How to prepare your bike for riding after winter from someone probably not qualified enough to talk about maintaining a bike.
First things first, start off by brushing off the pressure washer and washing the bike. Unless you keep your bike in a bubble, no doubt there is a layer of dust and possible cobwebs. My prefered way to wash my bike is spraying it down with only water to get the large clumps of dirt off. Then I'll mix a spray bottle of Simple Green or our local Dirt Bandit with water. Spray the bike down and let it sit for a minute or two to break down the dirt and other contaminants then spray it off. Then you are done!
Now that you have got a clean bike, you can start checking bolts and other necessities.
Firstly, go over all of your 8mm bolts. All plastics, as well as clutch cover and water pump, use 8mm bolts to keep them in place. Then move up to check 10mm bolts. These typically hold the seat, subframe, forks, and front axle in place. Of any of these are loose, it could be very dangerous on track and could injure you or other riders. Move to checking the linkage and shock bolts. At this point, it might be beneficial to disassemble the shock linkage and regrease and replace the bearings. Running these dry will not allow the rear shock to function properly, which could mean stability issues because the forks will be working extra to compensate.
Moving onto controls, replace or apply some WD-40 to throttle and clutch cables. Having either of these stick or not work properly can one, inhibit the control of your bike to ride it at your best and two, can potentially harm other riders in an accident. Make sure to let the air out of spring forks to maximize fork travel.
Lastly, these should be done before every ride. Changing engine oil is essential to keeping your engine running clean and making it last the longest it can. Cleaning your air filter is the best preventative maintenance to do. Having any dirt getting into the motor can become very costly. Go over all spokes to keep the wheels in true. More personal preference but check tire pressure before every time riding. Too low will result in debeading. Follow the ol’ 3 finger rule for chain tension and use chain lube to protect against rust. Check coolant at the beginning of every ride day and fill it with water if needed. Now get yourself some fresh 92 in the gas can and you are almost ready to go! “Give’r a kick” (or press the button) and make sure the bike is operating correctly before making the trip to the track or trails.
Have fun and ride safe!
If all else fails, just steal your brothers bike to go ride. Sorry Joe.
This post was written by MototheNW contributor, Logan Feeder.