Right now, it seems like the closer we get to riding season, the crazier the world will be. Gas prices through the roof, inflation is making every-damn-thing expensive, and at this rate, I figure we’ll either be forced to sit on our bikes in the garage and make motorcycle noises with our mouths or be using them to scavenge in a nuclear wasteland by the time the flowers bloom.
What a time to be alive!
It’s all good, though. Why? Because most of us recognize the silliness in the news as just that – silliness designed to scare the viewer and the reader.
Think about it – the media’s had a GREAT run for the last two years selling gloom and doom, and now that Covid isn’t paying well enough, they’ve got to move on to something else. How does all that apply to riding? Simple. They’ve got to sell something, so let’s forget about how North America can produce all the oil it needs and blame inflation on a megalomaniac on the other side of the world.
Here’s the deal: take a deep breath, go out to the garage, and give the bike a good once-over.
Quit worrying about fuel prices and check the valve covers – any leaks?
Stop fretting over Covid and whatever variant they’re selling this week and take a good long look at your cables – throttle pull back smoothly? How do the brakes feel – the grips close smoothly or are they a little “grabby”?
Mentally flip off the greenies and open up the fuel tank and take a sniff. Does it smell like gas or is it getting a little skunky?
Quit wondering about electric cars and check out the battery. How do the connections look? (Hopefully you unhooked it before you stored it, but for those of us in more southern climates, you might have left it on…) Check out the date on the top, too. Does it make sense to have it load tested at the local parts place, or replace it altogether? With supply chains being what they are, it’s probably smarter to replace it now than to wait until Spring really gets here.
While you’ve got the seat up, take a few minutes to trace the wiring harness. Any kinks? Crimps? Nicked wires? Depending on where you store it, rodents can cause all sorts of grief to harnesses, and more than one rider has lit off the scoot for the first time after long-term storage and ended up with a harness fire. Go ahead, trace those wires and make sure. It’s not just rats and squirrels, either. I’ve seen all manner of pinched wires due to folks “fixing” other things and not putting the harness back where it should be.
Last but not least, take a long hard look at the rubber. Check date codes on your tires, check the sidewalls for cracking, and, of course, check your tread depth. Do you need to grab a set now? Again, with all the bad PR about supplies, now is the time to get some new shoes shipped – you can always have them put on locally. I’ve been doing this for some time, and my local shop charges me $20/tire to put them on.
In the end, you control the narrative in your mind. You can let the news and the media worry you to death, or you can take action in your own life and find the real things to worry about and take action on.
Everything can kill you – choose something fun.