Motorcycle maintenance is key!

Basic Motorcycle Maintanence and Inspection

Shari Ives Instruction, Safety Tips

I know here in New Jersey there is no motorcycle inspection at MVC anymore. That law went into effect in 2011. I never understood why I had to bring my bike to someone who doesn’t ride look it over and inspect it. What could he be looking for that would keep me safe? Would he get on it and try out the brakes? Does he care if my lights are shining where they are supposed to? No to all of that. They asked for you to turn your key on, horn, lights (high and low beam), brake lights (front and rear), and if you had the 31″ squares of reflective tape on your helmet. That’s what inspection was here in NJ.

Now its up to you to do a Pre-Ride Inspection on your bike before you ride that day – every day. It is easy to do and if you take the 5 minutes to check before you head out, it could save you hours of time on the side of the road waiting for tow. Here is an easy way to remember what to look for:


It stands for:

T= Tires and wheels Check the air pressure – which you find on the frame, owners manual or google it. It is not what is on the tire. Look at the tread for cracks, loose spokes, brakes and brake pads.

C= Controls Make sure the levers are working smoothly, check to make sure that all switches work, look at all your cables (clutch,throttle,brake) make sure they are connected. Make sure the throttle works well by making sure it snaps back.

L= Lights and Electrics  Turn your key on and make sure your indicators are working (turn signals, hi/lo beams, brake lights)

O=Oils and Other Fluids  Check the levels such as oil and brake, if there is a window. Also, look under the bike. See if there is any oil or other fluids on the floor. That is an easy way to spot potential trouble and you don’t need to be a mechanic to do that.

C= Chasis  Look at the suspension and drivetrain. It’s either a belt and chain or shaft drive.

S=Stand  Make sure your side stand/ kickstand is working properly. If the spring or anything fails, how will you stop and get off? Guess you would have to look at the video I posted on how to pick up your bike.

I hope this was helpful and you don’t need to be a mechanic to do this checklist. Print it out so you can refer to it until you get into a routine.

That’s all for today! Remember to like us on Facebook and subscribe here so you don’t miss our safety tips!

Want to learn to ride a motorcycle in a fun and safe environment? Head on over to The Riding Center.