Steve’s Safety Corner

Motorcycle Safety Foundation Pre-Ride Checklist

T-CLOCK, which stands for Tires, Controls, Lights, Oil, Chassis and Kickstand.
Takes about 5 minutes and it could save your life.
Tires and wheels
Since these are what separate you and the road, they’re the most important things to check. A problem here will affect handling, sometimes severely. Since this is one of those critical things you should check often.Check for dings in your rims. Check that your spokes tight and straight. Check pressures in both tires. Manufacturers specify pressures for cold tires, this is the only accurate way to check them, as they heat up quickly on the road, raising the pressure. Consult your owner’s manual or call your tire manufacturer’s hotline for the proper pressures for your particular bike.Check your tread, you should have more than 1/16 of an inch, about the distance between Lincoln’s head and the top of a penny. Remove foreign objects that may have lodged in the treads, and make sure there aren’t any cuts in the tire. Controls and cables
A snapped throttle or clutch cable can leave you on the side of the road, so check them, Operate anything connected to a cable and make sure that levers and cables feel smooth and don’t bind. Apply the front brake and push the bike forward. The brake should feel firm, and the front wheel should not move. Check the rear brake in the same fashion.Lights
Seeing and being seen are the 2 best ways to avoid unwanted incidents on the road, so making sure your lights work is imperative to your safety.Check that your high and low beams are working. Check the taillight. Check the brake light. Check left and right turn signals, front and rear. Remember that the cause of a malfunction here could be a relay or bulb… Lastly, don’t forget to check your horn.Oil and fuel
Fuel up, running out of gas is a drag, and don’t forget to reset the trip-meter every time you fill up. Check the oil level, running out of oil can ruin the engine and may cause your engine to lockup resulting in a accident. Even some new bikes can use enough oil to be down a quart between oil changes, so check it before every ride.Chassis
Sit on the bike and rock it, making sure that everything moves smoothly and relatively slowly. If the front or rear end behaves like a pogo stick, a trip to your mechanic should be in your immediate future. If you have an adjustable suspension, remember to read your owner’s manual and adjust it properly for the load you’ll be carrying and the type of riding you’ll be doing.Kickstand 
The kickstand is a handy little item, it’s what keeps your motorcycle off the ground. Check the spring or springs. Check that they have enough tension to keep the kickstand safely up. Don’t forget to look at the engine cut-out switch if so equipped.If everything’s in place and operating properly you’re done, and you’re ready to roll. Enjoy the day!


Click on the link below for MSF’s guide to Group Riding. Other links will be added in the future. Ride Safe!