Spring Into Action

Nationwide's Checklist for a Trouble-Free Return to the Road

The arrival of warmer temperatures in spring means a long-anticipated return to the road for a number of winter-weary riders. For those climate-challenged enthusiasts forced to store their ride over the winter months, the first ride of the season should be preceded by a thorough check-up.

Nationwide Insurance offers the following "First Ride" checklist for motorcyclists heading back out on the road:

.Tires.
Look carefully for signs of weather cracking and test the tread depth in several places. If your tires are cracked or worn, invest in new ones. Also, be sure to check the tire pressure. If your tires are the originals, inflate to the pressure specified in the owner's manual. If they aren't the originals, it is best to consult the tire manufacturer'srecommended pressure on the sidewall of the tire.

.Wheels.
Check your wheels for loose spokes or bent rims.

.Lights.
Check for cracking and condensation in the lenses. Test your headlamp, turn signals, tail and brake lights to ensure they are in working condition. Replace failed bulbs.

.Battery.
Make sure your battery's fully charged. Replace it if the case is bulging. Clean battery terminals before installing.

.Fluids.
Check the levels of your engine oil, hydraulic fluid, brake fluid, coolant and fuel. Replace or refill those that need it. If your bike didn't get an oil and filter change prior to winterizing, take care of it now.

.Controls.
Ensure the throttle twists freely and snaps back in the off position. Examine cables and hoses for damage and be sure they don't interfere with suspension and steering.

.Brakes.
Inspect your brake pads and liners, and replace them if they are worn.

.Supplies.
Examine your tool kit and first aid kit to make sure you have the items necessary in the event of an accident or breakdown.

.Review your insurance policy.
Be sure your policy is up-to-date and you're covered for any valuable accessories you added during the winter.

"Other resources to ensure the first ride of spring is a safe one are owners' manuals and, of course, a professional mechanic," says Mitch Roggemann, national sales director for Nationwide's Property & CasualtySpecialty Products. " These resources will make the return to the road enjoyable."

Nationwide offers motorcycle and powersports insurance policies that cover theft, collision, vandalism and damage caused by uninsured or underinsured drivers. To learn more about motorcycle insurance or powersports insuranceor to find an agent, visit