Spring Start-Up

Written By: Dale Orlando

I know how exciting spring time can be for motorcycle riders in Ontario. Unlike those riders who live in parts of the world where they can ride year round, Ontarian’s have a limited riding season. With spring finally here, riders across the province are itching to get back on their motorcycles. As a bike enthusiast myself, I know how exciting the first ride of the season can be, but from being a personal injury lawyer in Toronto, I also know that the spring season can be one of the most dangerous times of year for riders.

It’s important to make sure you get your bike road-ready before taking it out. Even if you winterized your bike and stored it over the winter, you still need to check that everything is in working order before taking it out on the road. Here are 8 things you can do to make sure your bike is safe for the upcoming riding season:

  1. Dust off your bike. Remove your bike cover, and any rags or plugs from exhaust pipes and air intakes that are meant to keep out animals or foreign objects during the winter.
  2. Check out your fuel system. If you used a fuel-stabilizer, the fuel in your tank should be okay. If you didn’t, you should drain the old fuel and replace it with fresh fuel.
  3. Change your oil and filter. Most of us change our motorcycle’s oil as part of our winterizing process, but it is still a good idea to check the engine’s oil level before riding.
  4. Charge your battery. Most people remove their battery while their motorcycle is in storage, so their battery should be charged and ready to go. For those riders who did not disconnect their battery during the winter months, you should charge your battery, and make sure it can hold a charge; otherwise you’ll need to replace it.
  5. Tires. Check the air pressure in your tired using a pressure gauge. Check your tires for cracks, bulges, punctures, stress marks or flat spots. Spring is a good time to change your tires because it ensures you have good rubber for the whole riding season.
  6. Test your brakes. Check your brake fluid, and change it if it is dirty. Lubricate your front brake lever and throttle cables.
  7. Signal lights. Double check that none of your lights are burned out or need replacing.
  8. Hit the road. Be aware of sand, gravel and salt left on the road from the winter. Be aware of your surroundings, and take things slow. Wear bright coloured clothing to make yourself easier to be seen. Motorists are not used to seeing motorcycles on the road, so ride with caution and create space between you and other vehicles on the road.

Ride smart. Look twice. Stay safe.

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