Oh, winter, Chicago winter. You’re not as bad as people make you out to be. The arsenal of sweaters, jackets, long underwear, scarves, hats, and the electric blanket I have at my disposal take good care of me while you’re around. This is all true, but you have a trick up your sleeve. It’s dirty and it drills into my mind day in and day out. You say “No! You will not ride your motorcycle when I’m around!” You’ve won. You’ve been winning since early December, but your time is running out. Spring is right around the corner and she will put you back in your place.
The riding season is about to start. It’s started for many. The streets have slowly been seeing more of the motorized two wheelers and it brings a hell of a grin to my face. There’s nothing like cruising down Lake Shore on a sunny day, or being able to score some free parking in the Loop just because your vehicle fits. It’s the one great season. Riding season and winter is how I divide up the year. If you’re a fellow rider then let’s do this thing right.
If your bike has sat somewhere, abandoned for the winter, remember that we have to nurture them back to full health. A full tune-up is highly recommended. If you take it to a shop, they might even be able to find problems one would overlook. If you’re not going to get a tune-up, at least change those fluids and check your lights, brakes, and tires. If there’s any parts you were thinking of replacing last season, replace them now. It’s a lot better to take care of this stuff now than it is to have to miss a week (or more) of summer riding only because you wanted to squeeze the last mile out of your machine. Make sure your battery is in working condition. A working alternator’s not going to charge a weak, old battery. If you were thinking of accessorizing or making changes to your bike for aesthetic reasons, it’s probably a good idea to start now so you get to enjoy your machine for the majority of the season. Always be safe. Safety and respect are the two golden rules, so let’s keep that in mind and make the most out of the upcoming season.
Feature Photo by Matt McGee