The weather is starting to warm up and hopefully lockdown will be lifted. We will soon be able to get back out on our bikes for social rides.
Many have not ridden for some time and your bikes have been sat in a garage. Before riding consider doing basic checks on your bike:
1. B, Brakes. check brake operation, ensure they work by rocking bike and both operating the front and rear brakes individually. You are looking for the brakes to activate but also to release. Over time rust and corrosion may prevent the calipers from releasing causing the brake to drag. Check brake fluid levels too.
2. O. Check oil levels and ensure any pivot points, levers, stand etc are free to operate smoothly.
3. L. Lights and electrics. A weak battery can have some weird effects on modern machines with all the electronics now fitted to them. Check lights and ensure all electrical ‘extras’ on your bike are working correctly.
4. T. Tyres. One of the often overlooked parts of a machine is the tyres. Motorcycles place a lot of strain when cornering, braking and accelerating on their tyres. They need to be looked after. Check pressures when they are cold using a reliable tyre pressure gauge, its not advisable to ride to the local garage, this will warm they tyres giving an incorrect pressure and these units are often neglected or abused (dropped etc) so may give incorrect readings too. Check tread depth, the legal minimum is 1 mm on central 75% in a continuous band round the tyre. On a larger machine I do not let the tread go below 2mm.
Check for any damage to the tyre and any cracking or bulges. Ensure you have no foreign objects stuck in the tyre.
5. S, Steering and suspension. Ensure steering moves freely without trapping and cables or pipework and check operation of suspension ensuring there are no leaks.
Spend some time ensuring your machine is in good working order, go out and enjoy your ride.