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Motorcycle maintenance: spring checklist

Use these tips to get your bike in top shape for the new riding season.

Woman working on a motorcycle in a garage

Are the warmer weather and clear roads filling your head with fantasies of revving up your motorcycle? To help ensure a smooth and safe ride, check off these motorcycle maintenance tasks from your to-do list before hitting the highway.

Remember: Always consult your owner’s manual, and bring your bike to a mechanic for extensive maintenance tasks. Proper maintenance of your motorcycle is critical to its safe and reliable operation any time of the year.

Oil (and gas) up

Don’t start a new riding season with old gas. Before even attempting to start up a bike, drain from carburetors any fuel that is more than six weeks old. Gasoline can evaporate and turn thick when left to sit, which can plug up carburetor jets and passageways. And remember to check the oil, even if you topped it off in the fall.

Brake check

Check brake pads, brake lines and brake fluid before setting out on your first ride. Replace worn pads or cracked lines. Also, test front and rear brakes separately to make sure they are in working order and free from scraping or squealing.

Charge your battery

The most common issue from a bike sitting in storage all winter is a drained battery. While many riders remove their batteries during the winter and keep them powered up with tenders or trickle chargers, those who skip this step need to charge up before spring.

Inspect the tires

Nothing stops a ride faster than a flat. Check air pressure in both tires: Low pressure can make motorcycles difficult to handle while increasing tire wear and tear. Also, check for signs of damage such as cracks or dry rot; replace the tires if needed.

Wash your motorcycle

Give your bike a good wash and wax when you bring it out of storage. And pay attention to the details: A close inspection can help you spot small issues early on.

Brush up

It’s been a while since you’ve been on the bike, so start slowly. Take a spin around the neighborhood and ensure that everything is in working order. Before you ride, also check that your riding gear (helmet, jacket, gloves) are in good condition as well as your motorcycle insurance. A little upfront time and effort is a small price to pay for a safe season on the open road.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

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