Who knows when Murphy’s Law may strike or what nail your tire might have picked up just before you pulled in the other evening. It’s not fun to have things go wrong on a motorcycle, but if you spend a minute before you go off on a ride, you can increase the chances that nothing will.
Any information you’ll need, such as correct tire pressures or chain adjustment, you’ll find in your owner’s manual. As soon as you finish this booklet, read the manual thoroughly. You will be much more acquainted with all the specifics of your motorcycle, since it might be slightly different from some other make or model.
#1 Check the tires. They are the most important parts of your bike. If your engine quits, you roll to a stop. If a tire quits – trouble! Make the effort to check the surface of the tires, looking for cuts in the rubber or foreign objects – like a nail. Check the tire pressures with a good gauge. If a tire is low every time you check it, even though you have added the proper amount of air each time, you have a slow leak. Fix it before it becomes a fast leak.
#2 Check the controls. Cables are quite strong and rarely break, but look for kinking or stiffness or anything unusual in their operation.
#3 Check your lights, including brake light, headlights, and turn signals to make sure everything works. Also check your horn and adjust the mirrors.
#4 Check the oil and fuel and, if the bike is liquid-cooled, the coolant levels.
#5 If your motorcycle has chain-drive to the rear wheel, make sure that the chain is properly tensioned and in good shape. Chains do need an occasional cleaning and dose of lubrication.
#6 Make sure the sidestand and centerstand fold up properly, and stay up. If one of the retraction springs is weak or broken or missing, replace it.
#7 As you roll off, check your brakes. Just to make sure they haven’t gone away.
Now, go enjoy yourself!
Source: Motorcycle Safety Foundation eNews