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Do you check the condition of your motorcycle before you ride?

Statistically, motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely than car occupants to die in a collision. This is largely because motorcycles offer less structural protection than a car or truck offers.

Because crashes are so dangerous for motorcyclists, you want to take measures to prevent being involved in a collision. Motorcycle crashes are often caused by a combination of human, vehicle and environmental factors. Vehicle factors are the easiest for you to control.

Catch motorcycle malfunctions before riding

Motorcycles can malfunction and wear and tear is normal. If your bike breaks down during a ride, you could lose control of it and end up badly injured in a motorcycle spill or collision. However, you can help prevent such a mishap thoroughly inspecting your motorcycle before and after each ride.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers a complete safety checklist that you can use for this purpose. The T-CLOCS Inspection Checklist covers all major systems of your motorcycle:

  • Tires and wheels
  • Controls
  • Lights and electronics
  • Oil and other fluids
  • Chassis
  • Stands

The T-CLOCS checklist advises what to check and specifically what to look for to discover to signs of dangerous wear or stress on the components of your motorcycle. Often wear and stress will manifest as cracks, lifting paint or fraying. The checklist also instructs you to look for other types of damaged or missing parts.

Completing a motorcycle inspection before each ride (ideally) or at least once a month can help you determine when your machine is unsafe to ride. Completing the inspection again after a ride can allow you to repair any problems before your next ride. Inspecting your motorcycle will probably cost you a few minutes before and after each trip, but it's time well spent if it prevents a potentially dangerous collision.

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