Add the effects of last winter on your bike and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance or rather by checking if your bike is still in a good condition to ensure you reach your destination safe and sound…your bike should last longer and command a higher resale price, too!
First things first, it is critical for all motorbike owners to ensure their bike tyres and wheels are in good condition as these were among the most important safety features on the bike and strickly follow all road regulations.
The Automobile Association (AA) says that motorbike riding is an excellent activity, and brings friends and families together. But just as with your car, it is important to ensure that if you haven’t ridden it in a while, it is still in good mechanical condition, and that all the components are working as they should.
It is important to check your bike’s manual booklet in order to ensure that you inflate the tyres to the manufacturer’s recommended air pressure, making sure there is enough tread left for future journeys. Remember that if your motorbike has been standing on its tyres for a while, flat spots usually appear so make sure there are no flat spots on them.
“Remember to also check your wheels, making sure that if your bike has spokes, they are not bent or loose. Lift each wheel off the ground and spin it, this should give you an indication if there are problems,” the AA said.
Other aspects of your motorbike you can check before heading off include:
Controls: Pedals can get rusty so be in the look-out for any rust around them and ensure that they move easily. Check that your brake control cables move freely and aren’t frayed. Check that the handlebars move easily from side to side, and that the throttle snaps closes when released.
Lights: Make sure that your headlights and indicators all work properly, and don’t forget about your brake lights.
Oils and Fluids: Check the fuel and oil levels carefully, ensuring that all are in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Mechanic: If you are not mechanically inclined, take your bike to a workshop to have a mechanic give it a once over before you head out.
“Apart from these tips, we also recommend that if you haven’t ridden your bike in a while, you take it out to a quiet spot for a test ride to regain some ‘riding’ memory. By doing this you will get used to driving with your head up, looking ahead, and checking for blind spots,” the AA suggested.
In addition to all of this, the Association urged all motorbike riders who have not ridden in a while to re-check their equipment – such as helmets and leathers – to ensure they are still in good condition.
“Even helmets without damage should be checked and replaced every couple of years, as new developments in helmet safety technology make them more protective. Check to see if your helmet is still in good nick, and if you have any doubts, get a new one,” the AA concluded.