Take the motorcycles out of the Motorbike Servicing garages: sunny days are back! But before going to tease the bitumen and investigate the turns, a few checks and maintenance operations on your two-wheeler are essential. All MNC tips and tricks in our Special Spring Revision Guide.
Placing and removing your motorcycle from wintering: instructions for use
If many motorcyclists use their Motorbike Servicing all year round, others prefer to leave it in the garage during the winter while waiting for the return of sunny days. For questions of comfort and obvious reasons related to the climate, especially for the inhabitants of the northern part of France: to ride a two-wheeler on icy roads, sometimes snowy, bundled up in several layers of clothing, is enough “cool” more than one!
Motorcycles generally get along quite well with this wintering period, especially the recent injection models. Provided however to spend the winter sheltered from the elements: it is different for two-wheelers left abandoned on the street from October to March! Storing your motorcycle or scooter in a dry place and if possible out of frost is one of the keys to a restart without unpleasant surprises in the spring.
Other procedures to be followed to facilitate restarting after wintering: dismantle the battery and store it warm – or at least disconnect its cables – and fill the fuel tank to the brim to prevent oxidation of its walls. For motorcycles with carburetors, generally old or all-terrain models, it is better to drain everything: tank, carburetor (s) and fuel system. Finally, careful washing and lubrication will prevent rusting during storage.
However, even carefully wintered Motorbike Servicing must be inspected in fine weather to check their perfect functioning: gives you the advice to follow and the maintenance procedures to be carried out at the end of winter in three basic steps. Follow the guide !
1 – Check and maintain your motorcycle battery
First step after a long standstill: reassemble or reconnect the battery, which we will have taken care of beforehand to check the charge via a voltmeter or a multimeter. As unused batteries Motorbike Servicing gradually discharge, recharging will probably be necessary after winter. Except for batteries whose power will have been preserved during the wintering thanks to an automatic charger with charge maintenance function, preferably specific to motorcycles (those for cars are often too powerful).
This type of charger is relatively inexpensive (between 40 € and 80 €, approximately) and can often be connected to the battery without having to dismantle it. Convenient to avoid slack on restart! For maintenance-free batteries, the majority on motorcycles after 2000, no other procedure is necessary: this is precisely the advantage of “maintenance-free”.
These non-working batteries have black sides, as opposed to “conventional” batteries whose walls are transparent to Motorbike Servicing facilitate monitoring of the liquid inside (the electrolyte). If the level of this liquid is below the indicated threshold, open the cap (s) and top up with distilled water. When reconnecting the cables (starting with the “+” terminal), brush the terminals and apply a little grease to avoid crystal formation and corrosion.
Batteries have an estimated lifespan of two to three years: by following these maintenance procedures, it is possible to significantly extend their lifespan. The original battery of a Japanese sports Motorbike Servicing motorbike from editorial team lasted no less than ten years before manifesting its first weaknesses!
2 – Visual checks, chain tension and levels
Then carry out a general inspection of your motorcycle to detect any anomalies: oil leaks, loose nuts, frayed cables, oxidized lugs, etc. Check that all controls and lights are working properly, including the license plate light and turn signals. The levers must actuate the clutch and the front brake precisely, without excessive hardness or softness. Same thing for the rear brake pedal.
Spray a protective lubricant type WD40 on the connectors, threads, cables, screws and joints (pedals, kickstand, selector, footrest). In this way, a water-repellent and penetrating film will be deposited on these organs. Also check the correct operation of the steering column bearing, which must have no hard spots by placing the handlebar in abutment on one side then on the other. Otherwise, a change is unfortunately expected.
For motorcycles with chain transmission, this must be in good condition and properly tension ed, with approximately 3 cm of free travel (the “arrow” is specified on the maintenance booklet and sometimes on the swing arm). Its Motorbike Servicing good lubrication must also be ensured, even if lubrication has been carried out before wintering, because the O-rings and the grease they retain have had plenty of time to dry.
3 – Control and maintenance of motorcycle suspensions, brakes and tires
The suspensions must sink and return to their place smoothly. Check for scratches and dirt on the dip tubes, which cause oil to leak. Clean them with a degreaser, then dry them to improve their sliding. A fork change approximately every 20,000 km preserves its damping qualities: it would be a shame to deprive yourself of it given the importance of the front axle when riding a motorcycle!
In terms of braking, the main check concerns the wear of the pads. Do not neglect this control, especially when restarting in the spring: used pads no longer provide a correct braking function, in addition to damaging the disc because it rubs directly on their metal support. The condition of their trim is measured visually, possibly using a lamp and a mirror to observe from below: below 2 mm thick, the pads are good to change!
To facilitate this control, most of the plates have one or more notches to indicate the minimum thickness to keep. Other wear indicators: a significant drop in brake fluid in the reservoir located near the master cylinder (most often above), Motorbike Servicing causing spongy control. Take the opportunity to check the condition of the hoses by tracking leaks, cracks and traces of friction, symptomatic of a bad passage of the hose. The discs also wear out: check that their track is not too hollow (the minimum thickness is written on the disc and on the maintenance booklet).
4-Papers and equipment in order to restart the season
Your spring motorcycle check-up is now complete! Before going on a ride on the roads, remember to check that your insurance certificate and the badge to stick on the motorcycle are those of the current year (we no longer count the motorcyclists circulating with documents of the year previous!) and that a compulsory yellow vest is slipped under the saddle …
In the chapter, Parisian bikers and those circulating in the streets of the capital will not forget to affix Motorbike Servicing their sticker on their motorbike, just to not start the summer with a plum! Also keep in mind that the wearing of approved gloves is compulsory for the driver and his possible passenger. In winter, the risks of forgetting are low, but with the return of sunny days.