Six to fix: how to prepare for a new season of motorcycling

With the endlessly wet winter finally on the way out, it's time to gear up for spring. Shed some layers, feel the wind on your face and listen to the rumble of your motorcycle's engine while enjoying the gentle warmth of the sun and the brighter, longer days. 

Spring is as good a time as any to do the checks and prep that all bikers should periodically undertake to ensure they are safe and road-ready, even if they have been riding through the winter. Follow this six-step guide to saddle up for the season of revival and road-tripping on two wheels.

1. Show your motorbike some love

The arrival of spring after a long, wet winter means your motorcycle may have gathered dust, grime, and maybe a coating of road salt. Washing your motorbike thoroughly is crucial to prevent corrosion and maintain its aesthetic appeal. Give special attention to the chain, brakes, and areas that might have accumulated salt residue. This is also an excellent opportunity to check for loose nuts and bolts. After washing, dry the motorcycle meticulously to prevent rust and electrical issues. 

Alternatively, your motorcycle may have been in storage or used minimally during winter. More subtle issues may arise during this hibernation. A rigorous inspection can help you catch and rectify potential problems. Here's our checklist:

  • Inspect the tyres for tread depth, pressure, and signs of cracks or bulges. 
  • Test the lights, indicators and horn. 
  • Check the battery's charge and terminals for corrosion. 
  • Ensure the battery can charge and make repairs or replacements as needed. 
  • Examine the suspension, looking for any leaks or wear. 
  • The fluids, such as coolant and clutch fluid, are at the required level.
  • Pay attention to belts and chains, gauging their tension and condition if applicable.
  • Flush the brake fluid and check the brake pads. 

2. Change the oil

Always check the manual for the recommended oil change intervals. Changing the oil is like a spa treatment for dormant bikes through winter. Fresh oil lubricates the internal components more effectively, positively impacting performance and longevity. This is also an excellent time to check and replace the oil filter if necessary.

3. Refresh your biking wardrobe

You've looked after your bike - now it's your turn. Is your existing motorcycling gear in good nick, or can you detect damage or wear and tear? You might need some replacements or repairs or be in the market for some extra kit. Every year, many great new motorcycle clothing and accessories come on-stream. Look for hardwearing, safety-certified clothing constructed with abrasion-resistant, technical fabrics to help protect you in an accident. 

Roadskin, a market leader in stylish and protective motorcycle clothing, is an excellent place to start. Our pick of the new-season items is the armoured Easyrider II hoodie paired with our fresh-off-the-blocks cargo trousers. Together, they make a good-looking spring update that will keep you cool and comfortable. If jeans are more your vibe, our bestselling, award-winning Taranis single-layer jeans in black or indigo will see you right through spring to summer and beyond. And to triumph over spring showers, invest in Rainskins: waterproof over-trousers designed for motorcyclists. 

Roadskin motorcycle wear is tested at the SATRA Technology Centre in the UK, giving you peace of mind that you are buying reliable, rugged and high-quality kit. 

4. Go back to school

If it's been several months since you last rode, a rider training and skills refresher course can help you shake off the rust and build confidence. Advanced courses can also provide updated safety information, best practices, and tips for enhanced riding enjoyment.

Riding in spring can present unique hazards, such as potholes, slippery roads from showers, and increased wildlife activity, which require sharpened riding skills. Consider an off-road riding course to add some adventure to your spring itineraries. Roadskin is happy to recommend one of our trusted partners, the California Superbike School, which operates at several UK circuits, including Brands Hatch and Donington Park. 

5. Update your tech

GPS units for motorcycles can enhance your riding experience by providing accurate navigation and information. They're increasingly durable and come with an array of rider-friendly features. Look for a GPS that’s robust and reliable in all weathers, easy to use at high speeds, and has a readable display (especially in dazzling sunlight) and a long battery life.  

A Bluetooth communication system can keep you in touch with fellow riders without distracting you from the road. It allows you to share routes and traffic updates along the way. 

Like GPS units, action cameras are getting better and more challenging, too, creating ever crisper and higher quality images and film. They are a lot of fun to take along for the ride and make an excellent investment. 

Lastly, ensure your tech has the latest software updates.

6. Take a trip

Spring often prompts that holiday feeling. Plan your trips carefully, considering the weather, road conditions and the potential for the road to take you to lesser-known routes. If you feel like company, seek out welcoming biking communities online, such as The Monkey Revolution and Teapot One, and find new friends at meet-ups. 

Ensure your planned route has amenities suitable for your needs, including petrol stations, coffee stops, and safe rest areas. If you ride alone, share your travel plans and check-in times with a friend or family member. Always carry an emergency kit with first-aid essentials, tools, and an extra phone charger.

Spring readiness for motorcycling goes beyond fine-tuning the motorcycle. It involves a holistic approach that includes rider skill sets, safety gear and timely maintenance of your ride's mechanical and technological aspects. If you can tick all these boxes, you're all set. Happy riding!

Useful links:

Improve your skills with the world-famous California Superbike School on the big circuits: Brands Hatch, Donington Park and Bedford Autodrome. Four levels of training are offered, from foundation to personalised coaching.

The half-day Rider Confidence Training course uses tried-and-tested California Superbike teaching methods. These courses are low-impact and low-gradient, taking place away from the racetracks. Bedford Autodrome (24 June) and Brands Hatch (11 July).

If you've got the travel bug: five fantastic European road trips plus touring tips from the Bunny King Hogs.

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