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Motorcycle Safety Checklist

Motorcycle Safety Checklist

When you’re about to head off on a drive, there are an assortment of things you need to check before pulling out. Remembering every single item to tick off in your head might be challenging, and you could end up forgetting something important. Use this handy safety checklist to ensure you’ve covered all the bases. You can even save it on your phone to have it on hand at a moment’s notice. Perform this pre-check before every ride for a safe and hassle-free trip.

Our Motorcycle Safety Checklist

  1. Helmet and Eye Protection: First thing’s first. Got your helmet on? Is it DOT (Department of Transportation) certified? While a standard helmet is good, a full-face one is better. This will keep your head, eyes, and ears protected all in one. If you don’t have this style of helmet, make sure you wear eye protection too. Without it, airborne objects could fly into your eyes, which could cause a knee-jerk reaction.

  2. Protective Gear: You need the right attire to protect yourself from airborne objects, flying insects, and debris, as well as poor weather conditions and the possibility of a crash. These items include a jacket, gloves, boots, pants, and kneepads. Here’s a quick ‘why’ for each.

    Jacket: A jacket is needed to deflect objects and insects from striking and cutting your skin. It’ll also keep the rain and snow from seeping into your clothes underneath and chilling your body. This jacket should be a substantial riding jacket (leather, for example) that can sustain road rash. A thin cotton zip-up won’t do!

    Gloves: These will help you maintain a strong grip on the handlebars, so sweaty palms won’t be an issue when turning. Your gloves will also provide a protective barrier between your skin and the road as well.

    Boots: As the body parts nearest to the ground, your feet are relatively vulnerable. Quality boots will keep them safely slotted into the footrests of the bike and protect your feet when coming to a stop. Open-toe shoes like sandals are an absolute no!

    Pants and Kneepads: Long pants will act as a protective barrier, saving your skin if you were to fall off your bike. You should be able to fit kneepads overtop of them comfortably to give yourself extra protection. Not many find themselves unscathed after slamming a knee into the ground. Armored motorcycle pants are an excellent option.

  3. Tires: Give your tires a thorough check. Assess that the tread is in good condition so you can brake quickly without skidding on bald tread. The air pressure should be checked at least once per week, as daily fluctuating temperatures can greatly affect the PSI. Ensure your wheels aren’t bent or cracked. If they are, make the day about replacing them. Don’t ride on deformed rims.

  4. Brakes: As you know, brakes are crucial to a properly working bike. Check out the brake fluid reservoirs in the handlebars, as well as the rear of the bike. How are your brake pads? If they’re looking a little too worn, replace them immediately.

  5. Fluids: Have you changed your fluids recently? If you aren’t already checking up on these weekly, take a look at your motor oil, brake fluids, and coolant levels. Replace old fluid and top off any that appears low.

  6. Electronics: If any of your electronic components aren’t working, you won’t be able to take the bike out on public roads. The last thing you want is a ticket. Make sure your headlights, brake lights, and signals are all perfect. If something seems amiss, give the battery a look to see if it needs to be charged or taken into the shop.

  7. Chassis Parts: For the exterior of your motorcycle, this checklist item is easy enough. Look over the frame for serious damage that could interfere with your driving. Make sure all bolts are tightly screwed in, too. Other chassis parts to check off on are the exhaust, rear shocks, front suspension forks, coil springs, belt drive, chains, and sprockets.

  8. Controls: Malfunctioning controls will definitely spell trouble for you if you don’t check for issues before leaving home. Engage your handlebar throttles, front brake levers, clutch lever, and rear brake pedal to test for malfunction.

  9. Mirrors: Your mirrors must be in perfect condition so you can clearly see what’s behind you. Look for cracked or missing glass and get it replaced so the damage isn’t furthered.

  10. Miscellaneous Items: There are a few more items to tick off before you can safely hit the road. Is your kickstand bent? It should be in solid condition to properly hold your bike up when not in use.

Have your driver’s license, motorcycle endorsement, and insurance card on hand? Stow these in a jacket or pants pocket for safe keeping.

Now that you’ve worked through this checklist, you’re all set for a safe and fun ride!

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