Spring is the perfect time to pull the bike out of storage and hit the road.
However, before getting a motorcycle ready for spring, it is important to ensure that the motorcycle is in top condition. Personally, a spring motorcycle maintenance checklist is my go-to, to ensure that the ride is safe and ready for the open road.
My buddy doesn't ever do his maintenance and says "It's all Good!".
Also, my buddies bike:
So, I suggest checking out your bike before your ride. To make it easy, here are a few things that I look over in the spring, all the time, every time.
Tires and Wheels
Tires and Wheels are critical components of a motorcycle and their maintenance should not be overlooked. Proper care and inspection of these components are necessary to avoid any dangerous situations on the road.
Maintaining proper tire pressure is essential for motorcycle safety. Overinflation can lead to tire blowouts while low pressure can make the bike difficult to handle. Always use a tire pressure gauge to ensure that your tires are inflated to the recommended pressure found in the owner's manual or on the tire itself.
Tire Wear and Damage
Worn or damaged tires can pose a serious safety hazard for motorcyclists. Regular inspection of tires for signs of wear and damage such as cracks, bulges, punctures, and tread depth should be done before each ride. If any issues are detected, replace the tires immediately.
In addition to tire inspection, it's important to inspect the wheels for signs of damage such as cracks, dents, or wear and tear. Wheels should also be aligned and balanced properly. If any issues are detected with the wheels, seek professional assistance to have them repaired or replaced.
By regularly inspecting and maintaining your tires and wheels, you can ensure that your motorcycle is safe and ready for the road. Avoid neglecting these crucial components of your motorcycle to have a fun and safe riding season.
Fluids and Filters
Oil and Filter
Regularly changing the oil and filter is crucial for keeping a motorcycle running smoothly. The recommended oil change interval can be found in the owner's manual. It's important to use the correct oil viscosity and type recommended by the manufacturer, and to replace the oil filter to avoid engine damage.
Pro Tip: Use a funnel when pouring the new oil to avoid spills and messes.
Checking the brake fluid regularly is important because it can absorb moisture and become contaminated, reducing its effectiveness. The brake fluid level should be between the minimum and maximum marks on the reservoir. If the level is low, add the recommended brake fluid to the reservoir.
Pro Tip: Always use the recommended brake fluid type and avoid mixing different types, as this can cause brake failure.
Checking the coolant level regularly is important for regulating the temperature in a motorcycle's engine. Low coolant levels can cause overheating and engine damage. The coolant level should be between the minimum and maximum marks on the reservoir. If the level is low, add the recommended coolant to the reservoir.
Pro Tip: Use a 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled water for the best performance and protection against freezing and overheating, but always check the manufacture recommendations first.
The battery is one of the most crucial components of a motorcycle, and neglecting it can leave you stranded on the road. Here are a few things to check when it comes to the battery:
If you need a new battery, the lithium batteries from Antigravity are pretty nice. We have a few in some toys as of last year.
Check the charge level of the battery, especially if the bike has been sitting in storage for a while. Use a multimeter to check the charge level and charge the battery if necessary. Follow the manufacturer's instructions and avoid overcharging the battery.
Inspect the connections and clean them with a wire brush if they're corroded. Make sure the connections are tight to ensure a good connection.
The terminals can affect the performance of the battery, so inspect them and clean them with a mixture of baking soda and water if they're dirty or corroded. Make sure the terminals are tight to ensure a good connection.
By checking the charge level, connections, and terminals of the battery, you can ensure that it's in good working condition and ready for the road. Don't forget to include the battery in your motorcycle maintenance checklist.
Lights and Electrical
Proper maintenance of your motorcycle's lights and electrical system is crucial for your safety on the road. Here are some areas you should check:
Headlights and Taillights
Check the functionality of your headlights and taillights by turning on your bike's lights. If any bulbs are burnt out, replace them immediately. It's also important to ensure that your headlights are properly aimed to avoid blinding other drivers and to give you a clear view of the road ahead.
Activate both left and right turn signals and ensure they are flashing at the correct speed. Check that all bulbs are functioning correctly and replace any burnt-out bulbs.
Testing your horn is an essential part of ensuring your safety on the road. Check to make sure it is loud and clear. If it's not working correctly, inspect the wiring and connections to ensure they are secure.
Regularly checking your lights and electrical system can help you remain visible to other drivers, see the road ahead, and be prepared for emergencies. Take the time to inspect your motorcycle's lights and electrical system to ensure you stay safe while riding.
