Got wheels? Powered wheels that is.
Ready to hit the road for the
motorcycling season? Hold your horsepower! Let's run through a few
important preparation tips first.
If your moto has been laid up for the winter, you'll likely already know
that you can't just jump on and (a) expect everything to work perfectly or
(b) expect early road conditions to be just right for your first outing.
It goes without saying -- but we'll say it anyway -- that you should never
ride your motorcycle without three critical things in place:
You're wearing the right safety gear.
- You're properly insured for Ontario motorcycling. If you have a seasonal
policy that becomes dormant during the winter, call us or the insurer to
- You've charged up your commonsense battery so you won’t be doing anything
About the bike itself, a lot depends on how you closed things down in the
As Motorcyclist magazine's Ken Condon says: "If you failed to put
your bike away last autumn with stabilizer in the fuel tank, air in the
tires, fresh lube where it belongs and a trickle of energy feeding the
battery, then your season may be delayed as you get your motorcycle up and
Even if you did the right things, you'll still need to check a few things
such as engine oil and lubricant levels and chain lubrication. Plus, of
course, tire pressure and tread wear, which should be checked before every
Essential Motorcycle Checks
In addition to these points, here's a quick rundown of the essentials you
should check before your first foray onto Ontario's highways:
- The electrics. Check the low and high beam settings on your lights are
properly adjusted, and that your instrument panel is properly lit up.
- The battery. Wise riders keep their batteries in shape with a trickle
charge during the winter. But it may still need a full charge before you
- The belt -- if your bike is belt-driven. Replace it if there are any
cracks or serious signs of wear.
- The chain for tightness and cleanliness. Look for damaged teeth on the
- Fluid lines and hoses for wear and firm anchoring.
- Coolant. Top it up or do a complete flush and replacement.
- The airbox. It can make a cozy home for adventurous rodents during the
winter! Clean it out -- and check the filter while it's open.
- The fuel system. Clean it out with a proprietary additive.Cables and more. Lube the front brake lever and throttle cables.
- The brakes, the brakes! There's nothing more important than fully testing
the braking system, either flushing the system or topping up, and checking
lines, pads and drums or discs for wear.
Don’t take risks with your brakes. If you're not sure how to do a safety
check and/or replace parts, get a pro to do it.
In fact, this is a good time to raise a very useful tip on preparing your
motorcycle for the season: root out the owners' manual and have a quick run
Depending on the make and model, there may be specific issues to check for
and procedures to follow. And then keep it handy in case you need it on
The well-prepared Ontario motorcyclist also carries good first-aid and
spares kits. There's no better time to check yours that before you even
straddle your moto for its first outing.
And then, there's your own state of readiness. As Ken Condon points out,
motorcycle incidents and close calls rise alarmingly in the spring months
-- often because car drivers haven't been used to seeing them in the colder
months. They're just not paying attention.
So, it's important to wear bright, easily-spotted gear and to be extra
cautious at intersections.
There are other hazards on the road too.
"Depending on where you live you may have to contend with leftover sand and
salt used to treat icy roads," Condon warns. "Often, this debris is hard to
see until it’s too late, so take it easy.
"Freeze-thaw cycles bust up pavement, leaving massive potholes and frost
heaves. And remember that just because the air temperature is above
freezing, doesn’t mean the roadway is. You may come across dampness and
snowmelt that may not be completely thawed."
Remember too that, in the early months, temperatures dive rapidly once
Don't Be Crazy
Finally, another word about insurance. Not only does Ontario law insist
that motorcyclists are insured but it's also crazy to even consider riding
An accident could cost a bankrupting fortune.
Secure Insurance Solutions Your Best Motorcycle Insurance Choice!
At Secure Insurance Solutions, we make it quick and easy to check your
coverage to ensure it exactly meets your needs. We make it just as simple
to get the motorcycle insurance coverage you need at the most competitive prices.
And if you need to make a claim, our full-time claims department, backed by
24-hour emergency support, is here to help.
Let's hope that doesn’t happen. But, like the safety of your bike and the
skills of its rider, good insurance is key to a great season of
motorcycling pleasure. Call us today for your free motorcycle insurance quote! 800-665-3259