The sun is starting to come out of hiding and lots of seasonal licence plates are valid once again. Your hand is itching to grip the throttle and you have butterflies in your stomach – it's finally time to get back on the bike and pick up the good vibrations. But if your motorcycle was parked on the street over winter, there are some greater challenges to overcome first. After a motorbike has been stored like this, all the tasks required to get it up and running in a roadworthy state again after the winter break as well as make it look reasonably good would fill an entire book. But if you diligently prepared your motorbike for the winter period in the garage, then the task is pretty straightforward – especially if premium care products and lubricants such as those from the MOTOREX range are on hand in the workshop.
When higher temperatures slowly herald the new motorcycle season, the optimistic types among us hope that their bike will just start up again the way they parked it – without any preparation. That may happen, but it may not. And it is never a good idea to neglect maintaining a bike in this way.
If you want to be sure that you can start the new season with your motorbike, then there's some work to do following the winter period when your bike has not moved for several months. If you attentively put your bike away for the winter, then you'll get through the preparatory work required pretty quickly. But if you were a little neglectful, then you should factor in a bit more time now. What is more, taking your motorbike out of winter storage is an ideal opportunity to take a closer look at your bike to promptly detect and rectify any defects.
Step 1 - Maintenance area: battery
The battery is first on the agenda. For batteries that are not maintenance-free, it is first necessary to check the fluid level and fill the cells to the maximum level with distilled water if required. If the battery was connected to a battery maintainer or was regularly charged, it should be immediately ready for use. If not, it is advisable to charge the battery now. When installing the battery, check whether the connections are clean and free of rust, and spray both poles with MOTOREX ACCU PROTECT spray. This prevents corrosion and ensures a durable, reliable electric connection. When connecting the battery, first connect the positive pole.
Step 2 - Maintenance area: engine oil
As a rule, the oil should be changed before the winter break to prevent used oil from causing corrosion in the engine. If you failed to change the lubricant, you now need to catch up on that and change the oil filter.
Step 3 - Maintenance area: chain
The same applies to the chain. MOTOREX CHAIN CLEAN DEGREASER can be used to clean the chain. Spray the degreaser onto the chain, chain ring and sprockets. Leave the degreaser to work for a few minutes and then wipe away the chain grease residue and any dirt mixed in with the residue using a cloth. A brush can be used if necessary.
Then spray the chain with a chain spray such as CHAIN LUBE OFF ROAD (off-road motorbikes), CHAIN LUBE ROAD STRONG (street motorbikes) or CHAIN LUBE RACING (sport motorcycles) from MOTOREX. While doing so, take care not to spray the tyres, brakes or other parts.
Step 4 - Maintenance area: forks and shock absorbers
It is also a good idea to visually check the forks and shock absorbers. Any oil leaks should be taken seriously. For one thing, leaking oil could get on the brakes and tyres. And for another, forks without any oil do not dampen bouncing movements and just spring instead. On top of this, significantly different levels of oil in the fork tubes definitely do not have a positive impact on handling.
Step 5 - Maintenance area: cleaning your motorbike
Particularly meticulous motorcyclists treated the painted, chrome and metal parts of their clean motorcycle with a care and protection spray such as MOTO PROTECT before the winter period. The slightly oily protective film must now be removed. Of course, you can always use MOTO CLEAN to wash the bike intensively. But, if the motorbike was well covered in the garage, then there is a much quicker and simply way – and you don't even need water! MOTOREX QUICK CLEANER is the magic solution. Simply spray the motorbike when it is cold, let the spray work for a few minutes and then wipe it off with a soft, dry cloth: the oily film disappears, the surfaces shine and water rolls off. The QUICK CLEANER is also suitable for cleaning helmets, not only removing dust and dirt, but stubborn insect residue too. Use CHROME POLISH to treat any chrome parts.
Step 6 - Maintenance area: brake discs
Since it is nearly impossible to avoid getting a slightly oily mist on parts such as the brake discs when spraying MOTO PROTECT, such parts must also be cleaned at this point. The standard product for this task is POWER BRAKE CLEAN. Spray the brake cleaner into a cloth or paper towel and then use this to vigorously wipe the brake discs.
Step 7 - Maintenance area tyres
While working on the brakes, you can also quickly check the tyres and forks. Is there enough air in the tyres, are the tyres showing any cracks or other damage, and what about the tread depth? The minimum legal tread depth in most countries is 1.6 millimetres. The depth can be checked with a simple tread depth gauge, which is basically a calliper. Tread wear indicators (TWI) are not good at indicating the actual tread depth. These indicators are small, raised areas in the grooves of the tyre; however, they are usually only 0.8 to 1.0 millimetre high. If they are scratched or flush with the positive tread, then a tyre change is definitely due.
Step 8 - Maintenance area: moving parts and joints
If everything is in order, you can now start lubricating moving parts and joints. MOTOREX INTACT MX 50 is recommended for this. The universal oil lubricates, stops squeaking sounds, protects against corrosion and repels water. The oil also keeps the joints of the brake and clutch levers working smoothly. The oil is also suitable for lubricating any other moving parts, such as foot pegs, the centre and/or side stands, gear lever etc.
Step 9 - Maintenance area: lights
Now just the lights and indicators are left to check. Does the brake light work and does it go out again? If not, this minor defect can usually also be fixed by spraying a little MOTOREX INTACT MX 50 onto the brake light switches; a stuck foot brake light switch is often the culprit.
Step 10 - Maintenance area: starting the engine
If you stored your motorbike correctly, the engine will hopefully start up. Motorbikes with injection systems are definitely less problematic in this respect. With carburettors, it's a whole other matter. If you topped up the tank on your last ride before winter and you added MOTOREX FUEL STABILIZER to the fuel, there is still a good chance that the engine will fire up after a few turns. If you didn't do this, then you'll need to get to work. Over time, the highly flammable fuel compounds evaporate first – particularly from small volumes of fuel such as the volume in a carburettor. This means you now need to close the fuel tap, drain the fuel from the float chambers and let them fill up again with fresh fuel. If even that does not help, it's time to use MOTOREX MOTORSTART. With the throttle open and the starter motor turning, spray the jump-start spray into the air filter to give the engine a helping hand. However, the spray is only a good idea for motorbikes with carburettors. If a motorbike with an injection system will not start, you'll need to do some troubleshooting.
Step 11 - Maintenance area: tyre pressure
When the engine is running, your first trip on your spruced-up bike should be to the petrol station to check the tyre pressure. If you increased the tyre pressure before storing the bike for winter, there should still be enough pressure in the tyres to get you to the petrol station safely. Now your bike is ready for the first real ride of the new season. But don't expect the first few kilometres after a winter break to go as smoothly and easily as you remember. After not riding for a little while, it's a good idea to be patient with yourself and don't overdo it – it'll all come back to you with a little practice.
A safe and perfect start to the new season.
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