Getting Ready for Summer

or

Hey, Wake up, You!

Pokie Parmidge

Feb 2003

Getting your Cruiser out of storage and ready for the next season's riding is a job that greets us all in the spring. Paying attention to just a few things can make the difference between a great season and a disaster, so take the time now and guaranty a great season.

If you followed my suggestions to put your bike into storage, you are going to have a lot less to do to get out and on the road. If you didn't follow my storage suggestions--well, you better go back and see what your bike is going to need before hitting the open road.

Some things you may want to do or look at before you head out the door:

Uncover the beast Remove bed sheet, tarp or whatever you've covered your cruiser with. Have a general look on, around and below your bike. Anything look odd or out of place? Any oil leaks underneath? Oil level look okay?
Tires Have a look at the tires, any flat spots or dry rot? Check tire pressure and top off as required.
Gas Open the gas cap and have a sniff. Smell okay? If your bike has been stored for a really long time, you may want to opt to drain the gas before risking any fuel system contamination. What's a really long time? About a year or more.
Clean If you washed and waxed your bike before storage, you may only need to blow or hose it down to come out of storage. You're the best judge here. Important: clean the outside of your exhaust system (finger prints, oil drips and smears) and don't forget to check the area above your muffler cross-over for nests or trash.
Unplug your air horn If you stuffed a bit of rag or screened over your intake air horn, let's get that cleaned out before trying to start the motor. If you neglected to cover the intake air horn or the plug you put in is missing, you may want to check your air filter to see if anybody's moved in over the winter.
Battery If you removed your battery before storage and kept it charged up on a shelf in the garage, check it's level then go ahead and start putting it back in the bike. If you opted to store your battery in the bike over the winter, now would be a good time to pull it out and check it's condition and level. If you opted to ignore your battery over the winter--well, I warned you.
Fire in the hole! Battery in, tank on and everything buttoned up, push you bike outside and turn on the ignition. If you don't hear your fuel pump running, check the kill switch. Fire it up! While the motor is warming, test all electrical devices. Squeeze the clutch, brake and twist the throttle, feel okay? How about the rear brake?
Test ride Down the alley, up the street and down the block. How's it feel? Any bumping (tire flat spots)? Heavy steering (did you really check the tire pressure)? Feel good, take a longer test ride, enjoy your summer.

 

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Copyright 2009 Pokie Parmidge