Motorbike season is here: top tips from Autoparts

Has your motorcycle been hibernating in a garage over winter? Riding a motorbike in miserable weather can be risky, but with the longer days and warmer weather of spring here, many bikers have already begun reclaiming the roads.

If you haven't already it's time to shake off the winter blues and get your motorcycle ready for the riding season. But, before you hit the open road, we’ve put together a handy guide for you to ensure you’re ready to get back on your bike!



Allowing your motorcycle's insurance, road tax, or MOT to expire could cost you a lot of money. Making sure all your documentation is up to date should be part of your pre–season preparation. Also, remember to check if your insurance covers roadside help.
Check out the Government's MOT inspection checklist here



Unleaded gasoline in your vehicle's tank can lose its combustibility in as little as three weeks. A helpful piece of advice is to not fill up before parking, and to inspect gasoline lines for breaks or leaks. Top up with fresh fuel following your motorcycle's hibernation, and if the tank has been sitting for a few months, you may need to drain the remaining aged fuel.


Fork seals

Because of leaking seals, forks might compress at various speeds which could cause handling issues. It's time to replace the seals if you notice any traces of oil mist on the fork legs. While you're there, you’ll have the chance to check for pitting or surface rust on the legs.



Cables for the clutch, throttle, choke, and brake all require lubrication to keep them moving smoothly. A smear of grease on the adjusters will also help. Hydraulic clutch lines, like brake lines, should be visually inspected for signs of wear or splitting. If necessary, repair or replace them. Remember to top up the fluid too.



Test the head/tail/brake lights, indicators, ignition, and horn with a fully charged battery. We would also recommend popping the tank and seat to examine the wiring underneath, (just to ensure no mice have nibbled at the coil leads!). Make sure the lenses aren't damaged or fractured when testing the lights.



When making sure your motorcycle is ready to ride, it’s just as crucial to make sure it’s also ready to stop! When your bike is parked, brake callipers can become sticky and pistons can corrode, so remember to inspect the callipers and discs carefully. Check the brake pads for wear, the brake hoses for splits, and the reservoir levels at the same time. Brake fluid, by the way, is hygroscopic, which means it attracts moisture and needs to be replaced every year. Try our break cleaner, specially made for motorbikes. 



Keeping a record of servicing or part replacement is always a smart idea.  Buyers will pay a premium for meticulous work records. It also means you won't go above the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedules. With that in mind, it’s always best inspect the engine, gearbox, and coolant fluids, whether they have been serviced or not.



Even if your vehicle isn't equipped with an immobiliser or an alarm, the battery can drain throughout the winter. Connect yours to a battery tender or trickle charger as part of your morning ritual to ensure it stays charged. Lead–acid batteries typically last three years, although sealed batteries can last up to five years.



Instead of a power washer, give your motorcycle a deep clean and polish with your hands. Explore all the nooks and crannies on your motorbike. These are the areas that are easy to ignore, but crawling all over a clean bike is the quickest way to spot possible issues.



Be careful with your tyres; they’re the only thing that stands between you and the road. It goes without saying that you should maintain proper tyre pressure, but don't forget to examine the tread for wear and tear. Examine both tyres for uneven wear patterns or bald areas, as well as any cracks in the sidewalls.



Before you hit the road, consider layering up with the necessary clothes. Begin with a lightweight but warm base then add a suitable jacket. (To stay warm without adding bulk, wear a heated jacket over your base layer!) Don't forget about your neck and wrists, which are both a prominent entry point for cold air. Wear a neck gaiter and a fitted full-face helmet (with the vents closed) to keep you warm from head to hands to toes.



Does your helmet need a refresh? Try Foam Fresh from Muc-off on the inside of your crash helmet. It is a highly effective cleaning mousse that produces an instant foaming action to gently break down dirt, sweat and odours. For the outside of your helmet, we love this M1 Helmet & Visor cleaner from Motul. Not only does it clear the helmet and visor without leaving any marks- it also has an anti-insect effect! 


Get rid of the winter blues

Maintenance and frequent checks aren’t always on your mind when your bike is working properly, but prevention is better than cure. That's why, if your motorcycle has been sitting dormant all winter, it's time for a complete health check.

Preparing your motorcycle for the riding season is the best way to beat the winter blues and ensure trouble-free riding. We recommend doing a little test drive around the block first before going for a big ride. Take your two-wheeled machine out of the garage, fire it up, and go for a spin. A test ride will also help get rid of the slick feeling that comes with brand-new tyres. The engine will be lubricated with new oil, the fuel injectors or carb jets will be flushed with new gas, and your battery will be recharged. Listen for any strange noises or rattling while you ride. Make a few U-turns to check your steering, then hit the brakes a few times to ensure the fluid isn't clogged and the brake pads are working properly. Finally, fill up the tank, park your bike, and prepare for your first long ride of the season.


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