How To Perform a Pre-Ride Safety Check

Six Tips That Could Save Your Life

Breaking down or having a part rattle loose is no way to end a ride. Doing a quick “pre-flight” safety check is an easy way to avoid frustration out on the road. All you need are five minutes, a tire gauge, and a dose of diligence. Perform these simple steps before every ride and you’ll be safer and less likely to need your AMA membership’s roadside assistance to get home.

Pre-Ride Safety Check
Check your rolling stock
Tire pressure is critical to handling, traction, and wear, so make sure your pressures match the sticker on the swingarm. Rotate the tires and inspect for nails or damage.Brenda Weaver
Pre-Ride Safety Check
Look for loose fasteners
No wrench required here—just use your fingers to make sure the axles, axle pinch bolts, fork pinch bolts, rearset and muffler fasteners, and drain plug aren’t loose.Brenda Weaver
Pre-Ride Safety Check
Verify fluid levels
Check your oil level and cast a glance at the front and rear brake reservoirs to see that they’re full. If your radiator cap is accessible, make sure there’s sufficient coolant.Brenda Weaver
Pre-Ride Safety Check
Check your hoses
Run a hand along your brake lines and radiator hoses to check for bulges, cracks, or abrasions. Grasp the radiator-hose clamps and wiggle them to make sure they’re tight.Brenda Weaver
Pre-Ride Safety Check
Suspension check
Inspect the fork stanchions for damage, and run your finger along the seals to check for leaks. Eye the shock shaft(s) to see if they’re oily, which could indicate a blown seal.Brenda Weaver
Pre-Ride Safety Check
Lights, action!
Click the ignition on and check your lights. That includes the tail and brake light, turn signals, and headlight. Finally, make sure that starter button works, and hit the road!Brenda Weaver