Another web site rob... er.. loan. This comes to us courtesty of Great Ontario Bikeroads and it's owner "elhum" and you can find out more about his great looking and well informed site at http://www3.sympatico.ca/elhum/ .
First Spring Ride Prep
At last the tulips are in bloom in front of the biker clubhouse and the freedom of the open road beckons! Get your bike ready with Biker Lad's spring preparation checklist and you'll be tearing up the tarmac in no time. This is the counterpart to the winter storage checklist.
This checklist supplements routine maintenance such as chain or shaft drive lubrication, throttle cable lubrication, topping up or replacing clutch and brake fluid, and other essential items -- consult your owner's manual or local repair shop.
1 Uncover the bike, uncap the exhaust pipe(s) if you covered them, and wipe off any oil or Vaseline you used to protect chrome surfaces. Make it looka nice.
2 If you drained the gas tank, fill it with enough fuel to get to the gas station. If you kept the tank full but did not use gasoline stabilizer such as Sta-Bil or Kleen-Flo, drain and replace the gas. Your neighbours will laugh at you if you run dry before the end of the driveway. You'll cry if your carburetors or injectors gum up with stale gas.
3 Install the freshly charged battery. You did keep it charged over the winter, didn't you?
4 (Optional - consult owner's manual) Clean or replace the spark plugs. Learning to read the condition of the plugs can tell you how well your engine is running, and the start of the season is a good time to fix any major problems.
5 (Optional - consult owner's manual) If you have a bike with contact points, slide a business card or a thin piece of cardboard between the contacts to clean them. This step is not required on bikes with electronic "transistorized" ignition systems. A good strong spark will help get her started up.
6 If the bike has been sitting for more than 4 months, change the oil. Some riders use cheap oil for winter storage, and then dispose of it and change to better quality oil for the riding season.
7 Depress the starter button a few times, but not long enough for the engine to start. It may help to crank it with the fuel petcock turned off or with the kill switch in the off position if your bike allows it. If you have a kickstart you can kick it with the ignition switch turned off. Most engine wear happens in the few minutes after you start it. Reduce this wear by circulating some oil up to the moving parts from the oil pan, where it will have settled after months of storage.
8 If you disconnected the fuel lines from the gas tank, unplug and reconnect them. If your bike has a fuel petcock or fuel pump switch, turn it to the on position.
9 Start the motor. Avoid revving it for a few minutes. Let the oil warm up and circulate.
10 Check your tire pressure. Air may have leaked out over the winter. In other cases, the warm weather may expand the air in the tires and you may have to let some out to restore proper pressure.
11 Do your normal pre-ride check: look for leaking fluids under the motorcycle; check condition of the chain if you have one; check for loose cables and other parts; make sure the throttle rotates without sticking; ensure front and rear brakes are working properly; check your headlight, taillight, brake lamps and turn signals; make sure all gauges and indicators are working on the instrument panel. Arrive alive.
12 Ride away slowly. If everything seems okay and there's not too much sand left on the roads, let 'er rip! Spring - Born to be Mild...