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Is your motorcycle ready for safe spring riding?

Is your motorcycle ready for safe spring riding?

While winter may not be quite finished with Massachusetts yet, there have already been a few days that make it clear spring is on the way! For those who love to ride motorcycles, that means the main driving season is only a few weeks away. You're probably already planning to get out and hit the road when there's a sunny, warm weekend. Before you do that, however, you should spend a little time preparing yourself and your bike for the open road.

Spring is the perfect time to perform annual maintenance on your bike. You bike hasn't had any care in months, other than what you did before putting it into storage last fall. Hopefully, you added fuel stabilizer and at least left your bike in a climate controlled, dry space (like a garage).

First, check your fuel and oil

Sometimes, fuel goes bad while in a stored bike. Additives can reduce this process, but there's always the potential for an issue. Your fuel injectors or carburetor jets could end up clogged. You should add new fuel. In some cases, you may need to add new fuel filters and clean those injectors/jets before hitting the road.

Changing the oil is a great practice for fall when storing your bike. Even if you changed the oil before storage, be sure to check your oil levels and inspect the system for signs of moisture damage. If you didn't change your oil in the fall, now is the time to change the oil and the oil filter on your motorcycle.

Don't forget the battery or other critical systems

Your battery also needs a check-up. If it isn't a sealed battery, check the water levels in the cells and top them up with distilled water. Clean terminals and lightly grease the connection. If the battery remains sluggish after slowly charging it, you may simply need to replace it.

Before finishing the inspection of your bike, check your tires for pressure and look for cracks in the sidewalls or other signs of damage. It's best to err on the side of caution when it comes to tires. You should also check your bike's coolant levels, suspension system, brakes and electrical systems for performance issues. Perform any necessary maintenance or repairs to get your motorcycle into optimal running condition.

Check your safety gear and your insurance policy

Your safety gear may end up saving your life. Helmets can end up cracked. Boots may need new soles or simply a replacement. Make sure you have everything you need to stay safe on the road and invest in replacements if there's any question about function or performance.

Finally, take time to review the insurance policy for your motorcycle. Make sure that you carry adequate coverage for both property damage liability and potential medical expenses related to an injury. All of these steps will keep you safe and protected when you go out to enjoy the spring weather on your motorcycle.

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