Sunday, 7 March 2021

Pre-Flight Tests: winter motorcycle maintenance

Ignore the giant pile of snow outside!  It's actually supposed to go above zero this week.  One way or another I'll be on two wheels in the next five days!  Next week there's 30cms of snow coming, but there is an opening in the never-ending Canadian winter of COVID and I intend to take it!

With everything back in place, the Tiger came off the bike stand for the first time since December and the wheels didn't fall off, so that's a win.  I'd hoped to start it and test how everything went back together but the new battery is taking a while to charge.

Last summer I purchased a new battery for the Tiger but it didn't come for the better part of 3 months and I didn't want to activate it when the bike was about to be parked for four months, so it's been sitting in the front hall in the box.  I put the acid in it today and got it charging.

The acid installation is pretty straightforward.  They give you the liquid in a series of attached sealed plastic tubes and you simply 'inject' them into the top of the battery and let them drain over 20 minutes.  You then use the provided caps to seal the battery.

Tomorrow will be motor tests on both bikes and then a short ride with each (I hope) to shake down any issues.  The Tiger was down to its nuts and bolts this winter so I want to make sure everything is tight and together before I put any serious mileage on it.

The Honda has been cleaned and covered since its last ride in November, so it should be ready to go.  The battery's been on the trickle charger inside all winter.  One way or another I'll be out on a bike this week.  It feels like finally being able to take a breath after four months of holding it.


  • New indicators that suit the bike better (tougher metal construction too)
  • Chassis taken down to nuts and bolts for a complete service
  • New HEL brake lines
  • Flushed brakes
  • New Michelins installed (myself!)
  • Fuel Injectors cleaned
  • Fork oil changed
  • Cosmetic repairs


  • oil change
  • everything cleaned
  • deep carb cleaning (with disassembly)
  • battery tending inside over the winter
  • throw a blanket on it