Taking your bike out after lockdown: things to remember

The pandemic has had us locked indoors and our motorbikes locked in garages for quite a while now. However, life is returning to a relative amount of normalcy and with months of leaving our bikes unused, it’s now finally the time to treat them with some TLC. The long duration of inactivity and lack of use your motorcycles may have left them in a poor state. So it isn’t advised to just hop on and ride off into the sunset without keeping in mind a few things that’ll make your riding experience, post-lockdown, better. So, here’s a list of things to remember.

1. Maintaining tyre pressure is crucial:
While you put your bike into storage without checking the tyre pressure, you risk having the tyres get damaged over time. If you take your bike for rides with low pressure in the tyres, you risk tear, tyre pops and accidents. While your mechanic or garage attendant will know the right kind of pressure your tyres require to function, it’s best to keep in mind the manufacturer specifications and use those as guidelines to get them refilled.The optimal bike tyre pressure is anywhere between 25 to 50 psi depending on your vehicle of choice. Therefore, it is also more expensive to purchase new tyres than to get old ones pumped up. Therefore, it’s best to avoid neglecting tyre health and getting them pumped for the road.

2. Keep tabs on Battery levels:
While your motorbike lies dormant in your garage, we would recommend you constantly check on the battery. While batteries do hold power for long periods of time, a leak in the device could be damaging to your bike on your next ride. These issues related to broken batteries don’t surface soon and can go unnoticed, and noticing them late may come at a heavy cost.It’s best to keep tabs on the health of your power cell and charge it or replace it as soon as possible. Make sure you seek help from a professional mechanic while doing so, as there are risks involved in performing these repairs by oneself.

3. Replace your Engine Oil:
Motorcycle longevity and overall bike health is reliant on the proper maintenance of the engine and the engine oil. We’ve stated before, that providing a healthy dose of engine oil to your vehicles is like providing it the “nutrition” to stay healthy. When your two-wheeler is running low on the vital fluids that it needs to sustain itself, it’s bound to feel rickety and weak.It is therefore advised to replace your bike’s engine oil as soon as you decide to head out after months of inactivity. Topping off existing old oil is also something you could do, but that makes the quality of the engine oil degrade and is detrimental to engine health over time. It is recommended to use high quality synthetic or semi synthetic engine oils based on your bike’s specifications.This isn’t just limited to engine oil however, making sure the brake fluid is replaced and in working condition and degreasing the chain with ideal lubricant is also equally important.

4. Make sure you’ve got your documents in order:
We use “Documentation” as a broad term here. If you’re a proud owner of a two-wheeler in India, you need to have the following documents updated, checked or renewed after having stowed away your bike for a long period of time.

  • Motorcycle Registration Certificate (RC)
  • Pollution under control (PUC) Certificate
  • Bike insurance documentation.
  • Road Tax certificate.
  • Valid License to use and ride the bike.
  • Other valid forms of identification.Whether you carry it on you while you ride or have it in your possession in your home is secondary. Making sure you visit the right authorities incharge of this documentation and having these documents in place before you head out to ride is essential.

5. Safety Lock:
Not all of us may have a garage to securely lock away a bike for months on end. Some of us may resort to locking it in our housing complexes or even in designated areas on the streets. This may mean that your two-wheeler is susceptible to theft.
Ideally, you should keep an eye on the health of the internal locking system of your motorbike as well as ensure you have an external safety lock in the form of a wire-lock or a disc locking mechanism. Checking the status of these locks regularly is therefore advised to avoid the possibility of theft by ruffians in the locality.

Keeping in mind these factors impacting the health of your bike engine, tyres and inner machinations, you may begin to see the various ways a long state of dormancy may affect it. Ensuring your bike sees a level of comfort for itself is essential especially when you don’t use it. This makes it much easier for you to hop onto your bike and ride out whenever, with just a little bit of organization.

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