It is quite common for motorcycle owners to skip their pre-ride check. They don’t do it consistently either because they think it is not necessary to do it every time they ride their motorcycle or they are just too lazy to do the same boring thing over and over. This does not take away the importance of performing a check before you ride your motorcycle. We are used to telling our children about necessary precautions while they take them for granted but we often consider ourselves free of this responsibility – the truth is we are not.
Checking our motorcycles once before we ride them can actually prove to be quite a useful practice. It won’t pay off every time but when it does you will be thankful to the moment when you promised yourself to check your motorcycle every time before riding. Not to mention, these things don’t take much of your time and you can get on your motorcycle and ride away within 5 minutes. So what are those things that you must check before you ride your motorcycle? We have made a list of 10 things that are crucial for every motorcycle rider to check before riding the bike.
- Your Mood
Are you thinking on going for a long ride just because you have had a fight with someone and now you want to ride your motorcycle fast in fury? This is not the best thing you are thinking of doing. When you are angry you are not you. There is someone else in your head who’s performing the thinking for you when you are angry. You are definitely going to do some dodging, cutting and drafting when you are riding your motorcycle in anger. You would not want to slow down on those sharp turns as well. Better thing to do here is to stay home and cool down. If you want to go out go to the nearest park on foot.
Check your brakes as regularly as possible. Every time you ride the motorcycle you should drive a few steps and check the brakes before you gain the speed or get on a highway. Brake-line junctions should be checked regularly and thoroughly. Furthermore, you would want to clutch tightly on your brake’s lever in order to check how far it goes when you release it. Squeezing the lever will also give you an idea how easily you are able to squeeze it. The best way to check the brakes is to ride a few meters on your street slowly and squeeze them to check how firm they are.
- All The Lights
Check all the lights on your motorcycle one by one. Turn them all on and see that none of them is off. Most important of all the lights is your front or head light. You would want to check not only that it is working but also that it is fully bright. This check must be performed when you are about to travel in the evening and know that sun will go down during your journey and you will have to travel at night.
- Loose Or Tight Chain
Chain is one of those things that you will suddenly notice have started to trouble you. You will suddenly notice the rattling sound while riding and it will be your loose chain hitting the light metal around it. However, most people think that loose chain is the only problem with the chain. That’s not so true. You don’t want your chain to be too tight because it can negatively affect your suspension. A loose chain can break and get stuck in your back tire and cause a big accident. Therefore, it is important that you check your chain regularly.
Tires can cause bad accidents if they are not checked properly. You would want to check the tires to see they are aligned properly. In addition to that, you would want to check the tread of your tire to see any objects stuck in it. It happens quite often that you get out of the garage on your motorcycle and notice a flat tire all of a sudden. It is because there is something pointy stuck in your tire already and when you ride it punctures the tube inside. Checking air pressure is also important. Remember, if you don’t have enough pressure in your tires you can fall on turns because your tire’s grip will come down to 50 percent or even less.
- Clutch And Brake Cables
They won’t deceive you that quickly but since they are often ignored and never talked about by motorcycle riders, their breakage can be a big surprise. You would not want to ride you motorcycle without a working clutch. Of course, you can improve and ride it without the cable and lever but it will have a hugely bad impact on the transmission of your motorcycle.
Cables that allow you to control your brakes, clutch and accelerator would fray with time. When you pull the lever and feel abrasion you can conclude that your cable is fraying. Replace the cables before they jam on you or break while riding.
- Oil Level And Condition
The performance and working of your engine and the entire mechanism on your motorcycle depends on oil. Changing the oil on time can take care of hundreds of problems for you. You should keep on checking the oil level in the engine. Different motorcycles have different ways to tell you the oil level. On some bikes you can simply ask someone to hold the bike upright for you as you check the oil level through sight glass. Dip stick is the best way to check the oil levels and also the condition of your oil. If it has gone black like that black substance in horror movies, change it as soon as possible. You don’t want your engine to seize and spend hundreds of dollars in getting it fixed.
This is the most important thing you would want to check before you get in your motorcycle. If there is no fuel you are not going anywhere. However, it is better to check the fuel at home and find out that there isn’t enough in there to take you to your destination than to have the motorcycle turn off in the middle of the road and leaving you to asking for a tow from someone. It is best that you check the level of fuel on your tank manually. Fuel gauges are notorious for not being accurate most of the times. Furthermore, keep track of how much fuel your motorcycle consumes while traveling so you can plan your rides better.
- Overall Status Of The Bike
Giving your motorcycle a long gaze before you get on it will give you an idea of its overall condition. It is no surprise that every time you see your motorcycle for a long time to find something that needs your attention you will find something. Sometimes you have broken indicators and you don’t know about them. At times you have oil leaking from the engine and at other times there is some other minor issue. To be safe on the road it is best that you check each and everything regardless of how small or big it sounds.
- Your Safety Gear
It does not matter how far or near you are going, it is best that you take your safety gear with you. Long routes call for safety gear as a necessity. Buy a textile jacket or a leather vest to wear to keep yourself safe from abrasions and other injuries in case of a fall. You can also try denim. The choice of material you choose for your safety vest or jacket should depend on weather. Furthermore, make sure you are wearing your helmet and that it is strapped.
“Rider Curriculum” – Motorcycle Safety Foundation (More.)
“Steps to Take After a Motorcycle Accident” – Ehline Law Website (More.)