Here we go! Spring is so close that I can smell it and for all of us who are starting to get an itchy throttle hand, I have to talk about what we’re looking forward to.
For those of you who have followed our biker blog, the Sportster is up and running and I’ll have all the news on it in the blog this week. More importantly, today, let’s talk about getting your bike ready for Spring. Now, I’ve done plenty of articles on winterizing your bike and a couple on getting your bike ready for Spring, but let’s talk about the most important component of a motorcycle – the loose nut behind the handlebars.
First off – even though you say you’re “ready” to get on the bike, are you really? A winter of driving a 3 ton SUV with snow tires does things to reaction time and attention span. At the same time, are you physically ready, too? Are you carrying a little extra weight making the leathers a little restrictive? Now is the time to figure that out and a few extra pounds can be shed a lot easier than 30. Spend some time being realistic about how much “ass time” you can really handle in the saddle of your bike before you decide to ride across the state the first time you fire up that V-twin.
Next, but just as important, is how does your gear look? Did you just toss it in the closet last fall or pack it away carefully? More than a few posers don’t take care of the leather and find out the hard way in the Spring that wet leather rots in the moist environment of a bad pack job. If you didn’t do it last fall now might be a great time to have all your riding leather dry cleaned (I know, sounds silly, but it truly can make your stuff look like new and last seemingly forever. I have a pair of chaps that is well into its second decade and has survived one slow lay down simply because a.) I bought the best I could afford and b.) I’ve taken great care of them). Bite the bullet and get the leather cleaned by a pro while you’re getting the bike ready.
Of course, you may find that some gear has disappeared or storage was unkind to it (I had a mouse’s nest in one of my gloves one winter – looked, smelled, and felt awful). Go ahead and get the new stuff ordered before everybody else realizes that they need it too. (link to jackets/etc…) And of course, if you decided to grow out your hair from that buzzcut you’ve worn since high school, you need to check that your skid lid still fits right. When I cut off my long hair (think James Hetfield from Metallica circa 1992), I found out that my beanie helmet suddenly didn’t fit tight and kept lifting off at any speed over 45 mph.
Take the next few weeks to get “fit” to ride –get a little exercise, check your hand-eye coordination, and make sure all your gear and accessories fit right and do what they are designed to do. I know that the snow is still melting in some places and over on the left coast, they are still getting socked, but the Spring is coming, I promise.