If your ATV or motorcycle has been properly stored and it’s now time to ride this article explains how to properly prepare your vehicle for use after storage.
Clean the vehicle thoroughly with an appropriate cleaner. Do not underestimate the effects that grease, grime and dirt have on a motorcycle. Dirt attracts moisture which causes rust. A clean, well polished motorcycle not only looks good but will operate better than one that is neglected.
Check all cables and hoses and wires for signs of wear. Replace where necessary.
Moisture is attracted to oil, change the engine oil and filter and transmission oil (if equipped).
Check the coolant level of liquid cooled vehicles – top off to proper level if necessary.
If the battery has not been on a trickle charger give it a full charge and replace if needed. Check that the battery cables are tight and free of corrosion.
Go over the brake system from top to bottom. Are the pads in spec? If not get some on order. Check your brake fluid levels, check that your brake lights work. Do the brakes grab and release or do they stick? Your life is on the line here – take the time to double check everything.
Do your turn signals work, headlight, horn? Is your headlight aimed properly? Check the high and low beams.
Check all bolts, nuts, and screws are tightened to proper specification.
Check your air filter. Is it clean and oiled with proper air filter oil (if required)?
Check your tire pressure. Inflate to recommended pressure. Check for tire wear and sidewall condition.
Check your steering – does it move freely without any binding or pinching of cables or wires?
Check the spark plug condition and gap. Clean or replace as needed.
Check for proper throttle operation before starting the vehicle. Does the throttle move freely?
Follow the manufacturer’s recommended starting procedure and ride-precheck as specified in your owner’s manual and enjoy your ride!
Be sure to check out the Cyclepedia Common Service Manual for more general motorcycle maintenance procedures at: http://www.cyclepedia.com/common-service-manual/