It's Getting Warmer! With spring quickly approaching it can be very tempting to just uncover your scooter or motorcycle, hop on and go! But there are a couple of essentials to do first:
1. If you kept your bike on a battery tender over the winter you can unplug it now. If you didn't and now find yourself with a dead battery we offer everyday low prices on both batteries and battery tenders. Keep in mind that with today’s maintenance free batteries, if they are connected to a battery tender when not in use you can expect a battery to last 8 to 10 years!
2. Check the tire pressure. It typically will have gone down over the winter so air them up. Also inspect the sidewalls for cracks. Cracks are a sign of age and indicate a tire that should be replaced. Tires over five years old are not safe to ride on. Tires lose their ability to grip as they age so riding on old tires is an accident waiting to happen.
3. Now is the best time to change your 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine oil. Oil accumulates moisture over the winter so dump it and replace the filter now also.
4. Check your brake fluid. If it's not clear anymore then flush it and replace it with fresh fluid. Brake fluid is a hygroscopic fluid so it absorbs moisture over time. It's easy to tell. If it's turned brown instead of clear its time for a change!
5. If you didn't put fuel stabilizer in your gas when you put your bike away you should dump the gas that is in the tank and replace it. Then turn the kill switch off so the bike won't start and open the drain(s) on your carbs. Crank the engine until nice clean new gasoline comes out of the drains. Now it's ok to fire it up. Remember to get your choke off if your bike has one as soon as possible. Leaving it on will just foul your plugs and if you have chrome exhaust leaving the choke on too long is one of the reasons the pipes turn blue.
Now it's time to prepare yourself for the first ride of the year: 1. Check the condition of your riding gear. If your helmet is more than 3 or 4 years old, we suggest that you replace it. The polystyrene inside your helmet is what provides the cushion effect when you hit the deck and over time this polystyrene loses its resiliency and gets harder providing less cushion effect and therefore less protection. Great helmets are available from about $80 and up. Look for a DOT sticker on helmets. 2. Check the rest of your gear. If you wear leather now than it is a good time to treat your gloves, boots and coat with Lexol or mink oil to keep them in good shape. It's a great way to check up close the condition of your gear. 3. Now the hard part. Your first ride. Take the first ride nice and easy to get re-acquainted with your machine. If you live in a northern climate be on the lookout for cinders and sand left on the road from winter time. Take a minute and apply both front and rear brakes a few times and then stop and check to see that your wheels are rotating freely. If not the brake pistons are sticking and it's time for a caliper rebuild. Enjoy the Ride!