Memorial Day Weekend has traditionally served as the unofficial start of summer, which, in New England, means that many people will be flocking to their favorite beach, lake or vacation spot within the region. It also marks the point in the calendar year when roadways seem to get a bit more crowded with drivers eagerly traveling to their summer vacation spot. Additionally, those who own motorcycles have been patiently waiting for an opportunity to bring their bike out of the garage and onto the road for their first ride of the season. However, before hitting the road, riders should pump the metaphorical and actual brakes to make sure their motorcycle is in working order. The following three tips serve as a starting point for preparing your bike for its first ride of the season.
Many New Englanders store their motorcycle in the garage for the winter where temperatures can often approach zero or below zero. Being left in a cold room for an extended period of time can create possible issues with the battery starting. Thus, it’s best to test out the battery, or better yet, give it a charge using a tender or trickle charger. This will give you a clear indication of the overall health of your battery. It’s better to be completely sure of the status of your battery rather than it potentially dying while on the road.
Test the Chain
If your bike uses a chain, it’s a good idea to physically press on the chain to get a feel for the tension. If it feels too loose, you will need to tighten it up to ensure the vehicle functions properly. If you’re comfortable completing this task yourself, go ahead and make sure the chain has an optimal tension to it. Otherwise, bring your bike to your local mechanic for maintenance.
Treat Your Tires (well)
Just like automobiles, motorcycle tires need to be regularly examined and replaced. If your tires seem to be in decent condition, make sure to consult your owner’s manual and properly inflate them to the recommended levels. Motorcycle experts also warn against using automobile tires for your motorcycle. Some riders try to do so with the hope of better performance and handling, but doing so is an unsafe practice and simply not recommended.
These are just some of the many things to keep an eye on before your first ride of the season. Riders should be sure to examine the entire vehicle to make sure all parts are functioning properly. Motorcycle care experts actually recommend checking your bike before every ride, no matter the season. Regularly maintaining and caring for your bike can help you spend more time on the open road and less time in the shop.