April 2001 Safety Thoughts
by Dave Hansen, Safety Officer
Despite the weather outside today, as I write this, spring
riding season will be here very soon. What does this mean for us
seasonal riders of Michigan?
First of all, it means we'll need to get our bikes out from
winter storage. You should go down a checklist when you do this
to make sure everything's in shape for the riding season. Among
the things you'll want to check are:
- Electrical System - Make sure the battery fluid level is
correct, terminals connections are clean & tight, all
connectors are firmly seated, all lights & switches
are working and the horn still works.
- Tires & Wheels - Make sure you have good tread,
proper tire inflation pressures front & rear, no
loose spokes, no bent rims, no loose axle nuts.
- Brakes - Make sure fluid reservoirs are properly filled
with the correct type of brake fluid for your bike, pads
have adequate material, rotors are true and the brakes
apply firmly without any sponginess or lever sinking
(which would indicate a problem requiring service).
- Engine & Drivetrain - Make sure you have fresh engine
oil & filter, clean air filter and good gasoline in
the tank. Make sure the primary & secondary drive
tensions are set properly & the clutch is properly
adjusted. Inspect all clutch & throttle cables for
proper operation & actuation.
- General - Go over all attachment nuts & bolts to make
sure everything is generally tight & secure. This
includes mirrors, levers, tail light, head light &
turn signal assemblies, luggage rack, seat, sissy bar
mounts, shock absorber & front fork pinch bolts, etc.
Next, take a few minutes to sit your bike and review the
operation of the bike's controls. Locating & using the horn,
turn signals, high-low beam & kill switches need to be second
nature, operated properly, immediately, without looking. Mentally
re-familiarize yourself with your bike before
you gear up and head for the road.
Words of Safety