Shed the winter blues and get your Harley ready for spring

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Winter may still have a firm grip on parts of the country but riding season is just around the corner. Carburetor accelerator pump diaphragms and float needle valves typically suffer following a winter's hibernation or prolonged exposure to fuel additives.

Now is the perfect time to start getting your bike in shape for your spring riding. We recommend cleaning out your fuel system if your bike has been in storage or not in regular service over the winter. This includes cleaning out the fuel valve filter, draining the tank of any old fuel or stabilzer, and for carburetor models a thorough flush and replacement of soft parts that have been sitting in old lacquered gas.

Those who have stored their Harley (and other equipment) over the winter typically use a fuel stabilzer added to the fuel system to prevent the gas from turning to lacquer and rust from forming in the tank. Flushing out the old gas, stabilizer, and any sludge will guarantee your bike runs great when you start running it hard in the spring. Allowing the old gas and junk to run through the system can lead to clogged jets and passages on a carbureted bike, or congested injectors on EFI models.

  • Drain the fuel tank and dispose of the old fuel properly.
  • Remove the fuel petcock valve from under the tank and clean the screen.
  • Inspect the fuel hose, replace if there are any signs of cracks or swelling. Replace the clamps if necessary.
  • Check the vacuum hoses and connections between the petcock or VOES where applicable.
  • Carburetor models:
    - Drain the float bowl.
    - Replace the accelerator pump diaphragm or clean if stored with stabilizer.
    - Replace the float valve if old or suspected of being worn.

Following your cleaning, run some high octane premium pump gas. Avoid gas that uses additives such as Ethanol, especially any that uses more than 5% Ethanol.

Those in warmer western and southern locations may not have needed to winterize, but prolonged periods of non-use during the winter will still benefit from this same spring maintenance. Flushing out the fuel system before the spring riding season will help guarantee trouble free riding down the road.

While you're at it check and replace your spark plugs and plug wires. New plugs are fairly inexpensive and can be replaced within minutes.

View all parts for your Harley.

Read more on our CV Performance Blog.

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