**article courtesy of Nationwide Insurance
Warmer weather means more days on the open road. Is your motorcycle spring ready? Take the time to conduct a thorough motorcycle inspection to make sure your bike is ready to hit the road.
As winter snow starts to melt and icy roadways clear up under sunny spring skies, navigating streets and highways is a much more pleasurable and safer experience. It’s also the time when motorcycle owners begin to plan their first ride of the season.
But before putting on your helmet and zipping off for an exhilarating ride, you should take time for a thorough inspection of your bike. A lot can happen with your motorcycle during the time it was stored. An annual top-to-bottom motorcycle inspection, from tires to spark plugs and fluid levels, ensures you get the best and safest performance from your bike.
“Just like warming up your body with stretching exercises before exerting yourself, checking and prepping your motorcycle before every ride is wise to prevent any mishaps.” says Peter terHorst, spokesman for the American Motorcycle Association.
Peter terHorst recommends a checklist, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s T-CLOCS Pre-ride Inspection Checklist, that provides a comprehensive list of motorcycle parts, what to check and specific conditions to look for ─ from engine and body basics to often overlooked details.
1. Check the fuel system
One of the most important areas of a motorcycle to check after winter is the fuel system. The gas still remaining in your tank can change its chemical makeup over time with parts of the mixture evaporating, turning what was once fuel for your machine into a brown muck, like the varnish sold in paint and hardware stores. If not remedied, this varnish can clog the jets inside a carburetor and lead to poor performance, difficulty starting or not starting at all.