The temps are scheduled to hit 60 today and that has us thinking about motorcycle-riding season. We still have to get through another predicted snow storm on Friday, but weather like today reminds us that Spring is just around the corner. With spring comes motorcycles. Lots of them. Minnesota ranks in the Top 10 of motorcycle ownership per capita as do our neighboring states of South and North Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Let’s get ready to ride.
9 prep tips for spring riding
1. The fuel system. Check the lines and fitting for cracks or leaks. Replace the fuel filter.
2. The oil. During winter storage the oil can separate, so it’s always a good idea to change the oil before riding.
3. The battery. If you left the battery connected over the winter, you may need to replace it. If you removed the battery for winter storage, you may just need to clean the cables. Either way, give it a good charge and then see if it’ll hold the charge. There’s not much worse than a dead battery on that first good riding day. Plan ahead.
4. The tires. There are a couple of things to consider here. If your motorcycle was stored on its wheels, chances are you may need to replace the tires. Look for cracks, flat spots, stress marks and bulges. Also check the air pressure.
5. The spark plugs. I know. Spark plugs have gotten so reliable that this is an often-overlooked step in Spring Prep. But it’s better to check it now than deal with it later. Pull the plugs and check the gaps. If you need to, use a gap-setting tool to set them to your bike’s specs.
6. The suspension. Move the forks back and forth to ensure nothing is loose and tighten accordingly.
7. The electrical system. Put your electrical system to the test to make sure the switches, lights (head, tail and brake) and gauges are working properly.
8. One last minor, but important detail for your bike -- make sure to lubricate the bearings and grease the kickstand.
9. If you laid up or changed your insurance coverage for winter storage, be sure you call your insurance agent to get the right coverage for riding season.
Since we never know when motorcycle riding season will arrive in Minnesota, you want to be sure your bike is ready to go on that first day. The 9 tips above will go a long way in being ready.