The Riding season is upon us, so Let’s Ride! But before you do lets make sure that our bikes and ourselves are ready. If you follow the simple steps outlined below, you will know that you are ready for the road, if not you may just be guessing. I have also attached an inspection checklist.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends using “TCLOCS” as a pre-ride inspection reminder: check Tires, Controls, Lights and Accessories, Oils and Fluids, Chassis and Chain, and Kickstand before each ride.
- Check your tire pressure. Under or over inflated tires can translate to poor handling and stability.
- Operate the throttle, clutch, front and rear brakes and shifter. Make sure they are all working properly.
- Check your brake lights, turn signals and all other electrical equipment and switches, including the horn.
- After warming up your motorcycle, sit it up straight, remove the oil tank cap and use the dip stick to check the oil level. Add oil if necessary.
- Unscrew the fuel cap and make sure there’s plenty of fuel. Many tow companies can not tow motorcycles and running out of fuel is not good for your bike.
- Make sure your drive chain or belt is adjusted according to specifications.
- Turn the handlebars to make certain your bike is turning smoothly and properly.
- Look for any oil, gasoline or hydraulic fluid leaks.
- Check your suspension system and chassis.
- Check that the side stand is operating properly.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
Riders can improve their safety on the road by following some simple safety tips:
- Wear a U.S. DOT-approved helmet, face or eye protection and protective clothing.
- Know your motorcycle and conduct a pre-ride check.
- Be seen. Wear reflective clothing and put reflective tape on your protective riding gear and motorcycle.
- Use common sense by riding sober, obeying all speed limits and allowing enough time to react to dangerous situations.
- Practice safe riding techniques and know how to handle your motorcycle in adverse road and weather conditions. Road conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces that usually pose minor annoyances to motorists are in fact major hazards for motorcyclists
Safety Tips for Motorists Sharing the Road with Motorcycles
- Look out for motorcyclists – be aware that motorcycles are small and may be difficult to see. Check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes and at intersections. Large vehicles can also block a motorcycle from a motorist’s view and a motorcycle can suddenly appear out of nowhere.
- Allow more following distance – leave at least four seconds when following a motorcycle.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Respect a motorcycle as a full-size vehicle with the same rights and privileges as any vehicle on the roadway. Allow a motorcyclist a full lane width as the motorcyclist needs the room to maneuver safely in all types of road conditions
– Joe “ JOKER “ Babylon, National Ride Safety Officer