J&P Cycles’ Motorcycle Technicians — who are well known for assisting motorcycle riders with technical questions on the phones — recently got together to create a list of the top 10 things you should do before riding your motorcycle to: A) Keep your bike in top running condition, and B) To keep you from getting stranded on the side of the road.
- Fluids. Make sure all your oils and fluids are topped off with the correct fluid.
- Battery. Make sure both the connections are tight. If your motorcycle battery is not a sealed type, make sure the cells are full of fluid. Be sure to check for cracks and leaks and that the vent hose is not plugged.
- Drive belt or chain. If you have a chain, make sure it’s properly lubed and has the correct tension.
- Tires. Make sure your tire pressure is correct, that there is proper tread depth, and that there is no weather checking on the sidewalls.
- Filters. Check your air filter, especially if it hasn’t been cleaned or replaced lately. A dirty air filter damages your engine and can greatly affect performance and make your ride not nearly as enjoyable as you want it to be.
- Cables. Make sure all cables are adjusted correctly and that they have been properly lubed. Nothing will leave you sitting on the side of the road faster than a broken throttle cable.
- Lights and turn signals. This seems obvious, but check to make sure all lights are operational, including the hi-lo beam, turn signals, tail light / brake light, license plate light, and even your speedo lights.
- Brake systems. Make sure that there are no leaks or cracks in your brake lines. Be sure to check your brake pads because running thin pads can ruin your rotors and will end up costing you a lot more than what a new set of pads would have cost you.
- Nuts and bolts. Complete a visual/physical check of hardware throughout your bike.
- Spokes. If your bike has spokes, be sure to do a quick check to make sure your spokes are tight. As you do, adjust according to the manual, and if you’re not comfortable with doing this yourself, take your motorcycle to a shop and have the spoke checked by a professional.
Last but not least, make sure your license plate is not missing and that your registration sticker is up to date. If you additional tips to offer, please post a comment below. If you have specific pre-ride questions or technical questions, feel free to leave a comment as well, or call tech line at 1-800-397-4844.