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Spring Motorcycle Top Ten Checklist

from: JG Mashino

If your motorcycle has been sitting all winter here is the top ten checklist, before you take that first ride of spring.

1. Check fluids; The oil should be at the same level as your last ride. If not chances are you have oil on your floor or in your gearbox, donít top off your oil, after going through this checklist, let your motorcycle reach operating temp and do a oil and filter change.
The trans case oil should be changed. The fork oil should be checked. Check the
brake fluid level and top off if needed, being careful with this one, you can remove paint with break fluid.
2. Battery; If your battery was stored so it would not freeze, check your fluid level, top off with distilled water, if needed, and give it a 2 amp charge for about two hours. If you let your battery set in freezing conditions, toss it and get a new one. Check your cables when installing, and make sure the vent hose is sound with no kinks or breaks, the vent should hang about 2 in. below your frame.
3. Chains and Belts; Check your rear drive chain or belt for wear, note the sprocket teeth also looking for wear. Adjust your rear drive according to your shop manual. Inspect the primary chain and adjust according to your shop manual.
4. Tires; Check the tire pressure and inspect for tire wear and service. Normal tire mileage is around 8,000 miles, that is if you are not doing burn outs all the time.
5. Engine and Carb; Look over your engine and carb, remove, and clean the air filter, If you did not drain the gas, you may have to clean the carb.
6. Cables; Lube your cables so they work free, checking the brakes and clutch by rolling the bike back and forth. Your brakes should grab and not stick, the clutch should work freely. Your throttle cable should work forward and roll back freely, unless you are using a dead-man throttle, like the stock throttle on my 68 FLH.
7. Lights and Turn Signals; Operate all lights and turn signals, make sure to double-check your brake light and license plate light.
8. Brakes; You checked and lubed the cables, made sure the bike would roll free, now take a close look at the brake pads, rotors, and calipers for wear and proper function.
9. Nuts and Bolts; Depending on what you ride, nuts and bolts that loosen up may be a problem you need to check over your complete motorcycle, checking every one. Nuts and bolts on the engine should be checked after the engine has been warmed up to operating temp. Consult your shop manual.
10. Wheels and Spokes; Check for loose spokes, raise the wheel up so you can spin it around, checking for loose spokes as you go. Note the travel of the wheel for being straight and true. You can tighten any loose spokes with a spoke wrench, being careful to not exceed more than ľ turn per adjustment, again consult your shop service manual for technical details.


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