Any motor vehicle must be capable of operating safely for people to benefit from reliable and low-risk transportation. Motorcycles are often simpler than enclosed vehicles and do not have the complex computerized user interfaces that make home maintenance so challenging for those with newer cars.
Many motorcycle riders learn how to perform at least basic maintenance on their own motorcycles so that they don’t have to wait for an appointment with a mechanic to get their bike back out on the road. Whether a rider intends to hire someone else to maintain their motorcycle or perform most of the maintenance themselves, the four tips below can help them keep their vehicle in top operating condition and reduce their risk being involved in a serious wreck.
Remember that any stored bike needs an inspection
Anytime a motorcycle has gone unridden for an extended period, the rider will likely need to perform a thorough inspection before taking the bike out on the road. Walking around the bike, checking its main systems and taking it for a short test ride before a longer ride are all important when a motorcycle has been in storage.
Rotate and flip the tires
Factors ranging from someone’s health to design issues with the motorcycle may lead to uneven wearing on the tires. It is wear, rather than age, that often makes tires unsafe. Replacing tires whenever they start to go bald is of the utmost importance, as traction is crucial for rider safety on a motorcycle. Frequently turning or flipping the tires is a way to extend their useful life while minimizing the risk of a blowout on the road.
Check the lights before every ride
Safety experts suggest that every driver and motorcycle rider perform a few basic checks on a vehicle before heading out onto public roads. Many motorcycle crashes are the result of other drivers making mistakes in traffic, often because they fail to notice the motorcycle. Ensuring that brake lights and turn signals work properly can reduce the likelihood of a driver hitting a motorcycle because they don’t know what the rider will do next.
Keep fluids fresh
There are several kinds of fluids that keep a motorcycle running beyond just fuel. Riders also need to check and refresh brake fluid and coolant. There are also filters, including oil and fuel filters, that require inspection and changes when necessary.
Riders who perform routine maintenance frequently and who inspect their motorcycles often will be much less likely to experience some kind of mechanical issue in traffic that can put their life at risk. Keeping a motorcycle in peak operating conditions is one of the simplest ways to reduce one’s personal risk of a motorcycle crash.