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Recommissioning a bike after it has been standing for some time

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

So you bought a bargain bike (and on top of that - unseen) - was told you only need to spend a few quid and she'll be right back on the road in no time.

Whoa - hold your horses - not so fast - have a read first

So, how do you go about recommissioning a motorbike that has been sitting idle for a while to ensure it's safe, reliable, and performs well when you start riding again.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to correctly recommission a motorbike:

Materials You'll Need:

  1. Motorcycle owner's manual

  2. Basic hand tools

  3. New engine oil and oil filter (if needed)

  4. Fresh gasoline

  5. Motorcycle battery charger or new battery (if needed)

  6. Fuel stabilizer

  7. Chain lubricant (if applicable)

  8. Air filter (if needed)

  9. Spark plugs (if needed)

  10. Brake fluid (if needed)

  11. Tire pressure gauge

  12. Brake cleaner

  13. Cleaning supplies (soap, water, sponge, etc.)

Step-by-Step Process:

Inspect the Motorcycle:

  • Visually inspect the motorcycle for any signs of damage, leaks, or rodent infestation.

  • Check the tires for cracks, flat spots, and proper inflation. Inflate them to the manufacturer's recommended pressure.

Check Fluids:

  • Refer to the owner's manual to locate and check the oil level. If it's low or discolored, change the oil and replace the oil filter.

  • Inspect the brake fluid level in the master cylinder. If it's dark or low, consider bleeding the brakes and replacing the fluid.

Fuel System:

  • Drain the old fuel from the tank if it has been sitting for several months. Dispose of it properly.

  • Refill the tank with fresh gasoline and add a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel degradation.

  • Check the fuel lines and fuel filter for any signs of damage or clogs.


  • If the battery is dead, either charge it using a motorcycle battery charger or replace it with a new one.

  • Ensure the battery terminals are clean and securely connected.

Engine and Electrical:

  • Turn the engine over a few times without starting it to distribute oil and ensure proper lubrication.

  • Check all electrical components, including lights, horn, and signals, to ensure they are functioning correctly.

Air Filter and Spark Plugs:

  • If needed, replace the air filter and spark plugs to ensure proper air and fuel mixture.


  • Check the brake pads for wear and replace them if necessary.

  • Inspect the brake lines for any signs of damage or leaks.

Chain and Drive:

  • If your bike has a chain, clean and lubricate it to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation.

  • Check the drive belt or shaft drive for proper tension and lubrication.

Test Ride in a Safe Area:

  • Before hitting the road, take a short test ride in a safe area to ensure everything is working correctly. Pay attention to the brakes, throttle response, and handling.

Cleaning and Maintenance:

  • Give your motorcycle a thorough cleaning to remove dirt, dust, and grime.

  • Lubricate pivot points, hinges, and any other moving parts as needed.

  • Check and adjust tire pressure regularly.

** If in any doubt - seek professional advice, ride smart and wear safety gear

Recommissioning a motorbike after it has been sitting for a while will require some time and effort, but it's essential for safety and the longevity of your bike.

If you're unsure about any of the steps or if your motorcycle needs more extensive work, give us a call and our Man cave Garage professional motorcycle technician will be able t guide and help you to get your bike safely back on the open road

You are not Alone! - We are here to Help!

Call us to get a quote or book your bike in to be recommissioned

Click the link below to send a message to Man Cave Bikes

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Give Jon a call to set up a time to view any of our bikes available, or to book your bike in for a service

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