Top five tips to coax your bike out of hibernation
|Thursday, 29 March 2012 11:28|
With winter officially done and dusted, the time has come to shake off the cobwebs of your motorbike and get back on the road. If you’ve winterised your bike and kept it in storage over the cold season, there are a few things you need to do before hopping on, as being too hasty could leave you stranded on the side of the road with a busted bike, or worse, having to claim off your bike insurance to fix any damages. Here are our top five tips to making your bike roadworthy again for the spring.
Drain and refuel
If you didn’t add any fuel stabiliser to your tank before winter hit, your fuel has probably broken down over the season and become separated. Drain the tank completely and refuel. If you’ve added a fuel stabiliser then all you need to do is add more fuel, but it’s always worth checking to make sure that no part of the tank has rusted or become clogged.
Check for damage
You’ve had your pride and joy under a sheet of tarp for a few months, so you shouldn’t really have any problems with it. However, with changes in temperature and humidity you might find your bike a touch more brittle than when you left it. Check for cracks in the tyres or any cracked plastic, and be on the lookout for any fluid leaks. The last thing you want is to run your bike into the ground due to an oversight. Also make sure that your tyre pressures are back up to standard specifications for riding.
Assess your gear
Christmas wasn’t that long ago, so you might have put on a few pounds while you were tucking in over the festive season. Check that your leathers still fit you comfortably and are in good condition, and you’ll still probably need to wear your gear in a little bit before you start riding again. Also, give your helmet a bit of a clean to make sure your visibility isn’t affected.
Get your paperwork in order
It might have been a few months since you were last on your bike, and so all the boring legal things might have slipped your mind. Make sure that tax, MOT and motorbike insurance is all sorted and that you’ve up to date paperwork. It wouldn’t be a good start to the year if you were pulled for having no insurance thirty seconds into your ride.
You’ve been out of practice for a while, so before you try to burn rubber straight off the bat, take your time and reintroduce yourself to your bike. It’s not summer yet, so road and weather conditions may still be unfavourable. Make sure you get back into those good riding habits that you’ve spent years perfecting.
The first ride after a long winter away is exhilarating, and provided that you’ve taken the necessary precautions and done the right checks, you’ll be one easy rider.
Article source: Jamie Gibbs of Confused.com, the motorbike insurance comparison site.