Motorcycle Pre-Ride Checklist

  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 pressure 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 side stand and center stand 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.

Information sourced from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation® with permission