It’s finally time to look into your motorcycle maintenance for spring. As a Georgia resident, your bike might not have been as mothballed away for the last six months as it would have been if you lived in, say, Minnesota or North Dakota.
All the same, your bike has probably spent a lot more of its time parked in your garage than throttling down asphalt. That’s why we offer these basic spring motorcycle maintenance tips, including a quick review of your motorcycle insurance policy.
After that, hit the road with confidence. And hope for a long, long spring, summer, and fall under clear blue Georgia skies. Here are six maintenance tips for GA bikers.
1. Clean or Replace Your Motorcycle Air Filter
Let’s start with the easy stuff. A clogged air filter makes your engine work harder than it should. You can easily check out the condition of this simple but important part. Use compressed air to clean out the dust and grime. If it looks like it’s going to take more than that, a new air filter is pretty inexpensive.
2. Recharge Your Battery after a Long Downtime
Motorcycle riders often remove their batteries before shutting down their bikes for the winter. Whether your battery stays connected to your bike all winter or gets stored separately, you’ll almost certainly need to recharge it.
As a Georgia biker, though, you might have had some good ride time even in the off-season. If not, you can keep your battery charged longer by at least starting your motorcycle up a few times during the off-season.
3. Inspect Your Motorcycle Brake System
Now we’re starting to get into the really critical motorcycle maintenance for spring. You don’t want to discover bad brakes while punching it on a freeway during rush hour. Fortunately, you can inspect your brake system visually before you kickstart your bike and roll it into the street for the first time in a few months. It’s easier than you might think.
Check out your brake line for cracks. Top off your brake fluid per your owner’s manual. Inspect your brake rotors. If they’ve turned blue or gold, that could indicate they’ve gotten too hot and should be replaced. Same with rusty or grooved rotors. Then take a look at your brake pads. They should be nice and thick. If they get to be just 1/8” in thickness, replace them.
See? It’s not that difficult. But your motorcycle’s brake system is so critical that you shouldn’t take any chances. If you have any questions or doubts about any part of the system, take your bike to a service garage and let a certified mechanic take a closer look.
4. Check Your Tires’ Air Pressure
This is just as critical to your safety as your brakes. If your bike has sat around for a while, the tires could very well be underinflated. That can lead to your tires running hot and eventually blowing out. That’s likely to be incredibly dangerous.
Street motorcycle tires should usually be inflated to somewhere between 28 to 40 psi, depending on the bike, road conditions, and other factors. Always consult your owner’s manual or check online for the proper inflation. At the same time, do a visual check for cracks or other tire defects after a long winter.
5. Take Your Bike Out for a Cautious Test Ride
Take it slow ‘n easy. As we said about this being Georgia, you might have found some time and occasion to ride even in the dead of winter. Maybe a bunch of opportunities if it’s been a real mild off-season.
But if your bike has been mostly stationary for the last several months, you won’t really know what condition it’s in until you take it out for that first springtime test drive. You might also be a little rusty on your riding skills from months out of practice. So we’d suggest starting with your quieter residential streets before hitting the turnpike.
6. Review Your Motorcycle Insurance Policy
Do you even remember where you stashed your policy? A lot of bikers buy motorcycle insurance because they have to. It’s the law in Georgia and most points elsewhere in the United States. The temptation is to get the most affordable minimum coverage and then forget all about your policy until you need it.
If you don’t have a policy, call up a trusted insurance agent and ask about cheap motorcycle insurance in Georgia. If you already have a policy, take it out and read it. If you have any questions or even the slightest doubt that your coverage still meets your current needs, don’t hesitate to call up your insurer.
For instance, if you’ve done any customization — a new and expensive paint job or pricey chrome trim — your current policy might only cover standard replacement parts and repair. If that’s the case, an accident settlement might only pay for a small percentage of your financial loss.
This is the sort of concern to bring to the attention of your insurance agent before you take your bike out for the first time this season. Consider your policy review to be just one more motorcycle maintenance step for spring.