Follow these steps to get your motorcycle ready to ride

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The snow and ice are gone, the grass is starting to grow and leaves are starting to appear on the trees. This can only mean one thing: Winter is in the past and spring is near. Once the roads are free of the cold, white stuff, many people can’t wait to get back to the warmer-weather hobbies.

One hobby that millions of Americans – particularly those in northern climates – can’t wait to get back to is riding their motorcycles. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as simply putting the motorcycle riding gear on, starting up your motorcycle and hitting the open road. After several months of inactivity, there are several motorcycle safety steps that riders need to take before pulling on their leather jackets and going for a ride.

1. Check the tires

Rubber and cold don’t work well together – rubber is prone to cracking in cold conditions and when stored on a cold surface. If you kept cardboard under the wheels to preserve the tires, that should help. Make sure you take a close look at the tire pressure, which is prone to fluctuation in cold conditions.

2. Check your battery

Whether you’ve removed your battery from your motorcycle or connected to a trickle charger, you need to make sure it is properly charged before you take your bike out for the maiden ride of the season.

3. Check the motorcycle exhaust

Before shutting down your bike for the season, you should have put rags in the exhaust pipes to keep animals or foreign objects out. Make sure you take those out, or your first ride of the season will be a really short one.

4. Check the lights and controls

Before hitting the road, make sure the headlight and brake lights are in working order, and that the light covers aren’t cracked. You also need to make sure the hoses and cables aren’t damaged, and that everything is well lubricated for that first ride.

5. Oil change may be unnecessary

Getting the oil changed isn’t a necessity before the season starts – especially if you’ve properly prepared your bike for hibernation. If you didn’t change the oil or used low-grade oil for storage – then consider changing the oil and filter. Check the levels of other fluids as well before hitting the road.

Taking the right approach to getting your bike ready to ride can help save lots of money in motorcycle repair later on.