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Preparing for summer - Motorcycle Guide

With spring rapidly approaching, many motorcyclists will be taking their bikes out of hibernation to enjoy the improving riding conditions.

But before you hit the road, make sure you give your bike a good once over. If your bike has not been started for a while then you must make a proper check on all its vital components, including:

  • Before a wheel is even turned you should give the whole bike a visual inspection, taking off the seat and (if necessary) body panels.
  • Check the oil level and condition and ensure there are no leaks.
  • Charge the battery with a high quality charger, check and (if required) clean the terminals and connectors.

Before pushing the starter button, push the bike to check the operation of the most important components:

  • Check the brake fluid levels. If necessary, top up to the specified level.
  • Check if the brake lever is operating smoothly. Lubrication of the pivot is necessary.
  • Check the tyre pressures and tread depths.
  • Check the clutch operation and the clutch lever free play.
  • Check if the throttle grip is operating smoothly.
  • Check the coolant level.
  • Check the condition and slack of the drive chain.
  • If everything is doing as it's supposed to, then you can start the engine. Give the engine the chance to warm up properly and don't rev up the engine until it's warm.
  • During the engine warm-up, check all lights, indicators and engine stop switch just as you should do before every ride.

Having satisfied yourself that all the controls are operating properly and that the bike warms up normally, with no leaks or unusual instrument readings, you can go for a short ride, but only around the block. Climb off the bike and give it one last check.

All that remains then is get out and ride. But take it easy until you're back into the swing of things. After all, there are many components that make up a motorcycle but the biggest and most valuable one is the rider sitting at the handlebars!

Note: These practical tips do not claim to be comprehensive, rather they are a general guide to good bike care. Proper maintenance and servicing always require you to visit your Yamaha dealer. They will be able to advise you on all aspects of keeping your bike running smoothly all year round.