Although some riders may enjoy year round warm and sunny weather for motorcycle season, most of us have to divide their year into two parts – riding season and off season. When it finally starts to get warm and nice outside, many rush to drag their steel friends out of the garage and take them for a spin. When it’s March and there are riders out there already, even though the temperature hardly rises above +7C during daytime, it’s time to start preparing for motorcycle season.
Before jumping right into the season there are some important things to check. It is always a good idea to take your bike for inspection to the local mechanic. Minor repairs and service may be needed, especially if winter is wet and cold. For instance, before starting your motorcycle season, oil change is a must. In fact, oil needs to be change both before and after the winter period. The reason for changing it before – you don’t want old oil to be stuck in your engine for such a long time. It is also advisable to fill the tank up to the top to prevent it from rusting.
The chain for new motorcycle season
Taking care of the chain is another important aspect. Chain needs to be washed and cleaned regularly, as well as lubed. It is important to remember not to wash your chain with gasoline, as it may damage rubber parts. Diesel is ok, but the best is to use special chain cleaner. For better cleaning, make sure to use chain brush. Remember to clean the chain every 500 km or each time after driving in the rain.
Another great danger are the car drivers. Each time the spring (and motorcycle season) comes, they seem to forget there are motorcycles on the roads. There are none in winter, so now they just don’t see us anymore. Make sure to take this into account, especially when riding between lanes. A car in front of you may change the lane without looking in the mirror properly, and you will get in trouble. It takes time for car drivers to get used to bikers again, so think for them and be ready for surprises.
Before heading off to your first trip in spring, make sure the road is suitable for the ride. Even is the air is warm, the road is still much colder and in shady places may even have ice on it. Taking that into account, make sure to ride upright and don’t lean too much. Another issue is how clean the road is – quite often the road is dirty and hasn’t been cleaned since winter. Especially in areas with a lot of snowfall in winters, there is all kind of dirt, sand and gravel on the roads in early spring. By not taking these dangers seriously you are increasing the risk of falling and getting an injury.
Checking the tires and making sure they are in good shape after winter is highly important. In fact, before closing your garage in winter, make sure to use special silicone spray applied to all rubber parts. This will prevent them from drying and cracking.
Experienced riders try to return home before sunset, as the weather changes quite quickly and the Earth does not continue to heat the air once the sun is gone. Cities are generally warmer due to amount of cars, people and houses. Once out of town, make sure to ride at stable, lower speed and avoid riding between lanes.
Although it is quite obvious, suitable gear and warm clothing should be mentioned as well. Riding a motorcycle at the beginning of motorcycle season is not the same as riding a bicycle. Moving at high speeds lowers your body temperature drastically, so even if it seems very warm outside, riding at 100kmh will not be as warm anymore. When planning on going for a longer ride, make sure to wear base layer and other warm clothes. Protective gear is a must as well – always. Probably the best protective clothing for any type of motorcycle is a leather suit. Wearing a base layer and leather suit will give you both comfort and protection. Face mask, warm winter gloves and thermal socks may be considered for even more comfort.
There is nothing like the first ride in the spring. When you have been waiting all winter, looking through other people’s stories, visiting your bike in the garage and dreaming about the speed and freedom. It’s an ultimate feeling of freedom and enjoyment. It is obvious why so many people take the first chance available and jump right to it. However, think again before rushing into it. Taking the risk and doing it right away may pay off badly in the end. Holding yourself back and waiting a bit, on the other hand, will make you enjoy it even more when the time is right. And, what’s most important, you will be doing it safely.