Vintage motorcycle front view

On Friday I saw a motorcycle on the roads in Superior, and can't say I wasn't jealous or tempted to get one of ours out.

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The massive ice ruts in my alley where the garage is and the amount of salt on the roads of course kept me from doing it, but it's almost time.

I made a prediction a couple of weeks ago on when motorcycle season will start in the Twin Ports, and still stand roughly by that.  We have a ways to go where temps are consistent and the roads are in better shape for riding, especially this year where pothole filling is going to take a while.

Just because all of us can't ride, doesn't mean we can't start waking up the bikes soon.  Here is my list I roughly follow for taking the mistresses out of hibernation:

Walkaround the motorcycle

Call it a walkaround, visual inspection, or a good solid lookover.  Out of place or odd things are what you are looking for.  Are the tires low or weather checked?  Any noticeable oil or fluid leaks?  Did rodents make nests in your air cleaner or exhaust?  You hopefully know what your bike should look like, so take a few minutes and give her a good examination.

Check your motorcycle battery

I left both of our batteries in the bikes this winter, and put them on battery tenders.  It's still a good idea to test them out before your first run.  Usually though, if it's bad after sitting on a battery tender, you'll know when you go to crank the bike over.  If it's extra sluggish and struggling and the temps are decent in your storage setup, it's probably time to get it tested.  An Interstate All Battery Center will do this for you for free, and if it's bad, you can snag one while you're there.

Check the motorcycle fluid levels

Yeah, you already looked for leaks but for piece of mind, check the fluids before you fire it up.  It's also a good time to ask yourself when the last time you changed fluids was.  I've been guilty of winging it on some motorcycle maintenance, but spring is a good time to start out with fresh fluids.  Consider fluid changes if it's been a while, even if you didn't put that many miles on in the previous year.

Inspect the motorcycle brake pads

These don't get checked often enough by a lot of riders, and they of course are what help your motorcycle stop when you need it to.  They are easy to see on most bikes without removal, and if you aren't quite sure, just swap them out.  They are relatively easy to do on lots of bikes and if you need some help, YouTube is your friend.

Wash your motorcycle

Even if you had it under a cover, it's probably a good idea to give it a bath.  Doing so also helps with inspecting it a little closer and maybe catching something you missed on your walkaround.

Waking up a motorcycle for the spring season doesn't have to take hours, unless something is glaringly wrong.  Just putting a little effort into it can keep you and any passengers a little safer on the maiden trip for the season.

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