Getting into the habit of conducting a quick pre-ride check of your motorcycle is certainly advisable. Not only is it a sound policy on the safety front, but it will also help you avoid unwanted fines for faults.
Most new riders aren’t exactly sure what they should be looking for when they check their motorcycle however, so here are 7 things you should look at each and every time:
- Oil and fluids
The first thing you should check are the level of your oil and fluids. Normally riders look around their motorcycle to see if there are any obvious leaks before checking the levels of the brake and battery fluid, as well as clutch and radiator coolant.
- Tires and tire pressure
Take a look at your tires and its treads to see if they’re worn out or if there are any objects (i.e. nails) stuck in them. Also look for other faults such as cracks, dents, or issues with the spokes. When you do check your tire pressure make sure it is in a cool environment as the heat will artificially increase the pressure.
- Chain tension
Some chains have indicators that will make it easy to see how much tension there should be in your chain – but many do not. Consult your manual if you have doubts over how much tension should be in the chain.
When you do turn on your motorcycle’s electronics, check all the lights (including the brake light) and the turn signals. If you want you can also check your horn to make sure it is working.
Considering how critical brakes are it is important to inspect every aspect including the brake line junctions and pads. Also test the brake lever or pedal while the engine is off to make sure it is as firm as you expect.
All you really need to do is make sure your mirrors are positioned properly and cleaned. Sometimes mirrors can become loose over time, and may need to be tightened.
Although strictly speaking not part of your motorcycle, it should be part of your pre-ride inspection. Take a look at your helmet and make sure it is undamaged, as any cracks or dents could reduce its effectiveness. If your motorcycle helmet type has a visor, check it as well and make sure it is clean.
Assuming you check all these items every time you’re going to take your motorcycle out on the road, you should be able to avoid most of the common issues and malfunctions that take place. Of course you’ll also want to look for other items too – such as the number plate and registration.
Considering the risks involved in riding a motorcycle every measure you take to improve your safety is definitely worthwhile. By taking these steps, you will find that you have more peace of mind and can better enjoy the experience of riding on the open road without any worries.