With many of us spending more time at home, now is a great time to get your motorcycle in peak riding season shape. If your ride has been in winter storage or sitting in the garage for a significant amount of time, it’s important to give it a thorough motorcycle safety inspection and some well-deserved attention before taking it out. Follow this checklist to make sure you don’t hit any mechanical bumps in the road the next time you go for a motorcycle ride:
- Clean Your Bike
A clean motorcycle is easier to inspect and forces you to pay attention to areas on your bike you might otherwise overlook. While cleaning your motorcycle, check for cracks in any rubber components, including fuel lines or electrical cables, that tend to become brittle with age.
- Inspect Your Chain, Belt or Driveshaft
Make sure your motorcycle is in a secure position, preferably on a stand if you have one, and check your chain for freeplay – there should be some slack, but the specific amount can be found in your motorcycle owner’s manual – and clean and lube if needed. If you ride a cruiser, check your belt for cracks or broken teeth. If your bike has a driveshaft, check for leakage and replace the oil if necessary.
- Check the Brakes
If you ride a motorcycle with disc brakes, inspect the pads and make sure they have equal amounts of material remaining. Always keep an eye out for signs of leaking fluid and take a look at brake cables for signs of wear and fraying.
- Inspect and Air Up Your Tires
Take a look at your tire’s TWI (tire wear indicator), usually located on the sidewall, to make sure it’s not time to replace your tires. Study the rain grooves for adequate gaps to insure proper traction. Last but not least check your tire pressure and air up if needed.
- Check and Charge Your Battery
Check your battery for corrosion or any evidence of leaks and if all is clear, charge it up. Once your battery is charged, check for low voltage with a voltmeter to make sure it will hold a charge and doesn’t need to be replaced.
- Change Your Oil
Even if you changed your oil while preparing to store your bike for the winter, give it a second look before taking off on a long ride. It’s important to start your motorcycle up and make sure the engine is warm before checking your fluid levels. Even if your oil isn’t in dire need of being replaced, it won’t hurt to swap it out after storing your bike for an extended amount of time.
It’s A Fine Line is an inclusive community of motorcycle riders advocating one common mission: zero motorcycle deaths by 2030. We want to share videos and stories about motorcycle safety, events, rides, clubs, gear and training because we believe that together we can save the lives of our friends, our families and our communities.