Motorcycle Riding Season – Lethal Threat
Over the last weekend in the New York City metro area, we were dumped with 8 inches of snow. The most we had in one storm the whole winter. For us here in New York, the winter was bearable. Some cold spells and a snow dusting here and there, but not so bad to head to warmer climates and never look back. March 20th is the first day of spring, riding season is approaching. You know that day will come when you’re riding buddy calls or shows up on his bike asking you to join him for a ride. Will you be ready? Any loose ends to tie up, is your battery charged? Before that day comes spend an afternoon performing a thorough inspection of your bikes.
This is what separates you from the asphalt, make sure you check your tires carefully prior to every ride. Cracks, flat spots, nails and screws, it would be better to buy new tires. It’s not like a car where you can get away with a nail or screw repair. Better safe than sorry. Also make sure the tires are inflated to the proper tire pressure.
Belt or Chain
A broken belt or chain can leave you on the side of the road. I have been there, a pretty bad feeling knowing no matter what you do, you can’t do a quick fix on this problem. Better call a tow truck or buddy with a pick-up truck. Check for wear and weak spots, no remedy but to replace. Also check for proper tension.
A low cost item to swap out, but a huge headache to fix if you are on the side of the road. In some bikes the spark plugs are easy to access on other bikes you may need to remove the seat and gas tank. So any hesitation in starting, other than a drained battery, the spark plug is the next thing to check.
If you haven’t started your motorcycle all winter, you will need to pull the battery and charge it to a full charge. Check the fluid level in each cell. Fill the cells if below the recommended level. If the battery is over four years old, consider buying a new one.
Proper airflow to the engine ensures it runs smoothly and efficiently. If the filter looks dirty after cleaning, time to replace it.
Check oil and brake fluid levels. Proper fluid levels will save you from expensive engine damage down the road as well as ensure a safe ride. If you are not sure, go to your bike mechanic and have him do it and show you what to do.
Make sure your brake fluid levels are good and that your brake pads are not worn down. Most brake pads have a notch on the top to track its wearing, if you can’t see the notch, time to change the brake pads.
Lubricate the Cables
Over time the brake and clutch cable can wear down and fray. Something you or your mechanic should check at the start of riding season.
Make sure all turn signal and brake lights are working. Also check that your headlight has a strong constant steady light beam. No flickering.
Make sure you have the proper riding gear for the conditions you will be riding in. If it’s been a while since you have been riding. Doesn’t hurt to take a rider refresher course or practice at your own pace before your tear down the road with your buddies. Unfortunately during the start of riding season, there is increase in motorcycle accidents. Ride safe and make sure your motorcycle is in peak shape and performance.
Dress to impress nobody with Lethal Threat!!