Now that spring has officially sprung, motorcyclists all over the world (or at least in the northern hemisphere) are starting to hit the highways. Now that the weather is nearing perfect, you’re likely to take some long bike trips. Whether your motorcycle is your primary mode of transportation or you use it solely for long cruises on sunny days, it’s important to keep up with a motorcycle tune-up for each season. A seasonal tune-up can increase the longevity of your bike as well as help keep you safe on the road. When prepping for that long summer road trip, here are some tune-up tips to keep in mind.
Fluids & Filters
Even if you have enough oil in the bike, it’s a good idea to switch it out every once in a while. If your motorcycle has been sitting for a while or if you can’t remember the last time you changed the oil, now would be a good time to start fresh. You’ll want to replace the filter as well.
Replace the fuel filter to get rid of any extra debris that’s built up over time. Check underneath the motorcycle as well to make sure there are no gas or oil leaks.
If you haven’t ridden your bike in a while, check out the tires for any cracks or other damages. If everything looks good, make sure your air pressure is where it needs to be. You won’t want to risk blowing a tire if they’re under-inflated or wear away the tread too quickly because of over-inflation.
Take the battery out and check for any corrosion, especially if it’s been sitting for a decent amount of time. If there is corrosion, you’ll probably have to replace the battery. If not, you may just want to give it a good charge.
Lights & Signals
Give the headlights and brake lights a try, as well as the left and right turn signals.
Pump The Brakes
This is another fluid you’ll want to make sure is filled. Also take a look at the brake pads. The last things you want on a long road trip are unreliable brakes.
Check the tension of the chain so you know it’s where it should be. Make sure there’s no rust forming. Keep it lubed up! If you’ve been doing a lot of riding through the spring, feel free to use WD-40 generously and religiously. Riding every day can dry out the chain, increasing the likelihood of it snapping.
Reduce your risk of injury by wearing the proper gear. Helmets are crucial, and even more so if they have a plastic face shield. Even if it’s warm outside, remember that on a long motorcycle ride you’re likely to be on the highway going at least 70 mph at some point with the wind in your hair (and slapping you in the face). Make sure you’re suited up properly with pants, a jacket, tall boots, and leather gloves to protect you from the wind.
According to Gruber Law Offices, LLC, in Wisconsin, there is a higher fatality rate in the summer due to crashes than in any other season. So make sure you’ve given your motorcycle its seasonal tune-up before you hit the road for long summer vacations and lots of time spent cruising!