Get your motorcycle road-ready
With warmer, dryer weather just around the corner, motorcyclists are ready to hit the open road. Before you hit the highway however, it’s important to perform a maintenance inspection to ensure your bike is as road-ready as you are, especially if it’s been sitting idle during the winter months.
Inactivity can degrade your bike’s safety, control and performance. Ensuring it’s in top working order can help you avoid a mid-ride breakdown or even a potential crash.
BCAA offers a maintenance checklist to get your motorcycle road ready this spring.
- Tires and wheels: Since these are where your bike and the road meet, they're probably the most important things to look over. A problem can affect handling—sometimes severely.
- Check the air pressure of your tires and inflate to the ideal pressure.
- Inspect tires for wear-and-tear on the treads, cracks, bulges or embedded objects; inspect wheels for roundness, cracks and dents, and bent/broken/missing spokes. Replace if necessary
- Review levers and pedals, ensuring they're lubricated, adjusted and fitted properly. They should not be broken, bent or cracked.
- Inspect cables ensuring they’re not frayed, kinked or folded into sharp angles. Test to ensure the bike's cables at no time interfere with your ability to steer.
- Check hoses for cuts, cracks, leaks, bulges, chafing or deterioration. Like cables, hoses should not interfere with your steering or suspension, and should not be folded into sharp angles.
- Test that the throttle moves freely, does not stick and snaps closed when released.
- Check the battery to ensure the terminals are clean and tight and that it's properly charged and secured. Check the vent tube to confirm it is not kinked or plugged, and is routed properly.
- Inspect the lenses and reflectors on the bike ensuring they’re not cracked or broken, are securely mounted and don’t have excessive condensation trapped within.
- Inspect headlamp for cracks. Confirm it points at the right height and direction. Test the operation of the high beam and low beam options.
- Test the tail lamp and brake lights to make sure they work when they should, and they are not cracked. Clean and ensure they are properly secured.
- Test both of the turn signals - left and right!
- Oil and fluids
- Check the levels and quality of the engine oil, hypoid gear oil, shaft drive, hydraulic fluid, coolant and fuel. Replace or top-up fluids that need it.
- Check for leaks of these same fluids.
- Review the condition of the frame, looking for lifting paint, cracks, or dents and ensure the front forks and rear shocks are properly adjusted.
- Check the tension of the belt or chain. Lubricate the chain if needed, and inspect the teeth of the sprockets confirming they are not hooked and are properly mounted.
- Replace broken or missing fasteners and tighten if loosened.
- For both centre stands and side stands, make sure the stands are not cracked or bent and that they spring into place and have the required tension to hold the bike in position.
- Review your insurance and contact your insurance advisor to ensure you’re adequately covered for the riding season. BCAA offers coverage for cruising, touring, sport or sport touring bike along with options like Collision, Comprehensive, low deductibles and coverage for your riding gear.