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What to do Before Your First Spring Ride

A Spring Riding Readiness Guide for Janus Motorcycles and their Owners

Even though the days are officially lengthening here in northern Indiana, the subzero temperatures have most of our motorcycles still in full hibernation. Let us count the days until this frost starts melting and we can, once again, roll our bikes out onto the pavement. In the meantime, we’ve put together this spring riding readiness guide to get you back on the road when the bugs start flying.




If you followed this {winterizing guide} last fall, you are halfway there. If you did not, well, you will want to begin by making sure your motorcycle is clean. Start by covering your leather and battery box with plastic wrap or plastic grocery bags before sudsing down your bike. Dry your bike off with a few microfiber cloths to prevent water spots. Be sure to take care in using a fresh one for your tank.


Having followed our winter guide, you can remove the cover, as well as address any sort of moisture or rodent repellent left on your motorcycle. 


Add some fresh gas, open your choke, and open the fuel valve to the inline position. 


Leather Care


Now is the time to give your leather some extra care. Your bike may have been under a motorcycle cover or exposed to colder temperatures causing your leather to dry out. Use some leather cleaner to remove any dirt, grime, or any other build-up from your seat, battery box cover, saddle, and tool bags. Dirt left to dry on your leathers can cause it to dry out faster, resulting in stiff or brittle leather. 


Next, apply a fresh coat of water shield to your seat, battery box cover, and any additional leather upgrades you may have on your bike. Go ahead and use it on your boots too. Thank us later.

Tires, Wheels, and Brakes


Before grabbing the keys, make a habit of the following checklist for every time you ride. We recommend starting with a tclocs guide from MSF found here.


Start with a good visual inspection of your tires and their tread to make sure you’ve got plenty of rubber left. While you’re down there run your fingers over the sides and look for other signs of wear and tear like cracks, bulges, or hardening of the rubber. 


Now you’ll want to check the air pressure, you can expect them to be a little low if your motorcycle has been sitting for several months over the winter. Janus Motorcycles should have 36 psi in the front and 32psi at the rear tire according to our owner’s manual.


Next, you’ll want to do a visual and manual check for loose or broken spokes. You can simply check your tension by squeezing your spokes together. To check the tuning, grab a screwdriver and give your spokes a light tap and listen closely for a light twang. If a strange thud is heard, you may need some tuning.


The next place you’ll want to inspect is the bearings. To do this take a firm hold of the top of your tire and check for any play in the left-to-right, side-to-side movement before spinning your wheels to listen for any sounds beyond the free-spinning whir of your wheel. 


Once finished, inspect and measure your brake pads. They should have visible grooves, anything less than, then it’s time for a replacement. They can be ordered {here}.




Swing a leg over. Clean your mirrors and make sure they are just where you like them. Place your hands on your grips and move your handlebars from left to right to make sure that your cables are not getting hung up.


Take a birds-eye view of your handlebars straight down through to your wheels. Make sure that everything looks straight.


Squeeze your clutch, your throttle, ensure that nothing is loose. Run your fingers along your throttle, brake, and clutch cables to inspect for fraying or kinks.


Add grease to the zerk fittings on your fork legs.


Lights and Electrical


We hope that you’ve had your battery on a trickle charger or tender all winter. Give your terminals a light scrub with a brass bristle brush if necessary before applying some dielectric grease and reconnecting your battery.


Give your lenses a once-over to inspect for cracks and scratches. Grab your keys, find neutral and gently roll on your throttle before checking your lights. Back your tail-end up to a wall or reflective surface (could even be another car in the garage) to look behind you to see that your lights are turning on. Check your blinkers, your running lights, your high beams, brakes, and passing lights on newer models.  


Oils and Fluids

We’re going to assume that each and every one of you changed your oil at the end of your fall riding season. In which case, take a look at your oil levels through that little oil window on your motor. Add a few drops of oil if needed.


If you missed that oil changing memo, no problem. Go ahead, change your oil. I’ll wait.


Check brake fluid level and add if low.


Chassis & Running Gear


Check axle, shock, swing arm pivot (if soft tail), tension.


Side Stand


Grease your stand and check the spring. Replacement springs can be shipped in a jiffy. Make sure that your kickstand isn’t bent causing your motorcycle to lean too far or at an awkward angle.


Finally, inspect your riding equipment. Your protective armor, your helmet, your gloves. This is a good time to upgrade your equipment and take advantage of sales.


You may be interested in signing up for additional motorcycle training early in the year since slots tend to fill up fast once the riding season is in full swing. Plenty of options for advanced riders, like obstacle avoidance and maneuvering techniques, to advance your technical riding skills.