Spring is here and you’re bust­ing to get out there, but be­fore you blast your way through a bril­liant bik­ing year make sure your steed is ready and will­ing with a few vi­tal checks

Motorcycle News (UK) - - 2016 Missions Spring Edition - By Alan See­ley MCN CON­TRIB­U­TOR

The days are get­ting longer and while the tar­mac may not yet be hot, it’s cer­tainly get­ting warmer. If you haven’t rid­den much through the win­ter months then you’ll be itch­ing to get the bike out.

Be­fore you stick the key in the ig­ni­tion, push the starter and fire off into the mid­dle dis­tance, you should give your bike a thor­ough once-over.

Don’t as­sume your bike is as road-ready as it was when it went into the shed or garage last au­tumn. Mo­tor­cy­cles don’t ben­e­fit from stand­ing. As well as that, the start of the rid­ing sea­son is a per­fect op­por­tu­nity to pay at­ten­tion to some main­te­nance tasks that will pay div­i­dends in the months ahead. So grab some ba­sic tools and ma­te­ri­als and lav­ish a lit­tle care and at­ten­tion on your pride and joy.

1Tyres: Pres­sure, wear and con­di­tion

Take a long, slow and close look at your tyres. Look out for cracks caused by per­ish­ing or stand­ing on un­der-in­flated rub­ber. Also look out for and re­move for­eign ob­jects. Check the tread depth ei­ther by us­ing a tyre depth gauge or the moulded in­di­ca­tors in the grooves. The lo­ca­tion of th­ese is in­di­cated at the edge of the tread ei­ther by ar­rows or in the case of the Miche­lins on this MT-07, by lit­tle Biben­dum men.

Also, tyres have a def­i­nite use-by date. There might be plenty of tread left but old age takes its toll on rub­ber com­pounds and your tyres may have hard­ened to the point where grip is com­pro­mised. Painful as it might be to chuck a set of ap­par­ently good tyres away, it sim­ply isn’t worth tak­ing a chance on rub­ber that might not per­form when you it most – cor­ner­ing and brak­ing.

If you don’t do the sort of mileage or type of rid­ing that wears tyres out, then be pre­pared to fit new ones ev­ery five years or so. If sat­is­fied that your tyres are oth­er­wise good to go, check pres­sures when the tyres are cold and you’re all set.

Sup­pos­ing your chain and sprock­ets are good to go, as are th­ese ones here, ad­just as per the book and lu­bri­cate on the in­side run with a qual­ity chain wax or oil. If they’re thick with old chain lube and grit, clean with de­greaser be­fore re-lubri­cat­ing.

3Cable ac­tion: Slick con­trols all round

A sticky ca­ble ham­pers con­trol and in ex­treme cases can jam or break. It’s worth in­vest­ing in an hy­draulic ca­ble oiler to squirt a lu­bri­cant such as GT85 be­tween ca­ble outer and in­ner. While you’re at it, grease lever pivot points too. If the con­trols work right, you’re more in con­trol.

11Fuel: Is it past its best be­fore date?

The chem­i­cal cocktail that passes for petrol th­ese days is highly prone to go­ing off. If your bike has stood for more than a cou­ple of months, it might strug­gle to start on stale petrol. If you left the tank full, then drain off at least half and top up with fresh. You can put the old stuff in the car’s tank.

Not only can you buy a new Arai RX-7VÉ you can buy a Spencer rep Arai RX-7V (£599.99). The main change is a new vi­sor mount­ing sys­tem de­signed to in­crease crash pro­tec­tion by keep­ing a smooth shape. www.wh­ New sporty-but­wa­ter­proof boot with syn­thetic leather up­pers, a plas­tic gearchange pad and screw-mounted toes­lid­ers. Waterproofing is from a Hi­pora mem­brane. www.spada­cloth­

(plus fit­ting)

In­cludes elec­tronic transpon­ders, stealth UV etch­ing and hun­dreds of mi­cro­scopic Data­dots that will give your ma­chineõs com­po­nents a unique iden­tity.

Bikes don’t ben­e­fit from stand­ing around. Th­ese easy tips will make sure you are ready to roll Clean off any muck then lube the chain

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