Tricks and Tips
Tyres and Wheels
More than 2mm of tread all over is needed for tyres to be safe and legal. Check the tyre pressure regularly to avoid blowouts and make sure you also check wheels for damaged spokes and unusual noises. Wash your tyres regularly and check the tyre pressure when the tyres are cold. Blowouts due to high and low pressure are causes of some crashes. Check the tread all over for wear or damage regularly.
Test by applying each brake fully to see if they lock the wheel. If they don’t lock fully or you hear noise, it is time to get the brake pads or linings checked. Test to see that each brake can be applied fully. Check each brake light works. Test that the clutch and throttle are smooth, then check that the cables aren’t kinked or broken.
Check that each control works and adjust the clutch to the right friction point. Don’t forget to check the cables are not twisted or broken and lubricate at each cable end. When you mount your bike; double check your personal adjustments, including seat height, handlebars, position of the gear and rear brake levers, and the position of the front brake and clutch levers. As well as checking each individual light and indicator is working, give them a wipe over to clean them. Check your horn and adjust if needed. Wipe both mirrors.
Oil, Chain and Sprocket
If the bike has a chain, check the owner’s manual for advice on tension and lubrication. The chain runs over teeth wheels or sprockets and check that these aren’t worn down. The owner’s manual will advise on the chain’s tension and lubrication. Also, know the oil level the bike needs to avoid the engine seizing. Always check fuel levels.
Shock Absorbers and Suspension
This is one to check while riding. Be aware of clunky noises and extra bounce when riding over rough bumps. These could indicate that the shock absorbers need to be adjusted or replaced.
Motorcycle engineering is an exact science. Customisation to your bike’s mechanics and structure should only be carried out and then maintained by recognized industry professionals. Modifications will need a roadworthy certificate. Each bike handles differently. Check out the controls and adjust the seat, handlebars and lever positions. Try the brakes before you start and get to know the throttle and clutch for gear changes.