Once the warm weather of spring arrives, you’ll be back on your motorcycle. Are you ready for your first trip? Rather than hitting the pavement with no destination in mind, plan ahead to increase your chances of a successful journey.
1. Know Where You’re Going
For your first trip, choose a familiar destination where you already know the roads. However, potholes and uneven pavement may not be addressed by early spring. Even a route you know well could present a few riding challenges.
Wherever you go, you will need the stamina to get there. No one wants to get fatigued halfway through and turn around. Pick somewhere you know you can ride to without significant warm up. If you’re traveling in a group, decide on the destination together.
You can also get a sense of the route and current conditions with a trip in the car.
2. Pack Up Supplies
Never set out on a motorcycle trip without the right supplies. Bring the appropriate riding gear, including waterproof pieces in case of rain. This time of year, temperatures can still plunge unexpectedly, so have a balaclava, gloves and a lightweight set of layers.
On the flip side, you don’t want to lug around too much gear. Clothing aside, stick to the basics for warmth, shelter and food without weighing down your bike.
3. Check Your Motorcycle
Even if your motorcycle was properly winterized, it will likely need maintenance before your first ride:
- Fuel: You likely added fuel stabilizer before placing your bike into storage, but make sure your bike has fresh gasoline before you set out.
- Tires: Check the tires for flat spots, lumps, general unevenness and proper inflation.
- Fluids: Change the oil and check the brake fluid to make sure your bike is not leaking.
- Belts: Check the belt drive system for wear and tear.
- Suspension: Check for rust and tarnishing around the suspension system and have it scrubbed off.