8 Point Safety Check

Gunnery Sgt. Michael M. Hawk, the battery gunnery sergeant for Battery A, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, checks the tires on his motorcycle during a pre-ride motorcycle safety inspection (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Alicia R. Leaders)

COMPILED BY RIDE STAFF

Conducting a bike check before riding is not only smart but could be life-saving. Before you ride, consider these eight motorcycle inspection tips.

1. TIRES

Check your tires to make sure they are properly inflated. Checking them when they are cold is best. Check them for any wear, anything embedded, broken or damaged spokes and rims, and make sure the tread is adequate.

2. LIGHTS

Make sure all light are in good working order. Look at the head lights, brake lights and turn signals. Check that the covers are not loose or cracked, are free of dirt and bugs, and that the bulbs are bright.

3. CONTROLS

Make sure your cables are in good condition, not worn or frayed, no kinks or bends, and are securely connected. Check the clutch and brake levers. Make sure they are not loose, that they pull easily and return to their proper position. Look at your brake and shifter, making sure they are attached securely and not bent. Double check the brakes.

4. FLUIDS

Check the fluids and make sure the oil level is sufficient. Improper oil levels could cause damage. Everyone should know their break correct oil weight and how to check it. Check the gas because you may have used more than you realize or forgot to fill up on the last ride.

5. KICKSTAND

Check that the kickstand is properly attached, not loose, wobbly or bent. You don’t want to be riding down the road, look in the mirror and see your kickstand bouncing down the road behind you.

6. ENGINE

Check the engine transmission and top off fluids periodically. Frequent need of tip ups could indicate a possible leakage or another problem.

7. MIRRORS

Set your rearview mirrors for an optimum field of vision.

8. CHAIN

Adjust the chain correctly and lubricate it with a purpose specific chain lubricant.