Are you ready to ride? Make sure your bike is, too!

iStock_000010476178XSmallDo you have your eye on a dream location for your motorcycle road trip? Is there one spot you have been dying to visit and are finally going to get there this year?

For the past two months, we’ve talked about getting ready for your road trip with websites and apps to help you plan your trip and tips on making sure you pack the right gear.

Another important step before you head out on your dream road trip is to make sure your bike is in prime riding condition. If you keep up with regular maintenance, odds are your bike is ready to go. But anytime you are going to go on a long trip, it pays to go over all the major points more thoroughly.  Make sure everything is in good working condition and all fluids and air pressure are at the correct levels. It’s no fun to find out your oil is low or a headlight isn’t working in the middle of a 500-mile trip.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers the T-CLOCS method to inspect your bike before traveling:

  • T: Tires
    Make sure both tires are properly inflated, using an air pressure monitor that you carry with you on your rides. Never risk riding on tires that may need replacement. If there is any question about if a tire will last long enough for your ride, replace it.
  • C: Controls
    Check your clutch and brake cables to make sure the controls are intact and working.
  • L: Lights
    Try your headlights (high and low beam), turn signals, and brake lights to make sure they are in working order.
  • O: Oils and fluids
    Engine oil, coolant and brake fluid should all be checked.
  • C: Chassis
    Ensure that the frame, suspension, chain, and fasteners are all secure and intact.
  • S: Stands
    Make sure the center stand and/or side stand isn’t cracked or bent, and that springs properly hold the assembly away from the pavement when stowed.

You can find a more complete inspection checklist on the MSF website.

If you have a big road trip planned, let us know where you are headed, and if this series was useful for you. You can comment on this post.

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