Though winter seems to be holding on in many areas, it won’t maintain its grip forever. That means clear roads, sunshine and warm breezes will soon return — perfect conditions for taking your motorcycle out for a spring spin.

After a long winter of storage, your bike will need some TLC and perhaps some fixes. Here is a brief motorcycle inspection checklist to ready your cycle for spring. (Consult your owner’s manual for items that are specific to your make and model.)

  1. Take a look around.
    Circle your bike and observe it from various angles for obvious problems like leaks, worn parts, damaged mirrors or windshield, or corrosion. Check to make sure the lights and horn work.
  2. Check the gas.
    Drain any old fuel from carburetors, then refill your tank with a premium fuel. Cenex® Top Tier™ Detergent Gasoline maintains your motorcycle automatically, maximizing performance and efficiency for a cleaner engine.
  3. Look at oil levels.
    Check the oil in the motorcycle, even if you topped it off in the fall before moving the bike to storage. When in doubt, get an oil change using a gasoline engine oil like Cenex Maxtron® Full-Synthetic Gasoline Engine Oil. This oil is formulated with everything needed for a motorcycle lubricant.
  4. Inspect brakes.
    Check brake pads, lines and fluid levels before going out for your first ride. Replace worn pads or cracked lines. Separately test front and rear brakes to ensure they’re working as they should and not scraping or squealing. 
  5. Examine air filter, battery and tires.
    Clean a dirty air filter by using compressed air or replace the filter. If you haven’t kept your motorcycle battery powered up over the winter, charge it. Check the air in your tires and fill to appropriate pressure. Also look for signs of wear and/or damage to tires and replace tires if necessary.
  6. Clean the chain and wash your motorcycle.
    Most chains today are O-ring, which require less cleaning than older chains. Clean your chain when it’s dirty or according to what your owner’s manual recommends. Give your entire motorcycle a thorough wash and dry when you bring it out of storage.

Take a spin around the neighborhood to refresh your skills and make sure your motorcycle is working well mechanically. Also ensure your helmet, eyewear, jacket and gloves are in good condition before hitting the open road.

Having a motorcycle that checks all the boxes mechanically at the beginning of the riding season makes it easier to spot problems that might crop up and gives you a more confident start when the rubber meets the road. To fill up your tank before your next road trip, find a locally owned and operated Cenex near you.

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