How was that again? Reconnect the battery, put fuel in the tank and go? You are not the only one who is a bit unsure about what to do at the beginning of the season. But of course you can do a few things yourself to ensure that your start to the motorcycle year is smooth and that your valuable bike remains as safe and as chic as it is. Here our professionals tell you how to do it!
Any questions? Of course you are always welcome to contact us. Our team is there for you during the usual opening hours by phone and in the store, by email we are of course available 24/7.
Or do you want to store your bike for the winter or because you have to take a longer break for other reasons? Then take a look at our winter tutorial. Here you will of course also find some tips on ongoing care and maintenance and the right products for it.
Short checklist for your bike
Battery: Are all terminals tight? Is the voltage between 12.2 and 12.5 volts? Ideally, you had the battery at the trickle charge. Then everything is easy!
Check the electrical system: Are all the lights working and the horn too? What do the indicator lights in the cockpit say?
Tires: How is the tread depth of your rubber (at least 1.6 mm), how worn are the sidewalls? Are there nails, shards ect in the tire? What about the tire pressure? How old are the tires? Check the DOT number stamped on the tires.
Check fluids: This includes the oil level, brake fluid and coolant. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and change the oil and oil filter once more rather than once too little.
Is the chassis clean? Or can you see an oil film on the fork? Are there rust spots? The latter can possibly be polished away. The oil film indicates damaged oil seals. These must be replaced in good time. Is the engine sweating somewhere? Then you need to think about replacing the seals.
Brake: Shine a flashlight into the slot between the disc and the brake pad and check the wear marks. It’s better not to experiment here. If in doubt, replace the pads and discs!
Everything clear so far? Fine. Then nothing stands in the way of your kick-off. Or? What is actually with yourself?
Back on the Road
Before you hit back the road, it’s best to check your own gear. Helmet, boots and your leather clothes have hopefully been cleaned and treated with care products. You haven’t? Then you should do it now. If brushing is not enough, then water and detergent must be used. And then it needs patience to dry – do not put on the heater! Afterwards, the leather is happy about a (sparing!) portion of grease or oil.
You should pay special attention to the helmet. Visor and lenses should be free of scratches. Otherwise replace them! Does the closure still work perfectly? This can be vital. If the lining is removable, then wash it with a mild detergent and dry it properly. Otherwise treat yourself to a special helmet padding cleaner. You can also use it in between, if it was hot under the marble in the summer.
Some winter fat? Are your clothes pinching? Then consider buying new pants. It is extremely important that you can move freely on the bike. The same applies, of course, the leather jacket or textile jacket and gloves.
For your Harley? Just the good stuff.
- Basic cleaning of the entire bike with the Quick Wash quick cleaner; suitable for all surfaces from paint to leather to rubber
- Cleaning of tires and wheels as well as white wall tires with Wheel & Tyre Cleaner
- Insect removal of metals, painted surfaces and plastic surfaces with the Bug Remover
- Cleaning of metal, paint, plastic and windscreens with Spray Cleaner & Polish
- Cleaning of all chrome parts with the Chrome Clean & Shine and the microfibre cloth; at the same time also provides for shine
- Cleaning of all matt lacquer parts with the gentle Denim Paint Cleaner
- Cleaning the chrome-plated exhaust with the Boot Mark Remover and the Chrome Clean & Shine
- Cleaning of saddlebags, seat and decoration made of leather, imitation leather or vinyl with Seat, Saddlebag & Trim Cleaner
- Leather care with Leather Protectant (also suitable for leather clothing!)
- The Gloss Detailer and the Microfibre Cloth provide a deep, reflective finish and optimum shine for lacquered, clear lacquered, chrome-plated or powder-coated surfaces as well as windscreens, vinyl and plastic.
- The Bare Metal Polish gives all stainless steel and polished aluminium parts a new shine.
- Use Bare Aluminium Protectant for corrosion protection on untreated aluminium wheels.
