MG’S SPRING BIKE PREP TIPS
The days are getting longer, the sun is showing its face again. Get ready to ride
If you’ve gone the whole hog and lifted the bike off the ground to avoid squaring the tyres (recommended in principle but seldom done by anyone) get the bike off the stands or blocks and reinflate tyres to the correct pressures.
If you’ve drained off the tank, fill it up. Most people brim the tank with super-unleaded (less rust-inducing ethanol than regular unleaded) to prevent moisture forming – and add a dash of preserver too. Assuming you’ve drained the carb float bowls, take them off again and check they haven’t furred-up over winter. Also bear in mind modern super-unleaded is just as good a carb cleaner as anything else out there. Let the carbs fill up and it will take pretty much any goo off (apart from the hardest of residual varnishes) as it goes through the system.
When men were men and bikes were junk it used to be recommended to take the spark plugs out and fill the cylinder bores with engine oil to prevent the (usually) cast iron bores from rusting up. That’s a bit over the top these days. It’s usually enough to plug the end(s) of the exhaust pipes to stop moisture creeping in via an open exhaust valve or port. However: it’s a good idea to take the spark plugs out and turn the engine over on the starter quite a few times to get oil circulating all the way around the engine after it’ll have drained back into the sump/tank. Then refit the plugs.
You should have clingfilmed the brakes dics (if you were spraying the bike in ACF50 (or an equivalent). Whether you did or didn’t go over the discs, give them a rub down with brake cleaner anyway to get the surfaces squeaky clean for action anyway. Brake fluid, aside from the DOT 5 variant, is hygroscopic, that is it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. If you’re due for a fluid change, now is as good a time as any to carry it out. Either way pump the brakes and check there’s nothing spongy about the lever action. If there is, bleed on...
The battery should have been taken out and left on an Optimate or a trickle charge, or left in with an Optimate plugged in. Check the electrolyte level if it’s old school (not an issue on a newer sealed for life job) , then refit it, taking care to attach the live terminal first, then the earth, assuming your bike’s negative earth.
Fire it up, warm it up, check for leaks. Turn it off, check all levels. Fire it up again and let it rip. Assuming it’s not still snowing in late March. Welcome to 2018.
Not quite ready for spring – not quite fit for anything