You followed the proper winterization steps, including gas and fluid replacement, before placing your motorcycle in a secure, climate-controlled storage location. After periodic checks throughout the season, you assume the bike is good to go come springtime.
Unfortunately, fluids can break down even when you’re not riding. While your motorcycle is in far better shape than letting old fuel sit in the tank, it’s not quite ready to ride. To make sure your bike is completely road ready, learn why you should replace the fluids first.
Drain the Gas Tank
Come springtime, you have a few tasks to complete before your motorcycle is ready to ride:
- Examine the fuel and drain the tank, especially if it has a brown, gritty texture.
- Refill the gas tank. Add fresh fuel along with a fuel stabilizer to move any stale gas through the system and prevent clogs or misfiring.
Oil Breaks Down
Oil may attract condensation during winter and has been known to separate when your bike is not in use. For these reasons, it’s a good idea to check your oil for condensation before you ride, then change the oil and filter. Otherwise, you risk damage.
All Fluids Degrade
Your brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, fork oil and clutch fluid all experience changes over time. To ensure your bike is not running degraded fluids, check each for color and consistency at the start of the season. If it doesn’t look quite right or has not been changed for some time, schedule a system flush.
If the appearance is fine and the fluids were recently changed, you might want to just top them off. However, a bit more maintenance may be required:
- At this point, consider bleeding the brakes before adding new DOT brake fluid. Check the brake lines for signs of wear and make sure the pads are thick enough. If something doesn’t look up to par, now is the time to replace it.
- Take a similar approach with your coolant system if your bike is equipped, checking the radiator and hoses for cracks and leaks.
- Unless you are familiar with how to do these tasks, bring your bike to an authorized dealer and have them perform maintenance.
How do you get your motorcycle ready for spring riding? Share your tips in the comments on our Facebook page.