Lockdown threw something of a spanner in the works, keeping us all indoors just as the weather improved and the biking season would have started. As lockdown lifts, it’s understandable to want to get out there and rediscover your freedom, but there are a few checks you should do first:
External Motorbike Checks
Check for rust on your motorcycle
Particularly if you live near the sea, your motorcycle could be prone to rust. Being relatively exposed vehicles with many motorcycle components coming into contact with the ambient environment, rust can affect your exhaust system and even some of the metals connecting various parts together. As rust weakens the metal, be sure to thoroughly check your bike over to ensure it is in tip top shape.
Check your bike has all its parts
Motorbikes can unfortunately be targeted for their relatively easy accessibility to valuable parts. Check that everything is as you left it and if you suspect foul play, call 101 to report it.
Clean your motorbike
With motorcycles struggling for visibility on the roads at the best of times, ensure that your bike is clean to maximise the visibility of registration plates, mirrors, paintwork and lights. If you have an older bike, you might want to use a cutting compound on the inside of your headlights to add some clarity and increase your visibility on the road.
Check your tyres
We were bound to mention this one, but we are serious. Your tyres can deflate faster when not in use as there is no heat cycle working the air inside your tyres or the rubber on the outside. Ensure your tyres are inflated to manufacturer-recommended pressures, and ensure you have plenty of tread for optimal water dispersal should an unexpected downpour hit.
Check your motorbike can start
Thankfully, bikes are a little easier to jump-start than cars, but it’s still a good idea to make sure your motorcycle starts and that the battery charges before you use your bike for commuting or a longer journey. If your bike struggled to start, it’s worth taking it for a ride (once you’ve completed the other items on this checklist) for at least an hour to enable the full recharge of your battery.
Check your lights all work
Check that your normal running lights, your main beam, your brake lights and your indicators/hazards all work as they should.
Check your riding gear
It might be a while since you last wore them, so check your gloves, helmet, leathers and boots are all in good condition, fit well and are comfortable to wear before venturing out on your motorbike.
If you are unsure about the safety of your motorcycle, take it to your local dealer or bike mechanic. Our checklist is not exhaustive, but it’s a good starting point to get you on the road to freedom, safely, once again.
Want to learn more about motorcycle tyre safety? Read our guide here.