Top Tips To Ensure Your Motorcycle is Safe All Year Long
Motorcycles, like cars need to be maintained properly to ensure that they are able to operate safely. However, because you have less protection wrapped around you, in many ways proper maintenance is even more important for bikers since there is far less margin for error when something goes wrong. Sometimes it's your fault. Other times it's the other motorist's or vehicle’s fault. The US government estimates that the number of deaths on motorcycles was over 27 times the number in cars, per mile traveled in 2014.Being prepared for the worst means that if you are in an accident, you will be better able to manage the fallout.
Always Operate Your Bike Safely and to Your Skill Level
Making sure that your bike is properly maintained is the number one thing - aside from operator-related issues - that you can do to ensure you are able to enjoy the sport safely. However, that doesn't mean that the operate can be reckless. It is critical that you follow the law and if you aren't comfortable driving at night or splitting lanes on a busy highway then don't do it. While it's important to have your insurance company information handy and know of a good motorcycle accident trial lawyer, you still need to make sure your equipment is in great condition too.
Go in for yearly tune-ups
Same as with cars, motorcycles need a yearly tune up from a bike shop or a specialized mechanic. They will give your bike a professional check of the motor, body, and tires. Even if you consider yourself a knowledgeable biker, don't neglect these annual reviews. You might be missing something essential.
Check tires weekly
You know that you should bring your bike in every year for an annual checkup, but does that mean you can forego all other maintenance? Nope. Ideally, you should be doing a check of your tires before every ride, or at least every week. Give your tires a once-over for nicks that could cause a blowout. Also keep an eye out for which side of the tire is getting worn out faster and switch them around accordingly.
Change the engine oil every 3,000 miles
Engine oil acts as a lubricant, reduces noise, keeps parts of the engine cool, and seals pistons. The consistency of the oil needs to be checked regularly and changed at least every 3,000 miles. If the oil thickens too much, it cannot do its job of acting as a lubricant. Keep an eye on the oil level, as well as if it starts to look too thick or too thin.
Maintain the chain
The chain gets power from the engine and transfers it to the rear wheel. A chain that has issues can cause your motorcycle to malfunction and is a common source of accidents. Visually inspect your bike's chain to make sure that the tension of the chain is not too tight or too slack. Your bike's manual should provide an explanation on how to adjust chain tension levels. The chain should also be lubricated to ensure smooth running.
Keep an eye on the brake pads
Functioning brake pads can mean the difference between an accident or a near-accident. Some sites recommend changing them every 20,000 to 60,000 miles. But this also depends on your driving environment. If you drive in a hilly location, then you should check your brakes more frequently. You should also be visually inspecting your brake pads. Do not let them become thinner than a third of an inch, or one millimeter. When they close in on those numbers, you know it's time to replace them.
Don't forget about the batteries
Because they can be difficult to access, batteries often get ignored. That is, until they've caused trouble. Find out what type of battery your bike has. Conventional batteries need to be regularly recharged with electrolytes in distilled water. When a battery's level is allowed to decrease too much, it reduces the battery's capacity and could kill the battery entirely. Read up in your owner's manual what type of battery your motorcycle has and how to properly care for it.
While motorbike deaths had been declining during the 1980s and early 90s, they began to increase from 1998 onwards through to 2008. In 2015, the last year for which motorcycle death stats are available, the number of motorcyclists who died in crashes was 4,976. Stay safe by keeping your motorcycle road worthy. So if an accident does occur, you will know that your bike wasn't too blame.
- Written by James Hills
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