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Mesh Jacket Review

Spring Prep

Carburetor Cleaning


Spring Motorcycle or Scooter Prep with Marty from Go Moto

As I write this, the snow plows are still clearing the roads from our latest snowfall, but the calendar says spring is right around corner. 2010 Ė 2011 produced a real northern plains winter, most of us are ready for spring riding season. The question is, is your motorcycle ready? Assuming you did your duty and properly winterized you bike, fuel system and battery properly put to bed, what should you be checking to make your bike as safe and reliable as possible?

Starting at the bottom letís check those tires. They almost surely have lost some air pressure over the winter. The recommended pressure is in your ownerís manual not on the tire sidewall, that number is for maximum load. Is the tread getting close to the wear bars? Are the sidewalls weather checking from to much sun last summer? Check the brake pads for wear but also make sure the cold hasnít caused any fork oil to leak onto them.

Are all the lights working? Extreme changes in temperature cause condensation in closed areas like turn signals. Once a socket starts to rust the bulb may loose contact on either the positive or negative side. Cleaning it with a wire brush will get it working again, but once it starts to rust you will need to coat the area with dielectric grease or the corrosion will quickly return. Dielectric grease is available at most auto stores and some bike shops.

How are your fluids? (insert lame joke here) Itís best to put a motor away with clean oil, this removes the contaminates that make you motor uncomfortable over the long winter. If your oil is on the dirty side, replace it after your first ride, a good run will suspend much of the bad stuff in the oil. If you have a liquid cooled bike, is there a small amount of coolant on the floor? Donít panic, water pump seals may drip a few drops over a long cold winter. Howís your brake fluid? Dot 3 and 4 brake fluid turns dark when it absorbs moisture, this is a fluid that you can judge itís condition by the way it looks.

How are those cables? If they arenít as smooth as they were last fall, maybe a shot of lube will help. You want to use a light oil not chain lube, most chain lube is thick and sticky. Something like WD40 is better. Most motorcycle shops carry a tool that helps you inject oil into you cables. They are fairly cheap, they also are messy to use. Be aware all the lube isnít going to end up in the cable, I wrap a rag around the whole mess to soak up the excess.

One other thing you may want to look at depending on where you store your bike is the air filter. If the varmints in your back yard have keys to your garage, you may find they have used your air box for a pantry. With a winter like the one we are experiencing this year, they may even make a snack out of your air filter. The last thing is to give your motorcycle or scooter a good cleaning, It will not only look better, this is a good way to discover loose fasteners, cracks, leaks, etc.

I hope this extra long winter means weíll have an extra long summer. Have fun and ride safe.

Marty Mataya


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