GETTING READY FOR THE OPEN ROAD: MOTORCYCLE SAFETY & MAINTENANCE TIPS

By Justin Stoltzfus
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As the weather gets warmer there are a whole lot of motorcycle riders eager to get back out on the road. At the beginning of riding season, doing some routine motorcycle maintenance can help you ride happier, longer and safer this summer. Here are some safety and maintenance tips to get your bike ready for the season:

  • Inspect The Tires. For any vehicle, functional tires mean a safer ride. Look for any punctures, slow flats or other problems and inflate tires to proper PSI, as they may have lost air over the winter.
  • Make Sure Your Bike's Juiced Up. Batteries can often run out of power if they're left unused over several months during the cold season. Some bikers use a ‘trickle charger' or tender that keeps a small charge on the battery when it's in storage. If you need replace to the battery, check your owner's manual to ensure you've selected the right type for your bike model.
  • Fill Up With Fresh Gas. This is a big one that's true for your motorcycle, your lawn mower and nearly all kinds of engines: old gas can mean big problems. Storing gas long-term allows it to break down and corrode or clog systems and can make it a lot harder (or impossible) to start an engine. Drain the tank or use fuel stabilizer over the winter, and if you can't start your bike in the spring, try adding some new gas. Always use practical safety in siphoning out old gas to avoid exposure to the volatile chemicals in the fuel.
    Motorcycle Safety Maintenance Tips
  • Check Fluids. In addition to figuring out what's in the gas tank, you'll also want to check other fluids. Brake fluid is a priority, because again, long-term storage can have an effect on fluid levels. Changing the engine oil and filter at the beginning of the season is also a good idea.
  • Review your Mirrors, Lights, and Windshield. Another maintenance task you should complete before hitting the road is important for safety – inspecting all of the components that help you see what's around you when you're in the driver's seat. Inspect mirrors and windshield areas for cracks or other damage, and ensure your lights are in working order.
  • Organize Your Safety Accessories. Not everything that you need for riding season is going to be on your bike. Ensure you know where your helmet, gloves, glasses and riding clothes are to stay safe while riding.
  • Ensure Proper Documentation. You'll want your driver's license with motorcycle designation, updated registration and proof of insurance all stored in a safe place should you need to access it on the road.
These essential safety checks can protect you, and others, when you venture out to enjoy the new cycling season.


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