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HOW-TO: Check a Motorcycle Before Riding
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Join Date: July 12, 2005
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HOW-TO: Check a Motorcycle Before Riding - March 2, 2006, 02:08 PM


Pre-riding inspections can help ensure you're in for a safe ride. The following checklist is recommended for most motorcycles.

1. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends using "TCLOCK" as a pre-ride inspection reminder: check Tires, Controls, Lights and Accessories, Oils and Fluids, Chassis and Chain, and Kickstand before each ride.
2. Check your tire pressure. Under or over-inflated tires can translate to poor handling and stability.
3. Operate the throttle, clutch, front and rear brakes and shifter. Make sure they're all working properly.
4. Check your brake lights, turn signals, and all other electrical equipment and switches, including the horn.
5. After warming up your motorcycle, sit it up straight, remove the oil tank cap and use the dip stick to check the oil level. Add oil if necessary.
6. Unscrew the fuel cap and make sure there's plenty of fuel. Many tow companies can't tow motorcycles, and running out of fuel isn't good for your bike.
7. Make sure your drive chain or belt is adjusted according to specifications.
8. Turn the handlebars to make certain your bike is turning smoothly and properly.
9. Look for any oil, gasoline, or hydraulic fluid leaks.
10. Check that the kickstand is operating properly.

Fill your fuel tank slowly and do not overfill. Leave plenty of air space for fuel expansion. Do not rev the engine too high when it's cold. Allow your engine to run slowly for several minutes so the oil reaches all the surfaces it needs to lubricate.

Shift your transmission to neutral before starting your motorcycle. This prevents accidental movement, which could cause personal injury.
Read the owner's manual before operating your motorcycle. Failure to do so could result in injury to yourself and others.

Overall Warnings:
Motorcycling is an inherently dangerous activity that can result in serious injury or death. We recommend that you seek proper training and equipment before attempting this activity.
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