Bringing Your Motorcycle Out of Storage

indian bikeSpring has finally sprung! Not long ago we highlight some of the items any classic car owner should check before bringing a classic car out of storage, but if your fancy is of the two-wheeled variety you still need to tune-up before you peel out. Following the few tips below can help ensure that your motorcycle has all it needs for a productive riding season.

Check the Oil
It’s one of the most common fluids any vehicle owner checks, but it can be easy to overlook the simple stuff when you’re dying to get back on the road. Check your oil and oil filter whether or not you changed fluids right before turning in for the cold weather months. If you didn’t change the oil before storage you’ll want to do so now as inactivity can still lead to degrading of motor oil’s durability.

Charge it Up
The best thing you can do for any motorcycle batter is hook it to a trickle charger while in storage. If that’s not an option, be sure to check you motorcycle’s battery for a full charge. If the charge is good, this is also a great opportunity to check the terminal connections, and top off the battery with any distilled water if applicable.

Gooey Gas
Fuel stability products like Sta-Bil are a smart way to help keep gas from going bad during storage – especially if the storage period is less than 12 months. Even if you used a fuel stabilizer, take a minute or two to pop the gas cap and look into the fill line for any sign of gumminess or build up. If things look a little dicey you’re better off draining the tank, fuel line and carburetor, and starting over with a fresh tank.

Check Fluid Levels
While gas and oil levels are key, make sure your motorcycle’s brake, clutch and coolant levels are also up to par. If any need topping off there’s no time like the present.

Get a Grip
If you’re a regular rider you know the importance of a good set of tires. Sitting for months on end with just a kickstand for support can potentially leave flat spots and unusual wear on even a new set of tires. Provided you took extra steps and kept weight off your tires and suspension during storage a brief visual inspection may be all you need.

As we’ve suggested in previous posts about inspecting new or unfamiliar vehicles, if this is your first time bringing your bike out of storage it never hurts to bring along a veteran. And if you happen to find anything that looks suspect a trip to the mechanic can be the best option to head off problems. Organizations like the Motorcycle Safety Foundation have also created a simple T-CLOCS checklist that makes it easy to run through your motorcycle’s systems from top to bottom.

For more information about owning antique and custom motorcycles, see our posts on how to buy a used motorcycles, and five tips for selling your motorcycle online.

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