Look for Fluid Leaks
Check the motorcycle's oil, antifreeze, and brake fluids to make sure they are at proper levels. If the oil and oil filter weren't changed before winter, then make sure to do so before hitting the road. Check the floor area around the bike to be sure no fluids are leaking. If fluid spots exist, try to identify their source before starting the engine. If the motorcycle was adequately prepared for the winter, also known as "winterized," and is non-carbureted, then it should come to life with ease. Just fire it up, let the engine idle on its own, and continue checking for leaks.
Test the Battery
In order to not end up with a dead ride for the first startup of the season, the motorcycle should have ideally been brought indoors for the winter and placed on a trickle charge every few months. This helps the battery from slowly draining. Consider taking the battery to an auto parts store for a load test, also called a “dynamic test.” If the battery is completely dead, then go ahead and get a fresh one and install it. While a dead battery can be charged and installed on a bike, it also places a lot of strain on the bike and can unexpectedly leave a rider stranded.
Check the Tires
Check the air pressure and age of the tires. Motorcycle tires should not be used after they're five years old. The DOT number on the sidewall of the tires lists ideal pressure range and manufacturing date. For instance, if they list "1017," then they were produced in October of 2017. Old tires tend to have harder rubber, which can lead to a loss of traction on the road.
Always Make Sure the Bike's Lighting Is Operational
Check out the cycle's headlights, tail lights, and turn signals. Also, make sure the horn is working correctly. Motorcyclists are already at more of a risk of injury on the road than car drivers; making sure these visual and audible indicators are working perfectly is crucial for a safer ride.
Fill It Up With Fuel
Over time, gasoline breaks down and can jam the engine's jets and injectors. This is especially true for bike's that have carburetors. The easiest way to prevent fuel from turning into a problematic, gooey mess is to add a fuel stabilizer to the motorcycle's gas before storing it for the winter. In the summer, the bike's first ride should be to the gas station for a full tank of fresh gasoline.
When summertime arrives, it's worth taking in your bike for a service appointment to make sure everything is good to go. The professionals at Tecumseh H-D® can determine any problems that may have arisen in your motorcycle during the winter. We're a family-owned one-stop shop for motorcycle sales, maintenance, parts, and service, and our factory-trained technicians are on duty during all business hours. Call us at (517) 225-1728 or fill out our contact form to schedule a service appointment.