When it comes to motorcycle maintenance, checking the brakes is essential for safe riding. Here's what you should check:
First, check the thickness of your brake pads. Over time, they wear down and need to be replaced. If they are too thin, replace them.
Next, check the brake lines for cracks or leaks. If there are any issues, replace them immediately. Make sure the lines are not twisted or kinked, as this can affect the brakes' performance.
Finally, check the brake fluid level and color. Make sure the level is between the minimum and maximum marks on the reservoir. If it's too low, add more fluid. If the fluid is dark or discolored, it's time to replace it.
By checking the brake pads, brake lines, and brake fluid regularly, you can ensure that your brakes are in top condition and avoid any dangerous situations on the road.
Chain and Sprockets
Chain and sprockets are critical components of a motorcycle, and proper maintenance is crucial for their longevity and performance. Here are some essential tips for maintaining your chain and sprockets:
The chain tension should be checked regularly since a loose chain can damage the sprockets and the chain itself, while an overly tight chain can stress the bike's engine and transmission. Refer to the owner's manual for the manufacturer's recommended chain tension and adjust it accordingly.
Regular chain lubrication is necessary to keep your chain in good condition, prevent rust and corrosion, and reduce friction between the chain and sprockets, which can cause excessive wear. Use a high-quality chain lubricant and apply it following the manufacturer's instructions.
It's crucial to check the sprockets for wear periodically. The teeth on the sprockets can become worn or damaged over time, causing the chain to slip or skip. If you notice any signs of wear on the sprockets, such as rounded or missing teeth, it's time to replace them. It's always best to replace both the chain and sprockets simultaneously to ensure they wear evenly and last longer.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your chain and sprockets in excellent condition, ensuring a smooth and safe ride. So, don't forget to give your chain and sprockets some attention during your motorcycle maintenance routine.
Kickstand and Side Stand
The kickstand or side stand is a critical components of a big ADV motorcycle. It is typically the first thing used when parking the motorcycle and the last thing used before riding. Therefore, it is essential to regularly check the functionality of the kickstand or side stand.
Begin by inspecting the spring that holds the stand in place. Ensure that it is not damaged or stretched out. If it is, it should be replaced immediately. Next, examine the stand itself for any cracks or damage. If any issues are found, it should be replaced as soon as possible.
Lastly, it is crucial to ensure that the stand is adequately lubricated. Proper lubrication will help it move smoothly and prevent it from sticking or binding. Use a high-quality lubricant and apply it to the pivot points of the stand to ensure it moves freely and is easy to use.
Proper lubrication is vital to the functionality of the kickstand or side stand. If not adequately lubricated, the stand will be challenging to move and may become stuck in place. To lubricate the kickstand or side stand, start by cleaning it thoroughly with a degreaser or solvent. This will remove any dirt, grime, or old lubricant that may be on the stand.
Next, apply a high-quality lubricant to the pivot points of the stand. It will help it move smoothly and prevent it from sticking or binding. Ensure to use a lubricant specifically designed for motorcycle use to withstand the high temperatures and harsh conditions that the motorcycle may encounter.
Finally, move the stand up and down a few times to distribute the lubricant evenly. This will ensure that the stand moves freely and is easy to use.
Clutch and/or Clutch Cable
Many bikes have clutch cables and when one of those breaks on the trail it sucks. So it's worth knowing the condition of the cable and if you should replace it, or maybe carry a spare.
Check for any signs of damage such as kinks, fraying, or corrosion. Check the lever and adjuster for any signs of damage or wear. Check any springs for stretch, and cleanliness. And make sure it's still in a good friction zone.
Start by checking the fluid level in the clutch master cylinder reservoir. Ensure that it is between the "minimum" and "maximum" marks and add the recommended fluid if necessary. Next, inspect the hydraulic line and slave cylinder for any signs of fluid leaks. Check the clutch lever for any resistance or abnormal movements, as it should have a smooth action and return to its original position after releasing. Bleed the system if the lever feels spongy or if there is air in the system.
Finally, start the motorcycle and put it in gear to check if the clutch engages smoothly without any slipping or jerking.
Checking your motorcycle in the spring before you ride is a good idea for several reasons.
First, after a long winter break, the motorcycle may have accumulated dust and debris, and the battery may need to be recharged.
Second, checking the motorcycle's components, such as tires, brakes, lights, and fluids, can identify any wear and tear or damage that may have occurred during the winter months or last riding season.
Finally, performing routine maintenance and inspection can ensure that the motorcycle is safe to ride and reduce the risk of any mechanical failures or breakdowns while on the road.
So Get Checking and Get RIDE'in
My Trusty KLR at Hart Mountain, Oregon