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11 Tips for Spring Motorcycle Maintenance

Added March 1, 2022
Battery, oil and filters, funnel, wrenches on a table

Every February, we start to get antsy, waiting for the spring to arrive in all its motorcycling glory and warmth. While some of us ride year-round, many are just waiting for the first warm day to get the bike out of winter storage.

If it’s been sitting for an extended period, then it’s crucial that you thoroughly inspect the bike in accordance with your owner’s manual requirements.

We’ve created a shortlist of spring maintenance you can do to get your bike ready while waiting for the first day of the season. That way, you’ll know as soon as you try to start the bike, you can ride to your heart’s content.

Our Spring Motorcycle Maintenance Checklist:

1. Make Sure You Are Legal And Road-Ready

Make sure your tags are up to date, and your motorcycle insurance is up-to-date. Get the peace of mind that you are covered in case of an unplanned incident.

Reach out to our insurance specialists today for a quote.

2. Check Your Service Manual

This is the single most vital kit you can keep around your garage. Refer to the manual to see what regular maintenance your bike needs and how often you should be doing it.

We bet there’s at least one thing you can do to make your bike better that’s covered in your manual.

3. Visual Inspection Of Your Motorcycle

While this might sound basic, take a quick inspection of every part of the bike for signs of damage.

What’s out of place?

Are there any signs of excessive wear or visible damage where they shouldn’t be?

If you haven’t ridden through the winter, and especially if you keep your bike outside, you should check to ensure that an animal hasn’t made your engine its home—mice and squirrels in particular love to move into unused engine blocks and chew through wires.

A quick look can tell you a lot, especially if you know your motorcycle well.

4. Battery And Electrical Check

Batteries get drained in the cold, harsh winter weather. Nothing kills the mood faster on the first nice day than dead batteries.

Turn your key halfway to make sure that the headlights come on. If they don’t, then it’s time to attempt a trickle charge and hope you don’t need a new motorcycle battery.

Does your brake light work?

How about the blinkers?

If the lights are working, move on to the rest of your electrical system. Clean the spark plug and battery terminals, check your fuses and replace whatever needs to be replaced.

5. Check Your Fluid Levels

Fluids power your bike and ensure that you don’t destroy the engine in the process.

  • Gas: Fill the gas tank with some fresh fuel and inspect the fuel lines and seals for cracks in the rubber.
  • Engine Oil: Check your oil level; it’s probably time for an oil change.
  • Brake Fluid: Does your brake fluid need a closer look?
  • Fuel Tank: How’s the fuel tank—does it need a new fuel filter?

6. Lubrication

So many places on your bike can use a little love from a touch of grease.

Your brake lever, pegs, shifters, and any other moving parts love to be lubricated.

If that’s in order, when was the last time you checked your clutch and throttle cables, or for that matter, your steering head bearings?

Take a little time for some motorcycle TLC.

7. Chains And Belts

Unless you are riding a 1942 Harley-Davidson® XA (the only shaft drive Harley-Davidson ever made), you need to inspect your drive system.

Chains and belts wear and need replacing over time. Make sure that a drive chain is cleaned and oiled and that the chain alignment is up to spec.

If you have a belt, make sure your drive belt tension matches the specifications outlined in your service manual and inspect the belt for cracks.

8. Tires And Brakes

Flat tires can quickly ruin an otherwise great day, but not quite as fast as losing control out on the road. This is why it’s crucial to inspect your bike where the rubber truly meets the road.

Ensure your tires are holding air at the proper tire pressure.

How worn are the tires? Do they still have tire tread in spec with what the tire manufacturer recommends, or are you the owner of sad balding tires?

Check the front and rear brakes to ensure your brake pads are still doing their job and that the brake lines are in perfect working order. Brake pad wear that goes unnoticed can be dangerous! 

9. Make Sure Everything’s Tight (But Not Too Tight)!

If everything seems in perfect working order, break out the torque wrench to check your critical bolts.

There’s nothing worse than having to drill out a bolt and go through the process of rethreading or sizing a piece because you overtightened or lost a part on the road.

10. Clean Up

Check your air filter and all the nooks and crannies to make sure you are cleaned up. If there’s nothing else to be done, it’s time to give the bike a bath and a wax; that way, your pride and joy is gleaming on day one.

11. Enjoy The Nice Weather On The Open Road

Take to the streets with joy; it's riding season.

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