
Adjust or tighten your spokes wheels and ensure the tire tread depth is good. If the tire is bald, you should fix it because it is a recipe for disaster.
Check your helmet for dents, cracks or any other type of damage. The inner lining should also be clean. Your riding gear should also fit comfortably. Do a quick inventory on your emergency kit just to make sure that nothing is broken, expired or missing.
Here are some myths about wearing a motorcycle helmet.
As you can see, there’s a lot that you need to prepare before you can take your motorcycle out for a ride this spring. The sooner you look at your bike, the better. You might just find you need to replace some parts. If you are not sure whether your bike has a problem, have a professional mechanic look at it before you take it out on the road.
Safety Tips For Riding Your Motorcycle This Spring
Take Professional Rider Training
If you have already taken a beginners course, then go for an intermediate course or an advanced course. There are plenty of things to learn there and you will become a better rider.
Replace Your Safety Equipment
This has already been discussed here but there’s no harm in emphasizing the point. If you’ve only gone a couple of seasons with your current equipment, then you are fine but you should still inspect it from time to time for wear and tear.
Always wear an approved motorcycle helmet and fasten it properly. Helmets are very effective at preventing head injuries especially if it is from a high impact crash.
Wear Visible Clothing
Remember that you’re not the only one who stored their motorcycle away during winter. Many drivers have probably forgotten that motorcyclists exist because they didn’t see them all winter.
Don’t spoil things for yourself by getting into a head collision this spring. Prevent accidents by wearing visible clothing especially at night. In addition, always make sure that your headlight is functioning properly.
Use Proper Signals To Communicate With Other Drivers
It goes without saying that you need to properly communicate with other drivers. Make eye contact whenever possible.
Keep Your Distance
Make sure there is adequate space between you and the car behind or in front of you. You should also learn to keep adequate space between you and other passing vehicles or when you are being passed.
Don’t race with other riders or try to overtake speeding vehicles. These tips will help you prevent motorcycle collisions which occur from speeding and losing control in a situation of unpredictable vehicle behavior or in a curve.
Always Be On The Lookout
You can identify and avoid potential hazards by scanning your course of travel 12 to 15 seconds ahead. This will at least give you a chance to predict what you might do if a dangerous situation presents itself. You will be mentally prepared for a safe outcome and make use of your instinctive reactions.
Always Remain Alert
Your mental and physical state directly affects your motorcycle riding. Before advancing through intersections you should always look twice. You will avoid getting into accidents with “left turners” or “red light runners”.
Contacting A Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
An experienced motorcycle lawyer knows which injuries to expect even in the case of a minor crash. The first thing that you should do if you have been in a motorcycle accident is to go to a hospital even if you think you are okay. Many injuries do not show themselves until a few days later.
Keep in mind that if you don’t seek medical attention as soon as possible and you file a personal injury claim, the insurance adjuster will argue that your injuries were not severe enough; otherwise you would have sought medical attention.
After you have been treated, you should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. They will help you deal with insurance companies, hospitals and other party’s lawyer so that you can focus on getting better.
Your lawyer will tell you whether you are entitled to compensation if your accident was as a result of someone else’s wrong doing. They can also negotiate your settlement and get you the compensation that you deserve.
Don’t try and negotiate for compensation all by yourself. Call us now and let us help you. We are on your side and we always look out for the best interests of our clients. We have a team of investigators who can help preserve crucial evidence for your case. We can also gain access to crucial pieces of information that you may not otherwise be privy to such as CCTV camera footage at the scene of the crash.
If you have been a victim of a driver’s negligence, don’t mess around. Let us help you. You can contact us any day, any time even during holidays and we will come to wherever you are or where you are comfortable with. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.