Making sure your motorcycle is ready
You being ready to ride is only part of the battle. You need to make sure your motorcycle is ready too. You should perform a quick, overall inspection of your motorcycle before each ride. To do this, use what is referred to as the T-CLOCK inspection, explained below.
T – Tyres and wheels
Check your tyres for proper air pressure, tread depth, cracks, bulges or embedded objects. Check wheels for dents, cracks and roundness. Check spokes for proper tightness or missing spokes. Check bearings and seals for signs of failure.
C – Controls
Check all levers, making sure they are not broken, bent, cracked or loose. Check the condition and routing of control cables, making sure they move freely, are not frayed, and have no sharp angles, and are of sufficient length as to not interfere with steering. Check that all hoses are in good condition and don’t interfere with steering. Make sure your throttle moves freely, with no sticking and snaps closed when released.
L – Lights and electrical
Check your battery, making sure the terminals are clean, electrolyte fluid is sufficient, and that it is properly secured. Check your headlight, making sure it works, has no cracks and is aimed properly. Check all other lights and reflectors for operation, cracks and fastening. Check wiring, looking for frays, clean connections and proper routing.
O – Oil and fluids
Check oil and fluid levels, including brake and clutch fluid, coolant and of course petrol. Check all fluid reservoirs, hoses and lines for leaks.
C – Chassis
Check condition of the frame, looking for cracks, dents or bends. Check forks and shocks, making sure they travel freely and are properly adjusted. Check chain or belt, for proper tension, lubrication and wear. Check all fasteners, bolts and cotter pins, making sure they are not missing, broken or loose.
K – Kickstand
Check the sidestand and centrestand. Make sure they are not cracked or bent, and that they spring into place and the tension is sufficient to hold them.
Although this sounds like a lot, this inspection can be performed quite quickly. While it won’t guarantee against a failure of some sort, it increases your odds of finding problems before they become dangerous or fatal.