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Riding a motorbike after winter storage

After the winter season, there are certain checks you should make to ensure your vehicle can be safely driven. Failure to correctly monitor or care for a motorbike greatly increases accident or damage risks. To welcome in the new season, we have a specific checklist for you.

As part of our theme regarding “Riding a motorbike after winter storage”, we have made a video in partnership with BMW Motorrad / Bilia-Emond Luxembourg , to show you some points to check on your motorbike before safely riding around after the winter.

The tires

The general state of tires

Check there are no foreign substances or sidewall cracking on the tire tread.

The pressure

After being stored away, tires always loose some air so it’s very important you fill them again. Any sort of pressure defect could result in premature and irregular tire wear as well as unstable handling of the motorbike.

Wear

Check the tread depths (treadwear indicator).

The battery

After the motorbike has been immobile all winter in low temperatures, it’s most likely it has suffered a little.

Visual check

Take a good look at the battery to see if there are any leaks or decay and make sure the thimbles are well tightened.

Trial motorbike ride

If you feel the starter is running slowly and the motor has trouble starting, then you need to get it recharged.

NB: after having done the above, and if the same scenario occurs, you will have to get the battery replaced.

Advice :

To limit damaging the battery during the winter months, you should:

  • Remove the battery, charge it and store it away in a cool and dry area
  • Use a battery optimiser which will keep your battery permanently charged during the winter

Level and fluid

Before any checks, it’s essential to meticulously respect manufacturer instructions regarding the replacement of various motorbike fluids.

Cooling liquid

  • Carefully check for any traces of leaks around the wires and flexible pipes of the cooling circuit
  • Check the liquid level in the coolant recovery tank (it is recommended to contact the dealership if there be oil missing to ensure the compatibility of the liquids)

Motor oil

  • Check the level using the gauge or window depending on the motorcycle and fill up with appropriate oil

Brake and clutch fluids

  • Check the hydraulic system and make sure there are no leaks
  • Verify the fluid level in the various tanks (front and rear brakes and clutch if hydraulic)

If the level is very low, it’s likely that:

  • the brake pads are severely worn
  • the hydraulic system has a leak

Controls and cables

Check the stroke, lower bracket and the movement of all different levers and controls.

Everything should move smoothly with no “rubbing” sensation. If you feel it’s a bit loose around the brake control, it’s imperative to head to your dealership and have them bleed the circuit.

Fork and shock absorber

  • Visually check the seals of the fork and shock absorber, as well as ensure there are no scratches on the fork tubes

Transmission

  • Visual check (no corrosion, binding of chains, drivebelt condition, absence of foreign objects)
  • Clean and grease the transmission chain
  • Check the tension using the manufacturer’s manual (they each have their own recommendations)

Something seems wrong? We recommend you call your dealership

Lights and indicators

  • Check there are no cracks and that they are watertight (no condensation)
  • Make sure the main-beam and low-beam headlights work correctly as well as the rear lights and not forgetting the number plate light
  • Make sure the brake lights work when pressing on the brake lever and the pedal
  • Check that the indicator lights work

Conclusion

Please note that all these points we’ve discussed in this article are not strictly for after-winter storage but should be checked regularly. However, we do advise you to have your motorbike checked once a year by a professional.

We hope this article gives you peace of mind to take your motorbike and enjoy riding without a care in the world!

Don’t forget that biker equipment is obligatory on our roads and that it helps you drive safely!

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