The first sprout of spring usually means the long, cold winter months have finally ended and the time has come to wake your motorcycle from its deep slumber.

But don't turn the key, or if you're old school, jump on the kickstart just yet. Like anyone at rest, a motorcycle needs a gentle wake to be at its finest. Before heading out for the first ride of the season check off all the boxes on the following checklist to ensure peak performance and prevent any premature wear and tear on your ride.

1. Suspension components

Check the fork seals for any leaks. When was the last time you changed the fork oil? Check the manufacturer's recommended intervals to see if it's time.

2. Drive components

Ensure proper chain tension and add lubrication before heading out.

3. Tires

Check the tread and around the rim for cracking or discoloration. Check the pressure and add air.

4. Oil and filter

Hopefully you winterized your motorcycle which means you changed the oil and filter after the last ride. If so, then check the oil level and top off if necessary. If not, then change it now.

5. Air filter

Add a fresh air filter.

6. Coolant

We fully recognize most riders probably don't change their coolant once a year, however, good practice suggests otherwise. If it has been a while take this opportunity to start the new season fresh.

7. Brakes

Check the controls to ensure the brakes function properly and condition of the brake fluid. Inspect the pad thickness and replace if necessary.

8. Battery

If you did not attach the battery to a battery tender then don't expect a charged battery after all these months. Charge it the old fashioned way for immediate results or attach a battery tender for a few hours.

9. Fuel

Before putting your motorcycle away so many months ago you should have either drained the fuel or added a stabilizer. If you left straight up gas in the fuel lines check that the gas has not turned and gummed up the system. Add fuel if you winterized by draining the gas tank.

10. Nuts and Bolts

Get a torque wrench and check all the nuts and bolts to OEM specifications.

11. Spark Plugs

If you can't get the bike started and know the battery is charged check the spark plugs.

12. Gear

How does your riding gear look? Replace damaged or worn gear and if your helmet is more than five years old, it's time for a new one.

13. Lights

Check the headlight, turn signals, brake lights - all the operating lights for any burned out bulbs.

14. Tags

Did your registration expire during the off-months? Get the stickers updated before you get up to speed.