Our beloved motorcycles have been locked down for a very long time now. There were days when we used to ride out just to experience the pure joy of motorcycling. Some of us also used our stallions to commute to work and then there were those long highway rides too. All of this came to a screeching halt when the government issued a nationwide lockdown. A sad phase, to be honest. But now a silver lining has appeared because the restrictions which were implemented are loosening a little. We like to assume that in the times to come, things will come back to normal and we will be back in the saddle again. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind before taking your motorcycle for a spin after a long time:
The first and foremost thing that you should check is the tyre pressure. Tyres tend to lose some air gradually if the vehicle is parked for a significant amount of time. If you feel that the tyres are running low on pressure, rush to your pump and fill the air. And the next time you park your motorcycle for a long time, make sure it’s on its centre stand. If not that, move it around every couple days or so, so that the same area of the tyres is not in contact with the ground.
Chances are that if you haven’t taken your motorcycle out for a long time, its chain might need some lubricant to function in a smooth manner. Check for the tension as well to make sure that the chain is suspended adequately. If you feel the need to tighten or loosen the chain, grab the tools and get to it! Nothing feels better than transforming into a grease monkey while working on your motorcycle. If you don’t have the right equipment, go to your nearest garage to fix it.
If there is a power source in your garage or where you’ve parked the bike, you could leave the bike connected to an Optimate or similar. While checking the voltage, keep the ignition off. If the battery needs to be charged or replaced, act accordingly. Because it is not a good idea to run a motorcycle with low battery. If this isn’t possible, start the motorcycle and leave it to idle for at least 10 minutes.
If your motorcycle has an inspection window, check for the engine oil level. It should be sitting somewhere in the middle of the maximum and minimum mark ideally. If it isn’t, fire her up and let it idle for a couple of minutes, leave the motorcycle to cool down a bit and then check the level. If possible, use a dipstick to check the viscosity level of the engine oil. If it has become too thin and grimy, replace the engine oil.
Modern bikes need minimal or no throttle to rise from a cold start. But be patient when you start it after a long time, the engine may need to crank over a few times before it fires up. When it starts, don’t just set her out to rip the streets. We know that you would want to whack the throttle open and experience that adrenaline rush after a long time, but it is not advisable to do so. Let her warm up a little and then while riding, gradually increase your speed rather than going all ballistic!
Check the required documents
It is necessary to ride a motorcycle with the required documents. Chances are that you might have placed them in the under-seat compartment of your motorcycle and if not, it’s time to do it again. You wouldn’t want to get into trouble with the authorities after setting out on the road after such a long time, right?
Besides all the aforementioned steps, ensure all the contact points are regularly sanitised before you get in the saddle.