- Sealing of all chromium-plated and gloss lacquered parts with Glaze Poly Sealant and microfibre cloth (to protect against UV radiation, fading, corrosion, acid rain).
- Clean hard-to-reach areas with the Cleaning Brush Kit.
Cleaning & Care
- Fill fuel tank, empty plastic tanks (V-Rod & XR 1200) as far as possible.
- Add H-D Ethanol Guard Fuel Stabilizer when refuelling
- Oil change with Screamin’ Eagle SYN3 (SAE 20W50) or with H-D Motorcycle Oil (SAE 20W50) – Ask your Harley-Davidson dealer for more oil change tools.
- Check the tyre pressure (possibly increase by 0.5 bar), if necessary using the Valve Stem Extension.
- Connect the battery holder and charge the battery with the Waterproof Battery Tender.
Motorcycle care concerns us daily, since before the sale of used vehicles usually a complete reconditioning is pending. We also notice after every winter how often the care of the battery is neglected, because then usually the new purchase is pending. Polished surfaces do not forgive a salt ride in winter, where however often an incomparably higher damage can develop. For these reasons we would like to give you a small winter tutorial on care and storage so that you can enjoy your bike for a long time.
The correct care of a bike also requires the right tools, similar to screwing. In our shop you will find a wide range of cleaning and maintenance products from Harley-Davidson to aftermarket care in our category cleaning and maintenance. We also use these products for our bikes every day!
- Tank: always fill the tank to the edge with gasoline (Optimal: without bio-ethanol such as Aral Ultimate 102, Shell V-Power Racing, …) to avoid corrosion in the tank or other parts. Generally avoids E10 fuels – especially with the penultimate tank filling or for winter storage.
- Battery: You should not install the battery throughout the winter and leave it uncharged in the motorcycle. If you do not want to buy a permanent charger, simply remove the full battery after the season and store it frost-protected in the cellar. Otherwise you will find suitable chargers at the end of the article which are suitable for battery conservation.
- Maintenance: Is the next inspection soon due anyway? Then it is best to do this before storage, because when the sun shows up again in spring, spontaneous inspection appointments with the authorised dealer become scarce to impossible. Of course, you can also carry out minor maintenance such as oil, filters and candles yourself, so that you can start immediately next year. Don’t forget your tyre pressure – 0.5 bar more does not damage before storage and you can check the tread at the same time, because at 2-3mm or 6+ years (see DOT number) the next change is also due. Grease the chain (if present) properly.
- Cleaning: Before the storage there is of course cleaning on the plan. Especially if you want to drive until late in autumn, there may already be road salt on the road, which you should remove as soon as possible. Plastic surfaces and paint care are also suitable.
- Storage of the bike: it should be safe, dry and protected from UV radiation. Interior motorcycle tarpaulins or a cotton bed sheet can be used as a cover. Exterior tarpaulins should only be used on the outside, as they not only prevent water from above, but also condensed water inside. If (currently) you have no Garange or other premises available, a good outer tarpaulin must be used. Especially in this case (but also in general) a proper lock with a strong chain should be used to secure the bike.
Melli (service workshop): “We recommend our customers to connect the motorcycle battery to the charger every 14 days so that deep discharge can be avoided”. For testing and charging we recommend Optimate battery chargers, which are also available in our shop.
Stephan (service workshop): “Even when the weather is nice in winter, salt is on the road! Please pay attention to your bikes and wash them once after each ride. This will prevent parts from being eaten by the salt.”
Pitch & Safety
- The Jiffy Stand Coaster ensures a safe stand.
- Thorough drying of the motorcycle with the HOG Blaster Motorcycle Dryer to avoid dripping and running marks.
- Cover Harley with the Indoor Motorcycle Cover – The pitch should be dry, salt-free and well ventilated.
- Secure the motorcycle against theft with the Disc Brake Lock & Reminder Cord or the Noose Chain & Shackle Lock Kit if necessary.
- Helmet Hanger S Hook for ideal helmet storage.