Back in November, I wrote a blog post titled, “Get Your Bike Ready for Winter Storage.” If you followed my advice (why wouldn’t you?), it’s time to reverse the process and wake your bike up for spring riding.
Hopefully, you’ve checked on your bike over the winter, and there won’t be any surprises. Pull off the cover that you put on in November, and dust your bike off with a soft cloth. Use this time to inspect for any damage or deterioration that may have happened during storage.
Check your tires for proper inflation, and fill to spec if needed. If you’ve elevated the wheels off of the ground, give the tires a good spin. Check for any rot or damage, and make sure that the front wheel spins freely, and that the brakes have not frozen.
Disconnect your smart charger, and reinstall your battery if you removed it from the bike.
No need to change oil or filter – you did that before putting the bike to sleep for winter, remember?
If you drained your gas tank, add a half-gallon of fresh fuel. If you did not drain the tank, you’re ready to start the bike.
Take the bike off the center stand or lift, put it in neutral and turn the key/push the ignition button. Don’t panic if it doesn’t start right away, but don’t over crank it and stress the battery, either. If you’ve followed all of the procedures from putting the bike to sleep and waking it up, your bike should start.
If it doesn’t start, the most likely culprit is the battery. Re-check your connections. Make sure that you’ve installed the battery correctly, and that your terminals are clean. Sometimes a battery goes bad for no discernable reason and needs to be replaced. Have yours checked by a pro before you buy a new one.
Finally, it’s time to gear up for a ride. Remember: All the Gear, All the Time (ATGATT). Especially when your bike has been asleep for the winter, don’t assume that your skills will be at peak level on your first ride of the spring. Start out slowly, pay attention to the basics and take it slowly. You and your bike will be back up to speed in no time.