Spring Preparations for Powersports Equipment
Throughout the winter season in many parts of the world, your favorite powersports equipment is most likely tucked away in the garage laying dormant. You may have attached a trickle charger but possibly not. You may also turn it on regularly but most likely not. Typically, your equipment will be just sitting there through the cold months with a cover or gathering dust, eagerly awaiting Spring.
Your ATV or UTV is chomping at the bit for a muddy run once the weather warms up and you probably are as well. Your Personal Watercraft can’t wait to get on the water at top speed or hit some waves and you’ve got your wetsuit ready as well. Your motorcycle Is ready to hit the open road at top throttle and you’re ready to feel the wind. But there’s probably a few things that need to be done before you do.
Some people have developed their own checklists through the years but if you’re new to it, you might be looking to get some tips before heading out. Unfortunately, some folks have to learn the hard way when their equipment stalls or breaks when you’re part of the way through your ride. We highly recommend you avoid this situation!
Here’s a checklist from our own experience that may be useful:
- Initial Inspection – looking and touching your equipment prior to giving it its first run of the season can be incredibly useful to help identify potential issues. Maybe insects or rodents have established their winter home in your ATV muffler. Perhaps something has gnawed at some brake cables and you definitely don’t want to find that out the hard way.
- Check and change fluids – all powersports equipment relies heavily on a variety of fluids. This may include oil, water, brake fluid. Some may decrease gradually, some may congeal over time and others may get dirty all of which can be dangerous. Err on the side of caution and replace.
- Check plugs, chains, belts and filters – some will do this prior to packing away for the winter but most do not so make sure to give yourself some time to get replacements in case your belts have worn too much or your chain has become loose or perhaps your air filter has become the favorite spot for the shed mice
- Check your Tires & Wheels – no doubt your tires would’ve lost some air during winter so make sure to pump those up before you head out but definitely also check for cracking and splitting on the rubber. These can continue to split rapidly. Don’t forget to check the tread as well. Around the wheels you’ll want to make sure the nuts are tight, the brake pads are in good condition and there’s no debris build-up.
- Test the Battery – whether you’ve had the battery on a trickle charger or not, it’s always a good idea to check its condition. We encourage you to test it using a voltmeter and run a test first. The voltage should be between 12.6 and 14 volts, if not you may want to grab a replacement battery.
- Perform a thorough clean – before you head out it’s a great idea to thoroughly wash your equipment. This helps to get dirt, grime and dust off all the areas which potentially you missed during the initial inspection.
While you may be excited to drag your powersports equipment out when the weather starts warming up, it’s a good idea to take the time to go through a few things that may have occurred through the winter. At BatteryClerk we’ll often get some frantic calls from users who need a replacement battery yesterday to avoid paying the premium rates but are eager to get out and enjoy their equipment, so make sure to give yourself a little time prior to your first run.
Also make sure to check that your replacement battery is the right match to avoid going through the time-consuming process of returning and waiting for another replacement. We have some useful tips to find a replacement battery for anything that may be handy. Time to go and have some fun!