When the weather clears and spring emerges, you may be itching to get outside to ride your motorcycle. Whether your bike has been garaged for the winter or you’ve been riding all year, you should take time to check out your motorcycle every time you get on the road.
Regular motorcycle maintenance will extend the life of your bike and help you avoid accidents. Although you can’t prevent all accidents through motorcycle maintenance, you can avoid accidents caused by your own motorcycle’s mechanical failures.
Below, the attorneys at TonaLaw describe how to avoid motorcycle accidents by routinely inspecting and maintaining your bike. Making regular motorcycle maintenance a priority before riding could mean the difference between life and death on the road. If you maintained your motorcycle and you were in an accident caused by someone’s negligence or a defective mechanical part, contact our office today for information on what you can do to recover compensation.
What Regular Motorcycle Maintenance Should You Do?
Although motorcycling comes with a lot of freedom, it also has responsibilities. Motorcycle owners are responsible for regularly checking and maintaining their bikes. Doing this can help to avoid mechanical problems on the road.
Below are some steps for how to avoid motorcycle accidents through regular motorcycle maintenance. You should check with your mechanic or your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance requirements for a thorough list specific to your bike’s needs.
Inspect Your Bike Before Every Ride
Regular motorcycle maintenance includes not just conducting the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance. Every time you get on your bike, you should walk around it to see if everything appears functional. A quick inspection of your bike can give you clues as to whether something is wrong. For example, if you notice liquid drops on the ground, it’s an indication that you may want to check your fluids. A basic bike inspection should also include testing your lights, signals, and horn and examining the tires to ensure they’re fully inflated and free from debris. It’s better to take a few minutes to look at your bike instead of discovering a problem with your lights, horn, or tires when it is too late while you are on the road.
Change the Oil
Most people know that changing your oil and oil filter is an important part of regular motorcycle maintenance. Typically, you should change your oil and filter about every 3,000-5,000 miles, but your oil type may require more or less frequent changes. Check with your manufacturer or repair shop for recommendations specific to your bike. You should also consider changing the oil and filter if your bike has been in storage or hasn’t been used for a season or two. Failing to change your oil and filter regularly can lead to transmission damage and even engine failure. If this happens while you’re on the road, the results could be catastrophic.
Check the Battery
If you haven’t used your motorcycle in a while or it has been sitting in storage for the winter, you should check your battery and electrical system. Depending on your motorcycle type, a battery failure can cause anything from an inconvenience to a complete shutdown of your bike while riding. You need your electrical system to work properly to start your motorcycle and use your lights and indicators. Additionally, if your battery is a few years old or the connections are corroded, you might consider investing in a new one.
Inspect the Tires
If you’re wondering how to avoid motorcycle accidents, one thing you can do is inspect your motorcycle’s tires regularly. Checking the conditions of your tires and replacing them when necessary can go a long way to keeping you safe. The condition of your motorcycle’s tires and wheels is essential for a safe and enjoyable ride. A blowout on the road could cause an accident.
Check your tires for signs of wear, punctures, or debris. Replace your tires if you notice any significant problems or if the tread is depleted. Many motorcycle tires have wear indicators that allow you to determine when it’s time to replace them. You can also use a penny to measure wear. Place the penny into one of the tire grooves where the tire meets the road. The top of President Lincoln’s head on the penny is 2mm from the penny’s edge. If you can see the top of his head, you likely need to replace your tires.
Examine the Drive Chain or Belt
Your motorcycle’s chain connects your transmission to your wheel. This means you’ll stop in your tracks if your chain fails. Examine your drive chain for any debris, build-up, or problematic links. You’ll need to clean and lubricate your chain regularly. If your bike has a belt, check it for cracks or wear. If you notice problems with your chain or belt, take your bike to the shop or invest in a new one.
Fill All Fluids
Oil is not the only fluid essential to a motorcycle’s proper running. Depending on your motorcycle, you may have many different kinds of fluids you should regularly check, including:
- Brake fluid,
- Coolant or antifreeze,
- Fork oil,
- Clutch fluid, and
- Transmission fluid.
The absence of these fluids can significantly impact your ride and put you in danger. Changing your fluids as your manufacturer recommends is another step you can take if you’re wondering how to avoid motorcycle accidents.
Check the Brakes
Inspecting and caring for your motorcycle’s brake system is integral to regular motorcycle maintenance. Keeping your brakes in working order can quite literally mean the difference between life and death on the road. Change your brake pads if there’s wear or as your manufacturer recommends. Additionally, check your brake lines to see if there are any signs of wear or aging. Riders wondering how to avoid motorcycle accidents shouldn’t try to wear their brake pads all the way down. This may result in them failing to stop while on the road.
How Often Should I Service My Motorcycle?
Every manufacturer has recommended schedules for routine motorcycle maintenance. You should follow this schedule to extend the life of your bike and minimize the chances of your bike causing an accident through mechanical malfunction. You should consider taking your bike in for maintenance if you haven’t used it in a while or have a long road trip planned. Additionally, you should have your motorcycle checked if you notice anything wrong or out of the ordinary with it.
Contact TonaLaw If You Are in a Motorcycle Accident
Taking these and other steps for motorcycle maintenance can help you avoid motorcycle accidents. However, you can perfectly maintain your bike and still get into an accident because negligent drivers are everywhere. If you’ve been in an accident on Long Island, contact our highly experienced personal injury attorneys at TonaLaw. We can help you fight for the compensation you deserve if a negligent driver has injured you. Contact us today at 833-TONALAW for a consultation.