Motorcycle Before You Ride – Safety Inspection Check List
A quick check over your motorcycle before you jump on can save loads of time, trouble and help to keep you safe. You need to know that your motorcycle is up to the job don’t you? Of course, nobody is suggesting that you’ll do all of these checks, all of the time – but keep an eye on the general condition of your motorcycle, and give it a good going over every day or two.
Here are the things you should particularly watch out for.
Check Your Motorcycle Tires
- Check the overall condition, the wear, the tread, check for anything which has become embedded in the tire or any bubbles or bulges which show that your tire is on its way out.
- Check the tire pressures too, this should be done when your tires are cold.
Check Your Motorcycle Wheels
- Check the spokes – are any of them missing, bent or broken?
- If your wheels are cast – check for cracks or dents
- Check that the rims are running true – spinning the wheel while stationery can give you a good indication of this
- Check the bearings – get hold of the top and bottom of the tire and try to flex, there should be no freeplay or growling noises while the wheel is spinning
- Check that the seals are not torn or cut
Check Your Motorcycle Brakes
- make sure that each brake, individually, will prevent your bike from moving
Check Your Motorcycle Controls
- Pedals and levars – are they broken, bent or cracked, are the mountings tight, are they properly adjusted?
- Cables – are there any fraying ends, kinks, sharp angles, is there any interference at the steering head, are all wire supports correctly in place?
- Hoses – check for leaks, cracks, deterioration, bulging, chaffing
- Throttle – does it move freely, snap back into the closed position, does it rev when you turn the handlebars?
Check Your Motorcycle Lights
- Battery – are the terminals clean and tight, is the electrolyte level, is it held securely in position?
- Headlight – is the bulb working, are there any cracks, is it pointing at the correct height and direction, does the low and high beam switch operate correctly?
- Brake and tail lights – are the bulbs working brightly, check for cracks, are they activated with both the front and rear brake light?
- Turn signals – do they flash when they should?
- Mirrors – are they clean, are they cracked, are they positioned correctly? If not, adjust them whilst you are seated on your motorcycle
- Reflectors – are they clean and free from cracks?
- Wiring – check all wiring for signs of chaffing and insulation, make sure that it is all routed correctly and not under any pressure from suspension, steering head etc.
Check Your Motorcycles Oil
- Engine oil – levels should be checked when the engine is warm, with the motorcycle on the center stand on level ground – check the dipstick or the sight glass. You should also regularly check the gaskets, seals and housings for any signs of leaks.
- Hypoid gear oil and shaft drive – check the transmission, shaft and rear drive oil levels, check the gaskets, breathers and seals for signs of any leaks.
- Hydraulic fluid – in the brakes and clutch – check the reservoir or the sight glass, also check the master cylinders, calipers and hoses for signs of leaks.
- Coolant – check this when the motorcycle is cool, check out the radiator, tanks, pipes, fittings and hoses for signs of leaks.
- Fuel – you don’t want to run out of gas do you? Keep an eye on the tank or gauge, check the carbs, lines and fuel valve for leaks.
Check Your Motorcycle Chassis
- Frame – check the overall condition, look for cracks (particularly at gussets)
- Suspension – check both the front forks and the rear shocks for smooth travel, equal pressure etc
- Belt or Chain – check the tension at the tightest point, make sure that sprocket teeth are not broken and that they are mounted securely
- Fasteners – check all clips, cotter pins and threaded fasteners to make sure that they are in position and fitted tightly
Check Your Motorcycle Stands
- Center stand – is it in good condition, it is bent or cracked. Does it hold the motorcycle securely?
- Side stand – is it in good condition, check for cracks and, if applicable, check the safety cut out switch