13 March 2024

Riding season is approaching! Top tips for getting back to riding


Winter may have come and gone, the sun is shining and the roads are dry so it's about time for the less-hardy 'all-weather' riders to bring their motorcycles out of hibernation. Plenty have been washed but not ridden. Some have been bought or sold while others haven't had their insurance renewed, but before the keys are grabbed please do cast your eye over the below to ensure you and your machine are prepped for the road…

Pre-ride motorbike checklist: The best way to check your bike over is to thoroughly clean it as you’ll get up-close and be more likely to spot any problems. It’s also worth using a variation of the police pre-ride check-list – P.O.W.D.E.R.S. – ideally every time you go out…

Petrol - It’s a bonus if there’s some in the tank.

Oil - It should be at the correct level. For everything you need to know about oil, click below.

Water - Check the level, hoses and fasteners. Find out more about coolant below.

Drivetrain - If your bike has a chain, check its tension and also that it’s well lubricated. You don’t want to spray it then ride straight off, so do this the night before. Find out more about adjusting your chain below.

Electrics - Make sure all the lights and horn work, and that the instrument cluster operates correctly with all warning lights going off when the engine’s running.

Rubber - Make sure the tyres are in good condition with plenty of tread; the minimum is 1mm but you’ll want more than that really. Check the pressures too. For everything you need to know about tyres, click below.

Stopping - Check your brakes; that doesn’t just mean a quick squeeze of the lever – examine the discs and pads to make sure there’s plenty of wear left in them and also make certain there are no leaks in the brake pipes. Check the fork seals too, which could be dribbling oil onto the discs. If the bike was damp when it was laid up, it’s possible the pads could have bound onto the discs a little – they should free straight off but make sure the pistons in the calipers are returning and be extra-careful for the first few miles as the corrosion is scrubbed off the discs; the brakes could be a bit grabby for a while. For more about servicing brakes, click below. 


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