The days are get­ting longer, the sun is show­ing its face again. Get ready to ride

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Classifieds -

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

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