Here are the worst pre-season mistakes you can make as a motorcycle owner

Battery charging editorial

The days are getting longer and the cold winter days can soon be counted on our fingers. The motorcycle season starts in May, which means that the bike needs to be checked just in time to take it out on the road again. Last year, the Swedish Transport Agency recorded 29 fatalities in motorcycle accidents and over the last five years the average is 29 fatalities per year. 

To help prevent fatalities and encourage safe motorcycling, CTEK has investigated the worst mistakes a motorcycle owner can make before it's time to take the bike out again. 

Not checking the condition of the bike thoroughly: After standing still for a long time, such as over the winter, it is crucial to thoroughly inspect the motorcycle. This includes checking the pressure and condition of the tyres, the brakes, the lights, the oil level, and the coolant. Missing these checks can lead to dangerous situations on the road. Also check gaskets and boots for dry cracks. 

Skipped maintenance: Even if the motorbike looked good when you put it away, long-term storage can lead to unexpected problems. One of the most common problems most motorcycle riders encounter when taking their bike out of winter storage is that the bike won't start due to discharged batteries. If you regularly charge with CTEK’s CT5 POWERSPORT or the CS ONE this won’t be a problem. This emphasises the importance of having a good maintenance charging routine. Not changing the oil, checking or changing the brake fluid, or adjusting the chain can also impair the motorbike's performance and safety. Also check the petrol tank, consider draining if water has condensed in it. Also check the tank for build-up, especially if 95-octane petrol has been used regularly 

Neglecting personal equipment: Not inspecting or updating your personal protective equipment, such as helmet, jacket, gloves, and boots, can be a fatal mistake, previous in-depth studies of motorbike accidents in Sweden by the Swedish Transport Administration show that almost half of all fatal injuries were head injuries. Safety equipment deteriorates over time and there is a risk that the equipment no longer offers sufficient protection. 

Overestimating your ability and not planning to adapt to weather conditions: Many drivers forget that their driving skills may have deteriorated during the winter months. Taking to the road without regaining the feel for the motorbike and adapting to its handling can lead to dangerous situations. At the same time, preparation for variable weather conditions during early spring rides may have been misjudged and become a devastating road hazard. Even if the sun is shining and the road conditions seem good, the weather can change quickly. Not having appropriate equipment for cold or wet weather can then reduce your ability to react. 

Ignoring the need for a pre-season ride: Not taking a leisurely test ride to familiarise yourself with the motorcycle and its feel again is a mistake. This is a good time to identify any issues that need fixing before the season starts in earnest. 

Avoiding these mistakes can help ensure that both the motorbike and the rider are ready for the motorcycling season, reducing the risk of accidents and improving the overall riding experience.