It’s coming around to that time of the year again when motorcycle riders look to break dust off the covers from their motorcycles and look to get back out on the open road again. In short, it is time to get ready once again for the riding season, but before you venture out on to the open road, here are a few things that you should take care of to avoid any hassles when you start riding for the first time this year.
The biggest check you need to do before you start riding your motorcycle is the motorcycle in itself. As most people tuck away the motorcycle for the harshest part of the summer, it is often left unexamined till the time comes to roll it back out again, and in the excitement of going riding again, some small details can be left unnoticed.
First of all, check the motorcycle from front to back for any thing you might have not noticed earlier. This could be a scratch, an electrical wire or a brake line poking out of place, or anything in general that you might not have noticed before. It’s better to be aware your motorcycle than to learn of anything on a ride.
Secondly, as far as checking the motorcycle is concerned, take a good look at the things that matter the most. Start with your engine oil level. Make sure that the oil is in good condition and filled up to the level required by your motorcycle manufacturer. If any of those things seem out of place, replace the oil or replenish it, depending on whatever is best. If you are unsure about this, get in touch with your local dealership and they should be able to help you out on this front. The service manual of the motorcycle will also carry such information.
The tyres come next. Being the only part of your motorcycle that are supposed to remain in contact with the ground, it is highly imperative that your tyres be in good shape. Check for cuts or punctures you might have previously ignored. The tread depth is also an important factor and if the tyre is nearing the end of its life, it is better to replace it. Sometimes, tyres age and start cracking around the sidewall as they age, so make sure your tyres are suffering from age fatigue, and apart from the puncture, all other things on this list will require you to replace your tyre.
Lastly, take a look at all the other fluids on your motorcycle. That will be the brake fluid and the coolant level if you ride a liquid cooled motorcycle. It is a good practice to replace your brake fluid once every year or two if you live in a really dry climate. This is because brake oil can absorb the moisture in the air and that makes it ineffective and transferring the brake pressure to the disc brakes.
Next up, take a good look at your riding gear. This is what protects you in the case of a fall, so checking your riding gear is as important as the motorcycle. Make sure you helmet, including the visor is in a good condition. It is rule of thumb that helmets older than 5 years, which are actively used, should be replaced. The rest of the riding gear is pretty much bulletproof when it comes to age, but still, check for snags, tears, etc. If the threads on your riding gear are coming loose, it might be time to invest in a new jacket or pants. This is also a good way to upgrade your riding gear to the latest or the best protection available out there.
This applies to both your motorcycle and you. Let’s start with the motorcycle. Make sure that the registration of the motorcycle and its insurance along with any other document required by law is up to date. It’s the worst feeling ever to get pulled over on your first ride of the season and to find out you are on the wrong side of the law.
As for you, make sure your license and health insurance are up to date. While one must always ride in a fashion that you don’t need the latter, it is imperative to be prepared for the worst of outcomes. A health insurance with accidental coverage, god forbid you ever require it, will only help ease the stress on you in a time of difficulty. With that briefing out of the way, the cooler months are upon us an it is time to thumb that starter, bring the engines to life and roar away to a magnificent ride!