Storing a motorcycle: Back in action

back_on_the_strom-1After three months in Australia I was ready to get back on my own motorcycle. I was tired of storing a motorcycle and now ready to ride one. I didn’t fully winterize the bike as this is the Bay Area has it doesn’t get particularly cold. I really only did a few things to the bike:

  • Washed it
  • Changed the oil
  • Filled the tank with gas
  • Placed the battery on a tender
  • Covered it with a motorcycle cover

The bike was started every few weeks. In general though, no major maintenance was done.

It was a cool spring evening in May going back to pick up the bike. I jetted out of work a bit early and caught CalTrain south full of excitement to see my bike. When I got there, every was exactly the way I had left it. While the BMW was a nice bike to ride around Australia, I really missed my own motorcycle.

Before I got on the bike, I ran through a quick T-CLOCS inspection list from the MSF.

  • T: Tires and wheels
  • C: Controls
  • L: Lights and electrics
  • O: Oil and other fluids
  • C: Chassis
  • S: Stands

In general, everything checked out aside from the tires needing air. She started right up and was ready to ride.  When I hopped on the bike to do a test drive, coming into the first stop sign it was clear the brakes were not up to par. The rear brake took much more pressure to apply and the front brakes felt soft. When I checked the brakes before I could feel them grab but I missed at one point they started grabbing.

I looked at the rear reservoir and there was barely any fluid left. I made the assumption that the front brakes and clutch likely needed to be flushed as well. Brake fluid accumulates water over time. Motorcycles never like to sit. They’re meant to be ridden.

back_on_the_strom-4

I overfilled the rear reservoir by a considerable margin and got brake fluid all over the back of the bike. Many paper towels and a wash later, my bike was ready to ride. The evening was just about wrapping up but I still wanted to take the scenic way back up to San Francisco. It was nice riding along the coast with the cool breeze.

I missed the cold nights of San Francisco. The ones where you leave your windows open just so you can snuggle under the covers. That’s the great thing about living here. Winter is a part of your day all year long.

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