Big Eds Blog - Dusting off the Cobwebs
Some riders choose to keep their motorcycle tucked up during the winter period, opting to take the car rather than head out in the ever-changing weather conditions.
This Bikers Guide will steer you through all the necessary checks every rider should undertake before heading out for their first ride of 2016. These checks are vital; you'd be surprised what can happen to a bike that has been sat doing nothing for a few months.
First of all get her out and give her a good wash down. Not only will this clear the cobwebs and the grime that will have naturally built up, but it will also familiarise yourself with the vehicle all over again and allow you to check to see if anything is awry, such as corrosion.
Secondly, If you haven't been trickle charging your battery (which isn't good for battery life anyway) you'll probably find that it's flat. This can be remedied by giving it a good charge yourself if you have charging facilities or at your local dealer (they'll do it for free if you're savvy enough). It's probably worth getting them to check the charge and if it holds as over time the battery may have deteriorated and you don't want to be stuck out in the country with a flat.
Now you've got some power back get her started and check all your systems. Lighting is definitely worth looking at as bulbs may have gone and if she's due for MOT they'll pick up that straight away. Check round all the contact points, battery, starter relay, starter motor, earths, ignition etc and give them a good clean. Corrosion loves to get into electrics and if one point is corroded over it may not work and you'll be left scratching your head as to why your bike won't start! Also use this time to check all your fuses, easily replaced but could again stop your motorbike from running.
Check your handbook and get your tyres back up to manufacturer recommendations, they will have naturally lost some pressure over the winter period and, needless to say, the only things that connect you to the tarmac should be absolutely spot on for your own safety.
Give your bike a good spray and grease and get all of the moving bits moving. Corrosion is a bikes worst enemy and it's best to keep on top of it before it does some real damage, give your chain a good grease before you get out on it.
Finally just take it slow on the bike when you first head out, the inclination will be to dust off some cobwebs and really give it some, but before you move too fast (literally) make sure your brakes feel familiar and correct and the engine is responding how you want.
Now what are you waiting for? Get out and ride!
26.01.2016 - Big Ed