With 2021 upon us and riding season in many parts of the country fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking of getting our bike prepped for spring. Often, when many riders first get their bikes out for the year, winter hasn’t quite let go. As a result roads are cold and dirty and lacking in traction. The pandemic has also kept us all at home for the most part. Many are bored and itching to go for a ride. We do ask you to practice patience and use this opportunity to ensure your bike is in tip top riding shape so that when conditions improve you'll be ready to go.
If you have the skills here are a couple of maintenance items you should do:
- Check your tires. Check for pressure. If you're not sure the proper pressure it's best to check with your MOM (Motorcycle Owners Manual). Also check for any cracking on the sidewall or in the tread grooves. Tires may have lots of tread depth but may have hardened with age. When in doubt replace them.
- Check your brakes. First check to see if there is any pad material left. Check for even wear between the pads. If you can spin the wheels check your rotors for warpage. Most brake fluids are hygroscopic meaning they absorb water and lose their performance. Bleeding the fluid will ensure your brakes don't corrode and seize up. Brakes are obviously a very important part of your motorcycle and their service should only be done by qualified technicians.
- Check your fluids including engine oil, transmission oil (if separate from engine oil), driveline, coolant, brake and clutch fluids. It's good to start the year with fresh but at the very least make sure everything is topped up.
- Check your cables including brake, clutch and throttle. A little lube (specific for cables and definitely not chain lube) goes a long way. All controls should snap back to closed position on their own.
- Check your chain or belt final drive. Chains like lubes, belts don't. Once again check with MOM for the proper procedures.
- Wash & wipe off all water. If you're using a pressure washer don't blast it at any seals or bearings. Run your bike until it has warmed up to evaporate any water. Wiping all the noocks and crannies will identify and problems or loose parts.
- Start with a small socket and check the tightness of all the nuts and bolts, moving from one side of the bike to the other. Then switch up to the next socket size and repeat.
If you need parts, lubes or your bike to be professionally serviced most motorcycle dealers are open on an appointment basis. Some may offer pick up and delivery service.