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Start Your Engines! It’s Motorcycle Season

April 28, 2016


If you live in an area with a true winter, then motorcycle season is gearing up.  You are likely antsy to get on the road but now is the perfect time for an annual checkup.  Whether you perform the work yourself or take it to a professional, the first step is a basic checklist.


Refer to your bike’s owner manual for recommendations on the frequency of oil changes but be sure to check the engine oil levels when bringing the bike out of winter storage.  Don’t forget about hydraulic fluids and coolant.  If the respective fluid has the wrong consistency or color (even odor), consider changing the fluid instead of just topping it off.


Look for dust and corrosion around the connectors and keep an eye out for any loose connections.  Test the battery using a voltmeter to check the circuits.

Brakes/SteeringMVAgusta Damaged Throttle

Check pads and fluid levels, check and tighten your handlebars and steering nuts, then check and double check everything again.  Lubricate levers and pedals and inspect cables for kinks or frays.  Make sure you can stop on a dime if you need to.

Lights & Signals

Test light and signal settings including bulbs, fuses, and electronics BEFORE you get out on the road.  Inspect lenses for cracks, be sure the headlight is aimed at the proper height, and test that signals are working as expected.

Chain and Sprockets/Drives/Belts

Chain and sprockets are an easy-to-forget item and a not-so easy problem when things go wrong.  Lubricate not only during your annual checkup but lubricate often.  As suggested by Total Motorcycle, shafts and belt drives don’t require much maintenance but check your owner’s guide for suggestions on frequency of replacement and proper tensions.


Check the treads for wear and tear as well as any unusual tread patterns.  Make sure there aren’t any flat spots or cracks.  Test for the proper tire pressure – manufacturer-recommended tire pressure is usually imprinted on the tire sidewall or can refer to your owner’s manual.

In summary, if you truly winterized your bike, this really is a good opportunity to give it a checkup.  Most of the suggested checklist is fairly simple to accomplish with the propTwisty Roader tools and a little elbow grease.  When you’re ready to rev the engine and hit the road, take a little extra time to get reacquainted with your bike to get your “sea legs” back…Have a fabulous riding season and enjoy the “twisties”!

To read more on our thoughts about motorcycles, general insurance topics, or tricks and tips from the trenches, subscribe to the Avanti Reader via RSS, follow Avanti Business and Insurance Services on Facebook or Twitter (@AvantiInsurance) to receive notifications of future posts. Thanks for reading!

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