So far we have discussed changing your oil, checking / repairing your tires, evaluating and maintaining your battery, and cleaning your air filter. The final article in this series will address the two remaining topics: (1) Draining your carburetor and (2) Safety checks.
(1) If you properly prepared your machine for winter, you started your machine, turned off the fuel and let it run until the motor used all of the fuel in the carburetor. You then added fuel stabilizer to the fuel in your tank to prevent it from turning into gel. However if you did not follow this step, you will want to drain all of the fuel out of the carburetor before you start your engine. You will also want to evaluate the condition of the gas in your tank.
(2) Safety check: Before you go on the first ride of the year, it's a good time to evaluate the safety features of your machine. Check the tension of each of the hand brakes (if applicable) and the foot brake on your machine. If you have a clutch, check the tension of the clutch cable.
Start your machine and make sure that your kill switch shuts the motor off. Operate the throttle and make sure that it operates freely without any "stickiness". All cables, gas, brakes, and clutch, should be able to be applied and then release quickly.
Check your lug nuts, make sure they are sufficient tight, check your steering mechanism and make sure that your machine turns free of any obstruction. Review the components of your steering mechanism and make sure that all the nuts are tightened securely.
If you can elevate your machine it's a good idea to check to see if your front wheels turn when you engage the four wheel drive (if applicable).
Apply grease to all of the grease zerks on in your steering and drive system, and oil your chain.
These steps only take a few minutes but will decrease the likelihood of machine failure and / or accidents on the trail.