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 do, it’s important to make sure that your motorcycle is in top condition and that you have everything you need to stay safe on your rides. In this article, we’ll provide you with a checklist to help you prepare for the start of the new season.
It’s necessary to check the condition and pressures of your tyres regularly. Even more so after they’ve spent a lengthy amount of time static. Make sure that the tread depth is within the recommended limit, and check for any cracks, bulges, or punctures. If your tyres are in bad condition, it’s important to replace them before you start riding.
Next, check your brakes to ensure that they are working properly. Start by inspecting the front and rear brake pads for excessive wear. Make sure that they are not worn down and that the brake fluid is at the correct level. Also check the brake lines for any cracks and signs of leakage. If your brakes are not working correctly, you should get them serviced before you start riding.
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. Also, check the other fluids in your motorcycle, including the coolant, brake fluid, and transmission fluid. Make sure that all the fluids are at the correct level and that they are clean. If any of the fluids are low or dirty, you should change them before you start riding.
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.
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 make sure that all the lights on your motorcycle are working properly, including the headlights, turn signals, and brake lights – and don’t forget the horn. We’d also recommend a closer inspection of the bulb contacts for any signs of corrosion.
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.
Finally, check the fuel in your motorcycle. Make sure that it is clean and that the tank is not rusted or corroded. If the fuel has been sitting for a long time, you may need to drain it and replace it with fresh fuel.
Before you start riding, it’s important to make sure that your bike is in top condition.
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 we recommend to take it easy at first.
Once you have gone through this checklist, nothing else should stand in the way of your first ride. Have fun, stay safe and enjoy the ride! And remember: we are always looking forward to your pictures! 😊