When spring fever hits, it’s hard to restrain the excitement and urge to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, especially for bikers who have been able to enjoy their favorite pastime during winter. Although you may be anxious to hug the open road on your motorcycle right away, if you take the proper precautions when removing your bike from winter storage, it can save you time and money, as well as increase your safety. Use these helpful hints when preparing your motorcycle for your summer adventures:
Inspect your fuel tank – Basem Wasef, an expert author on motorcycle topics for About.com, provides some great insight into preparing your motorcycle for summer riding. Wasef recommends that you inspect your fuel tank by opening the cap and determining whether the fuel is clean or not. If you notice any decay or buildup of residue, drain the tank, and then clean the carburetor and fuel lines before running the engine.
Kevin Crockett, an expert author for Ezine.com and motorcycle enthusiast confirms the inherent risk that old fuel can cause by claiming, “old fuel can cause your fuel lines and carburetor to clog from gum.” He also recommends checking the tank for rust. “If the tank has rusted, you will need to clean and seal it to prevent flakes of rust from clogging the carburetor jets.”
Finish this step by adding a fresh tank of fuel before you ride your motorcycle.
Change your fluids – Drain old engine oil, replace the filter, and then replenish the engine with new oil before you ride your motorcycle this summer. Other fluids you need to check include transmission fluid, brake fluid and coolant.
Lubricate cylinders – Wasef claims that by removing the spark plugs and pouring two tablespoons of oil into the spark plug ports, you can lubricate the top portion of the cylinder walls. This can be useful if you failed to spray fogging oil on the top of the cylinder when you prepared your motorcycle for winter storage. Examine the chain and lubricate it, if necessary.
Charge your battery – Inspect the battery leads for corrosion. Wasef advises topping off each battery cell with distilled water before charging. Make certain the battery is fully charged before going on your first motorcycle ride. Otherwise, you run the risk of becoming stranded because of a depleted battery.
Inflate your tires and shocks – Inspect the tires for hairline cracks, bubbles, weak spots or stress marks and address each issue separately. Inflate each tire to the specified quantity of air pressure. Continue by inspecting the shocks. Give the kickstand a few trial kicks, and lubricate it if uncooperative.
Wash and wax your motorcycle – Thoroughly clean the exterior of your motorcycle using a gentle cloth, and then protect it with a thin coat of wax.
Use a safety checklist – The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers a free safety checklist that you should use every time you ride. The T-CLOCS checklist, which stands for tires and wheels, controls, lights, oil, chassis and stands, covers every critical safety aspect on your motorcycle.
Finally, don’t get caught in the rain without your rain gear! Protect yourself and your motorcycle against theft, damage from collision, vandalism and more with affordable motorcycle insurance. Nationwide can tailor a motorcycle insurance policy to fit your unique needs, even if you have a custom bike. Contact an expert Nationwide agent today for your free quote, and ask how you can qualify for an auto insurance discount when you choose to insure your motorcycle with Nationwide, too.
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