The temperatures the last few days have been creeping warmer, and you know you want to get the bike out and get on it. In fact, I have seen a few people already on the road. I know you are die-hard rider when you are out on the bike on a clear, crisp 50 degree day. It doesn't surprise me to see you or to see you in full gear, doing your best to keep warm and ride safe.

Before you get the bike out and start rolling again, here are a few reminders before you hop on and tighten the helmet, with help from Rawhide.org:

  1. Check that you don't have an extra passenger. Look under the seat, or anywhere a little creature like a mouse, might want to hide. If you see remnants or pieces of 'housing,' evict the little guys.
  2. Drain the gas tank. Fresh gas will help in a myriad of ways. If the gas looks rusty, then you will also have to take additional steps for that.
  3. Change the oil. Fresh oil, better for the bike, especially if it has been sitting all winter. Get those gears loose and the oil where it needs to be.
  4. Check all of your fluids, brake, hydraulic, windshield wiper fluid. Ok, not that last one, but definitely the first three.
  5. Inspect the battery. You might have to charge it. Then take a minute to test it. A battery that has been sitting around all winter might need a little more attention now to make sure you don't get somewhere and not be able to get the bike re-started.
  6. Check your headlights. Do you need to adjust the low beam or the high-beam? Now is the time to do it and not from the side of the road after dark, when you are two hours out and just want to get home.
  7. Check your brake pads and levers.
  8. Check your tire pressure, not just now, but it would be good to get in the habit of checking it each day that you are going to be heading out. A few pounds of pressure either way will really affect your grip on the road.
  9. Check your sparkplugs. Look for proper spacing and adjust. Do they need to be replaced?
  10. Check for loose bolts. Tighten, what needs to be tightened.
  11. Let the bike run for a few minutes. You already do this before you take the bike out, let it get warmed up, but do this now. Listen to the bike, does it sound right? If it just doesn't sound right, get it checked out now. That way you will be ready to go.

Yes, some of this seems like a pretty basic safety inspection, but it is time that you get to spend with your bike, by yourself. Enjoy it and know that each minute now will get you ready to enjoy yourself all season long.

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