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If there is anything truly essential about riding a motorcycle—especially in the UK—it’s the pre-ride safety check. There are several aspects to this check, and here are the most important when it comes to safe riding.
1) Brakes. Make sure you test your brakes before heading out. Get on the bike and test both front and rear brakes. It is important to check the break pads in case you have of a disc break (hydraulic breal), or adjust the break in case you have a drum break. Also, drum brakes might simply require a new set of shoes. Finally , if you have disk breaks, it is also important to check the brake fluids or the actual disk.
2) Engine Oil. Check the engine oil according to your motorcycle owner’s manual and if you need to change it, make sure and dispose of old oil in a sealed container and disposed of at the nearest approved oil disposal place.
3) Lights. While it may seem a no-brainer to check on this function, it can also be a mistake to ignore this: check your headlights, tail lights, indicator’s lights, and brake light every time before you go anywhere.
4) Tyres. Make sure that there is nothing puncturing the tyre. Don’t just give it a cursory glance. Run your hands along and see if there is anything amiss. Also, check out your treads. For a motorcycle tyre, the minimum tread depth in the UK is 1mm. However, please bear in mind that this is the bare minimum. While modern tires are more durable than they used to be, that still doesn’t mean you should skimp on the safety check. Especially when the law can get on your case for bad tires. Also, check the tyre pressure, measuring it against what you see in the handbook for your machine.
5) Mirrors. You might not think they’d be part of a pre-ride safety check but they are. Make sure the mirrors are adjusted to where you need them before riding, or else you run the risk of not being able to see behind you and ride defensively.
To have a truly safe motorcycle riding experience, this pre-ride safety check is a must, or else you’re going to not only have the opposite of a bad ride, you could easily have a potentially dangerous or fatal one.