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How Do I Prepare My Motorcycle for Riding Season?

Added July 26, 2021
Motorcycle being ridden on a highway

The riding season is in full swing, making this the perfect time to get up to speed on preparing yourself and your motorcycle to hit the road properly.

There are five key areas that are essential to consider: Battery, surface care, tires, oil, and – most importantly, once you’re on your bike – your helmet.

1. Batteries

Take charge of the horizon with power you can count on.

H-D® batteries are designed and built as part of the vehicle’s electrical system to meet strict Harley-Davidson design and testing standards. Featuring a patented flush-mounted and strong molded-in terminal design, these batteries provide superior cable contact and longevity.

The internal components are designed to meet the H-D electrical and vibration profile, which provides superior, long-lasting durability. In addition, Harley-Davidson® batteries are sealed and maintenance-free – you never need to add acid.

Battery Smart Charger

Using a Genuine Harley-Davidson® smart charger means that your battery keeps its optimal charge when in storage. The 7.5 Amp Weather-Resistant Battery Charger gives you professional charging performance in a compact package.

With a typical recharge time of eight to twelve hours, this charger features advanced solid-state circuitry that constantly monitors the battery’s charge and maintains the voltage without overcharging. In addition, the charger automatically switches to float mode and adjusts the charge rate up or down to keep the battery properly maintained for extended periods of time.

Alternatively, many authorized H-D® dealers offer long-term winter storage – contact your local dealer to find out more. 

2. Surface Care

We understand how important a clean ride is to you; that’s why we’ve spent thousands of hours formulating products designed specifically for H-D® surfaces. Unlike common brands, these products are designed to protect your investment and will work together without adverse reactions.

We are constantly working to refine and review our range to ensure our products continue to provide the best possible care for your Harley® motorcycle, so why not try some of them out for yourself?


Chrome requires cleaning, polishing, and protection from the elements, especially if your motorcycle is operated near the ocean or on salt-treated roads. Use Genuine Harley-Davidson® Surface Care Products, following label directions, to make it easy.

Additional chrome cleaning tips include:

  • Remove dirt with a liquid cleaner before wiping chrome accessories to avoid scratching, and never wipe with shop rags that may contain metal chips or corrosive chemicals.
  • Do not use harsh abrasives or hard objects to clean or polish chrome. While chrome is tougher than paint, it can be scratched, and excessive polishing can wear through the plating.
  • Keep chrome exhaust pipes, mufflers, and heat shields clean. Residue from oil, grease, and fingerprints can discolor chrome when the pipe reaches operating temperature.
  • Remove boot marks and road tar from chrome exhausts using Harley-Davidson® Boot Mark Remover.
  • Cover chrome parts while working on your motorcycle to protect them from dropped tools etc.
  • Never store chrome parts near swimming pool chemicals, fertilizers, or concrete powder, regardless of whether these items are covered or uncovered because they’re known to damage chrome.

3. Tires

The road less traveled rides better on good rubber.

Tires are among the most critical parts of a motorcycle for maintaining optimal performance, fuel economy, and safety. Harley-Davidson® co-branded tires are designed exclusively for each individual H-D® motorcycle application.

Harley-Davidson has partnered with two of the premier tire brands in the world to create approved Harley-Davidson® co-branded tires. They are exclusively designed, tested, and approved to deliver optimum performance on each Harley-Davidson® motorcycle.

Both Michelin® Scorcher® and Dunlop® Harley-Davidson® Tire Series deliver optimal riding quality, handling characteristics, and overall performance. They can be visually identified by the bold ‘Harley-Davidson’ script on the sidewall. 

While these tires are factory installed, they can also be installed as a replacement through authorized Harley-Davidson® dealers and are available exclusively through H-D® dealerships.

4. Engine Oil

Bodyguard in a bottle.

Using the right oil is important for Harley-Davidson® powertrains. For example, H-D® V-Twin engines operate at higher temperatures and have higher output ratios than water-cooled automobile engines, which means they require extra protection. 

Harley-Davidson® oil is designed and formulated specifically for H-D engines. It is developed, tested, and proven under harsh real-world conditions and offers superior protection even in high heat and high-performance situations.

5. Motorcycle Helmets

Check your helmet!

There’s no room for compromise with helmets. They’re a serious piece of safety gear and need to be carefully selected.

When did you last check your helmet? Manufacturers and helmet safety schemes recommend helmets be replaced every three to five years, depending on use. This is because glues, resins, and other helmet materials break down over time, and hair oils, sweat, cosmetics, and the sun’s UV rays can add to helmet deterioration. 

You want it to look great, but protection is the primary concern. So whether you’re new to riding or have worn helmets for years, here’s some important information to optimize your comfort and safety.

When to Replace a Helmet?

A helmet is designed for only ONE impact.

If a helmet is dropped or suffers any impact, it should be replaced immediately. Any impact may fracture the outer shell or compress the impact-absorbing liner. If you’re looking to replace your helmet, visit your dealer and check out our new collection for men or women!

Final Word on Genuine Harley-Davidson® Parts

Only Genuine Harley-Davidson® Parts & Accessories are designed, tested, and manufactured to the exact specification as those that came with your bike. Not only are they evaluated individually against their design specifications, but also on the test track as part of the complete motorcycle.

By using Genuine Harley-Davidson® Parts & Accessories, you’ll ensure your bike remains at peak performance and maintain its long-term value. So keep your Harley® bike like new – go Genuine.

For a demonstration of these products at work, visit a dealership near you

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