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Ready to get your motorcycle out for spring? Use this guide

If you love riding a motorcycle, you love spring. Spring means that you can haul your bike out of storage because it's finally warm enough and dry enough to hit the road as often as you want.

Keeping your motorcycle in pristine operating condition is key, however, if you want to avoid serious injuries. Before you head out on the open road, make sure that you check the following things:

  1. Your lines and cables: Those rubber parts can deteriorate over their time in storage. Make sure that you check the brake line, oil line and your brake cables.
  2. Your oil and gas: Don't start the new riding season with old oil and gas. Both can gunk up the works on your bike and make it stall. Drain the old fuel and get new. Same with your oil reserve.
  3. The brakes: Check for cracked lines and worn brake pads before you take your first ride. Make sure that everything is in working order (and don't trust your memory about their condition when you were last riding).
  4. The wheels: You need good wheels and good tread to keep your bike from going off the road or sliding out from under you. Look for worn spots, bulges and cracks from dry rot.
  5. Your battery: The last thing you want is for your battery to die on you and leave you stranded. Test it. Charge it or replace it, as necessary.

Finally, the last thing you need to do is to give yourself a bit of a warm-up. If you haven't been on your bike since the bad weather started, ride around an empty lot a few times or take a few spins around the neighborhood before you try the highway. You may be a little rusty. A practice run or two can help you regain the feel of your bike and the road.

Enjoy your ride out there -- but be wary of other vehicles. It only takes one negligent or distracted driver to leave a motorcyclist seriously injured.

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