“That’s all the motorcycle is, a system of concepts worked out in steel.” – Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Here at Esurance, we may not be in the Zen business, per se, but we do know a thing or two about helping folks get the most from their vehicles. And with perfect riding weather just around the corner, many of you may be downsizing from 4 wheels to 2, from seatbelts to helmets, and from A/C to spring breeze. That’s right, it’s motorcycle season … which means a little motorcycle maintenance is probably in order.
As alluring as it all sounds, however, it’s a really (really) good idea to do a little bike maintenance before you hit the road looking for Zen.
We enlisted the help of veteran motorcycle mechanics (including my dad) and riding enthusiasts to put together the following pre-season checklist:
- The tires: Some tires lose air very slowly and a soft tire, although it might not be obvious, is a major safety issue. On a motorcycle, you have half the number of tires you do on a car making proper inflation twice as important.
- The fluids: It’s always good to check the various fluids, including the engine oil, transmission oil, and brake fluid, etc. after an idle spell. They’re easier to check after the bike’s been sitting for a while and the fluids have settled to their lowest point.
- The air filters: Make sure they’re clean, and check for small creatures (they can be crafty) in the housing. If you find that you need to replace a filter, it may not be as difficult as you think.
- The battery: It’s not unusual for the battery to be low or even dead after sitting for an extended period. Check the water in the battery and make sure there’s enough charge left to start the bike.
- The lights: Make sure they’re all working. Sounds obvious, sure, but that means it’s also easy to forget.
And of course, a big part of staying safe is making sure you have reliable
motorcycle insurance. A good policy is kind of like a helmet for your finances— maybe not the coolest thing ever, but a really, really, good idea nonetheless.