The start of the motorcycle season has been postponed this year - the reason: Biking was forbidden until the beginning of May due to restrictions in the Corona crisis. Then came low temperatures and bad weather. But now it can start slowly. And even if many bikers - screws are in the blood - have brought the machine particularly well to the front in the long weeks of waiting: Of course, the rider must also be fit when it goes on tour for the first time after the particularly long break. Practical tips from the TÜV SÜD experts for bikers and bikes as well as the reference to riding with care.
"Many accidents happen at the start of the season because the bikers still have the break in their bones and they overestimate themselves," says Lars Krause from TÜV SÜD. "In order to regain the feeling for the machine and the road, the best known and manageable and visible routes are the most suitable. For general fitness, experienced riders often get on their bikes weeks before the new motorcycle year. In addition to the fitness increase, coordination and reaction are trained. The muscles of the neck, wrists, forearms and fingers, which are particularly stressed during motorcycling, can be regained fit by pressing a tennis ball, for example. The general mobility is increased with easy endurance runs or a targeted fitness training.
Bike: Before going on tour for the first time, clean the motorcycle, check all the liquids, the suspension and the steering. Cleaning is followed by a thorough visual inspection. Are all screw connections fixed? Are there any undetected damages? The focus is on safety components, especially tyres and brakes. Pay attention to sufficient strength in the coverings. Rule of thumb: under two millimeters it becomes critical! The brake discs must also be sufficiently strong and must not have deep grooves or even cracks. The minimum thickness is usually indicated on the motorcycle brake discs and can be checked by anyone with a measuring valve.
Checklist for tyres: Is the tread depth still at least 1.6 millimeters (legal minimum depth)? Are the profile and flanks of the tyres okay - are there any damage or even foreign objects in the rubber? Are all valve caps still available? Even if the visual inspection is positive: motorcycle tyres should not be driven for more than six years. In addition, it is essential to check the air pressure. If it falls excessively over the winter, this may be an indication of damage. Krause: "If you are not really well versed in technology, you should definitely have the spring check done in the specialist workshop."
Care: During the first tours, drive consciously restrained and rather focus on short distances. "Should it be a longer trip, pay attention to your own resources and definitely plan breaks," says Krause. But it is best to choose a well-known tour. On safe terrain, the best way to find your own driving ability and feeling for the machine is to find it.