July 26, 2013
How To Perform A 3-Minute Motorcycle Safety Check
Staying on top of motorcycle maintenance doesn't have to cost you a lot of time or money. If you have just a few minutes - three, to be exact - you can examine your bike to make sure it's ready to ride and firing on all cylinders. The American Motorcyclist Association and the Department of Transportation recommend checking your motorcycle before you ride each day and conducting these inspections throughout the summer will help you stay on top of maintenance and safety issues.
1) Tires And Wheels
You should first check the tires and wheels of your motorcycle. You can measure tire pressure, make sure spokes are tight and straight, and give the wheels and rims a once-over to ensure there are no dents that could cause a problem later on.
2) Brakes And Fluids
Once you have looked over tires, turn your attention to the controls of the bike. The clutch should operate without a hitch, and your brakes should feel firm and secure. If you notice any type of below-average performance with regard to the brakes, such as hitches during the stop or extra movement of the wheels, there may be an issue that needs further attention. You also need to make sure you check oil and fuel levels. The last thing you want is to find yourself stranded just as you were enjoying a ride, so monitor the gas levels, reset a tripmeter and fill up on fluids before setting out on an adventure.
3) Lights, Mirrors, And Chassis
Headlights and taillights should be in top condition while your mirrors should be crack-free and tight - you don't want to adjust them on the fly while you are riding.
Finally, examine the chassis of the motorcycle. Test the state of the suspension by rocking back and forth as you pay attention to the smoothness of the motion. At this time, you should also take a look at the sidestand and centerstand, keeping an eye out for cracks or problems with springs that could send a bike toppling over.