Before you start enjoying the great summer weather on your motorcycle, you need to perform some maintenance on your motorcycle, especially if you didn't use it regularly during the spring and winter time. Here is an eight-point motorcycle maintenance checklist that will help you get your bike ready for the summer road.
#1 Fuel System
If it has been multiple months since you last rode your bike, and you didn't add fuel stabilizer to your gas tank before you stored your bike, the fuel inside of it may have turned gooey. When the fuel turns gooey, it can clog up all the small passageways and parts inside of your fuel system, which can lead to large repair issues.
You can prevent this by draining all the old fuel out of your motorcycle before you start it up. This will ensure that gooey and stale gas is not circulated through your engine. You'll need a gas can handy so you can refill your motorcycle's fuel tank.
#2 Engine Fluids
The next thing you need to check is all the engine fluids on your bike. Make sure that you still have oil in your tank. If your bike has sat for an extended period of time, it may be smart to just change out the oil and oil filter as oil can tend to get acidic when it sits for extended periods of time.
Some bikes use coolant to keep the engine at the right temperature; if your bike uses coolant, check and make sure that the levels are adequate; if not, add additional coolant to your system.
#3 Air Filter
The next thing you need to do is check your air filter. A variety of small rodents like to turn fuel filters into homes or nests, making it a good idea to check it out before you fire up your motorcycle. Clean away any potential rodents and debris that are on your air filter. If your air filter is really dirty, you may just want to replace it.
If you didn't disconnect your battery and keep it charged throughout the winter time, the battery may be weak or even dead. You can check the charge with a multimeter; if your battery no longer has a charge, you'll need to replace it.
Next, you need to check the pressure of your tires. Tire pressure tends to be affected by external temperatures, so there is a good chance that your tire pressure is off.
You should also check your tire tread and make sure that your tires do not look too worn or thin in any areas; if they do, you may want to consider investing in new tires before you start riding again.
After you check your tire, you need to check your drivetrain as well. The sprockets should be straight and they should not turn in either direction. The chain should be really close to the sprockets; you should not be able to pull it away from the sprockets very far. If everything looks and feels right, just apply some lube to the chain and sprockets to ensure that everything continues to flow.
If the sprockets are hooking, the chain is loose, or there is rust on either of these parts, you'll need to replace them. The sprockets and chain should be replaced together.
Now it is time to get down to the details. Turn on your bike and check and make sure that the following lights are all operating correctly:
- Front brake-light
- Rear brake-light
- Left turn-signal
- Right turn-signal
- Headlights – low beam
- Headlights – high beam
If any of the lights are out, purchase the appropriate lights at your local auto parts store before you start riding.
#8 Cables & Fasteners
Try out the clutch, brake and throttle, and make sure that they are working well before you ride your bike anywhere. If they are not working effectively, you'll need to replace the cables that connect these controls to your bike.
Finally, walk around your bike and make sure that all the fasteners are secure, and tighten up any that are loose. Completing this thorough inspection will ensure that your bike is both safe and ready for the road before you go on your first ride.
If you have any questions about your bike or need help with the work, contact PDR Automotive Inc or another local shop.