Regular motorcycle maintenance is essential to keep your ride safe and prevent accidents. You need to be able to come to a full stop quickly, change direction, and increase or decrease your speed to react to other drivers and riders. Regular maintenance checks of your bike and its systems can help you stay safe on the road.
The Importance of a Pre-Ride Inspection
Besides taking your motorcycle to your preferred specialist once a year for a full inspection, you should perform a pre-ride inspection every time you take your bike out on the road. A pre-ride inspection includes looking at six key areas before a ride, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. You can remember these six areas with the acronym T-CLOCS, which stands for:
- Tires and wheels
- Lights and electrical systems
- Oil and other fluids
Maintaining these systems regularly can help you avoid breaking down on the road.
Controls, Lines, and Steering
The controls include handlebars, pedals, cables, lines, and throttle. If you find cracked lines, have trouble turning the handlebars, or discover bent pedals or crimped lines, take your bike to a repair shop for professional repairs. You may be able to complete some repairs on your own, such as replacing a cable or hose, but don’t try to do it yourself if you don’t have the tools or experience.
Battery, Electrical System, and Lights
Just like your car, your motorcycle needs a functioning battery and electrical system to power your motorcycle’s lights, radio, and ignition. Test your battery before each riding season. Also inspect fuses, electric cables, and lights. If a light doesn’t come on, you can likely replace the bulb at home without going to a repair shop.
Tires, Wheels, and Brakes
If you notice cracks or other damage to your tires, bends to your spokes or wheel frame, or issues with your brakes, take your bike to a shop for repairs. Have a professional replace your brake pads, brake fluid, tires, or other systems to protect yourself on the road. Scheduling regular motorcycle maintenance helps prevent these issues.
Frame and Suspension
Your frame, chassis, suspension, belt, chain, and other parts work together to provide support and shock absorption for your bike. Perform regular checks before and after each ride to ensure that everything is still in good condition. Look for cracks, buildup, rust, grime, chips, and other structural defects that could worsen over time.
Fluids and Filters
Your bike runs on gas, maintains temperature with coolant, stays lubricated with oil, and uses hydraulic brake fluid to control the brake system. Inspect these fluids regularly and top off any if they’re low. If you’ve got an electric bike, adjust your inspection appropriately.
If applicable, don’t forget to check the oil filter and the air filter when checking your oil level and fluids.
Many riders forget to check their kickstands for issues, but a damaged kickstand can cause serious damage to a motorcycle if the kickstand breaks and the bike falls. Replace kickstands that show signs of bending, excessive wear and tear, or deep scratches.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? Call Law Tigers
Motorcycle maintenance is essential to ride safely on the road and reliably react to traffic around you. You need good tires to grip the road, working turn signals to indicate intent, and effective brakes to stop at lights or for sudden traffic changes. Inspect frequently! If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, call Law Tigers. We’re attorneys who ride. Call us at 888-863-7216 for a free case evaluation, and never ride alone with your free rider benefit kit.