Getting Your Motorcycle Ready to Ride
Nick from Manitoba Canada wants to know about getting ready to start riding again this summer
There is nothing quite like the first ride of the season. Getting back on the road in the open air and letting the bike just take me where it will is always exhilarating but especially when it’s the first trek of the season. But, before I take that first ride, I like to make sure everything is in good working order on my custom chopper, so I don’t get any surprises when I take off on that first trip.
I like to spend a few hours going over things on my bike to make sure that it is in optimal working condition. This practice also helps me avoid any major repairs in the future. To make sure I have completed a thorough inspection, I like to go over all of the functional components.
I look over my motorcycle tires to make sure there aren’t any cracks or hard spots in the rubber. I also look for punctures or any other worn areas that indicate it’s time to invest in new ones. Before moving on to the next item on my list, I also check the tire pressure to make sure they are adequately inflated.
Belt and Chain
Assessing the belt or chain on my bike is another important step I take during the inspection. Again, I look for wear and any weak spots that may be present and replace the element if I see either. Finally, I check the tension to make sure it is set to the manufacturer’s specifications.
While a spark plug is often a pretty easy change, it can still be a pain if one goes bad while you’re on the road. I like to check the spark plugs prior to my first ride to avoid failure on my first ride.
Appropriate care of the battery on my bike is one of my top priorities. I like to remove the batter and charge it overnight after my bike has set for a season. I then check the fluid levels in each cell and perform any refill as necessary.
A dirty air filter can cause all kinds of problems on a ride, so I make sure to pull the filters and check them against a light source. As long as I can see light shining through the filter, I’ll leave the filter until the next assessment.
Checking all of the fluid levels is another important component of my pre-ride assessment. I start by ensuring that the bike is completely level so as to get an accurate reading. And, then I check the oil and brake fluid.
Checking the breaks on my bike is another thing I do regularly to avoid more expensive repair costs later. Most brake pads have a notch on the top to indicate when they need changed, so I go by this indicator.
Brake and clutch cables are another expensive replacement cost, so I try to keep these well-lubricated and in good working order. I find it best to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance book on how to detach the cables, but aside from that it just takes applying a little lubricant and allowing gravity to work.
Finally, I check all the lights on my bike to avoid any accidents related to poor signals, and I’m ready to take off on my first ride.
Taking the time to assess all of these elements and complete some basic maintenance, like Orange County Choppers, helps me avoid any surprise issues once I get on the road. Regular inspections of my bike is one of my first priorities when I get ready to ride it each season.
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