Now that spring is finally here, many motorcyclists are itching to ride again. If you’re one of them, here are some tips to make sure you stay safe and avoid injuries.
Did you ride over the winter? If not, and you haven’t ridden much, you should practice and brush up on your skills in a parking lot. You also need to perform some basic maintenance on your bike before you start riding again:
- Fuel: Do not use old fuel. Old fuel turns gooey, which can clog up the small passages in the bike’s fuel system. If you didn’t add fuel stabilizer before storing your bike away for the winter, throw it out and get new fuel.
- Tires: The air pressure in motorcycle tires goes down after long periods of time. Make sure that the tire pressure is what the specs call for. If you see a crack on any sidewalls, change the tire.
- Brakes: Check your brake fluid level and make sure that your brake pads aren’t too worn down. Test the front and back brakes separately to ensure that they both are working.
- Battery: Hopefully you kept your battery charged with a battery tender over the winter. If not, you’ll probably need to charge your battery before you can even start your bike. If the battery doesn’t hold a charge, then it’s time for a new one.
Maybe you did ride and maintain your bike over the winter. However, there are still some differences between winter and spring riding that you’ll want to look out for when you’re on your motorcycle. The roads at the beginning of winter are much different than the roads at the end of winter. In snowier areas, there may still be some salt left over on the roadway that hasn’t washed away yet, especially if there hasn’t been a major rainfall. There will be more potholes, which mostly pop up during the late winter and early spring, so stay focused on the road. You can report dangerous potholes to your local government so that everyone can ride safely.
As a motorcyclist, you know how to drive defensively. This is especially true towards the beginning of spring because most motorists aren’t used to seeing motorcycles on the road. Be as visible as you can. Wear a yellow or orange jacket and/or helmet so that you stand out more. Stay out of people’s blind spots as much as you can. And don’t be afraid to give your horn a couple of taps if someone is getting too close to you.
Ken Selander is a motorcycle accident injury attorney. If you were injured due to the negligence or carelessness of another motorist while riding your motorcycle, call Ken today at 206.723.8200 for a free consultation.