Before you get on any motorcycle and take a ride there are a number of pre-ride checklist items that you should take care of. The temptation can certainly be real when you have rented a motorcycle or when you fire up your bike for the first time each year. Here are some main aspects of a motorcycle pre-ride check that you need to always look into before setting out.
Lights: You never know when you might hit some bad weather or fog. Some rides also have a tendency of lasting a little longer than they should. Be sure to always check your lights and make sure your turn signals, brake lights and headlights work before you go anywhere. This can prevent major accidents or you getting stranded in the dark.
Air pressure: A worn or flat tire can be a major hazard on the road. Check the air pressure in each of your tires before setting out so that you can avoid a blowout, crash or a major mechanical issue due to a flat tire.
Fuel: Always make sure you have enough fuel before starting out. Even a low tank of fuel can cause difficulty when it comes to running the engine. Running out of gas on a motorcycle is never fun so always be sure to top up your fuel or go to a service station shortly before starting out. You may also want to check the fuel to make sure that no moisture has seeped in and that you aren't using old fuel. If a vehicle sits over a long period or you used some kind of fuel treatment to winterize you bike it can run very rough.
Do a walk around: checking for any oil, water fluid leaks or major damage can help to prevent accidents later on. A loss of fluids can cause major mechanical issues. If you happen to see fluids leaking around the bike you could consider giving small parts of the bike a quick shake to see where they may be falling from. If the bike doesn't look fit to ride after a walk around perform repairs first.
Check your brake, throttle and chain tension: If you chain has far too much slack on it this can lead to damage in the sprocket teeth as well as a chance that the chain could grab at you mid ride. Checking your brakes is something that's worth doing just before you set off so that you can stop when the time counts. The lever tension and throttle controls should have a bit of play and if your throttle simply doesn't move it's probably adjusted far too tight. Make these adjustments before starting out and don't forget to check on the actual brake drums and cables to spot brake damage and assess it.
Perform at least these basic motorcycle pre ride checks to ensure your safety on the road and the safety of those around you.
For more information visit: A New Rider’s Guide to Learning How to Ride Motorcycle
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