One of the greatest moments of owning a Harley is taking it out on the road for the first cruise of spring. The warm air and the smell of freedom can be overwhelming—almost like the feeling of riding a motorcycle for the first time.
But that feeling quickly diminishes when you pull your bike out of storage, eager to ride, only to realize there’s necessary maintenance to do first. From the battery to the final polish, here are my tips for getting your used Harley-Davidson ready for all of your spring excursions.
Check the Battery
Cold weather can really take a toll on your battery, especially if you don’t have a proper place to store your bike during winter. So the best place to start when doing a maintenance check is by making sure the battery is in working order for the season.
Replace Your Fluids
If you didn’t already change the oil and filter before storing your bike away for winter, now is the time to do so. In addition, check for leaks and make sure that the following fluids have been topped off as needed: shaft drive oil, gear oil, coolant, hydraulic fluid, and battery fluid. Also, show your bike some love by getting rid of any old gasoline that’s still in the tank from last year.
Test the Brakes
To ensure safety, check the lever adjustment, brake pads and all vital components of your braking system. Check your used Harley-Davidson owner’s manual for important maintenance information, or take it in for professional help if you don’t feel comfortable checking them yourself.
Inspect the Tires
Although it’s a good idea to check your tires before every ride, it’s definitely important to give them a thorough check after your bike has been sitting for a few months. Look for any cracks or punctures, and make sure the tread is in good condition.
User Tip: Stick a penny in the tread of your tire, with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see the top of his head, it’s time for a new tire.
Check the Controls
Inspect your motorcycle's lights and replace any burnt-out bulbs. Check that your turn signals, brake lights, headlights and all other functions are working properly. Moreover, ensure that your hoses and cables are free of any leaks, kinks or cracks.
Examine Your Chassis
Check the frame of your motorcycle for any damage or cracks. Make sure your fasteners are tight and that your forks, shocks, belt, and chain are properly adjusted.
Do a Safety Check
Just like any time you take a vehicle out on the road, it’s important to make sure you have the proper insurance. In addition, make sure your helmet and other riding gear are in good condition.
Clean & Polish
Now that you have done all of the necessary maintenance, it’s time to wash it off and throw some polish on the bike to make your used Harley-Davidson look like new again!
Now that you’re ready for the open road, you can ride worry-free knowing your bike is in good condition. So grab your shades, and get out there!
Looking for a new route to explore in Minnesota? Check out motorcycleroads.com's list of best routes.