The warmth is returning, and if you’re anything like us, you can’t wait to lift the covers off of your Brixton, knock the kickstand back, and catch up on all of the riding that you’ve missed out on over those chilly winter months. But before you let loose again, there’s a motorcycle checklist that needs your attention.
Motorcycle batteries don’t react well to the freezing temperatures of winter. So, we’d recommend removing your battery completely and hooking it up to a connector and trickle charging it. This way, it will stay topped up whilst you’re not riding.
If you removed the battery over winter, you’ll need to preserve and protect the terminals from corrosion. You can do this by applying grease to them – a tub of Vaseline will do the job nicely. If you’ve spotted any corrosion around the terminals, grab a wire brush and carefully start scrubbing before applying any grease to them. We’d also recommend doing a voltage check, this will give you a true picture of how healthy your battery is.
With the battery now ready, it’s necessary to check your engine oil. Remember, the engine should always be cold and the bike should be on level ground and in an upright position when you do this.
Filling quantity 4-stroke engine oil: max. 1.0 L
Recommendation: Liqui Moly Motorbike 4T 10W-40
Look for whether the brake fluid is running low and if so top it up. If it has darkened in colour, bleed out the old stuff and refill it.
If you stored your bike with a trickle charger, or if you removed the battery completely over winter, the electrics should be functioning perfectly. But regardless of whether you did or didn’t, you’ll need to check on all of the lights and switches, and don’t forget the horn. We’d also recommend a closer inspection of the bulb contacts for any signs of corrosion.
It’s always a good idea to check the condition and pressures of your tyres regularly. Even more so after they’ve spent a lengthy amount of time static.
The tread depth must always be at least 1.6mm, and the pressure for the front and rear tyres should be 2.5 bar (this only applies to the BX 125, BX 125 R, BX 125 X, BX 125 Felsberg and BX 125 Haycroft models).
You can help them keep your tyres shape over winter by slightly over inflating them, just remember to return them to the correct pressure when you’re ready to start riding again.
Start by inspecting the front and rear brake pads for excessive wear. Your pads can last for thousands of miles depending on how you’re riding, but you should always rely on physical indicators to determine whether or not you need to replace them. Next, check the brake lines for any cracks and signs of leakage.
Finally it’s time to check on your motorcycle’s chain for any signs of excessive wear or damage. It’s worth laying down absorbent cloths before you start doing this as it can get a little bit messy. You’ll need to clean the sprockets and chain with motorcycle chain cleaner. Once you’ve cleaned everything up make sure you lube the chain appropriately. Be careful not to get any lubricant onto the brake discs. If any lubricant does come into contact with the brake discs, clean them thoroughly with brake cleaner to fully get rid of it.
Whilst we encourage all of our Brixton motorcycle riders to get their wrenches out, and their rags dirty in getting to know their Brixton both inside and out. You will still need to take your motorcycle into the workshop for a full service at least once a year. If you have discovered any safety-relevant defects whilst completing the above checks, it’s important that you transport your motorcycle to the workshop in a van, or on a trailer.
We know that you’re itching to shake off that winter cramp and get back out onto the open road again. But remember, after months of driving four wheels, it’s going to take a little time to get used riding two again. And you’re not the only one either. As us riders flood back out and onto the roads again, everyone else is going to be getting used to that too. Not to mention, the sun is going to be relatively low in those morning and evening hours.
In many places, roads have been damaged by frost, and have yet to be cleared of any loose gravel and debris. So we urge you to ride carefully and with foresight. Do the first runs of the new season on roads that you know aren’t going to be as busy, be mindful of the speed that you’re going at, and ride the roads that you know like the back of your hand to begin with. It won’t take long for you to become accustomed to riding again, but you’re going to need to take it easy at first.