How to Get Ready for Motorcycle Season in 2021
With the weather starting to warm up here in southern California, we are sure our motorcyclists are already itching for motorcycle riding season.
Last year we connected with one of our favorite content creators on YouTube, DanDanTheFireman. In addition to creating amazing video content, Dan is a Firefighter and EMT. He gave us the lowdown on how he gears up for riding season, and we want to pass his expert advice to anyone that’s getting ready for the new motorcycle riding season. We've expanded the list from last year, so make sure you check it out before you head out for your first ride this season.
Start with your standard pre-ride check.
“Prior to riding your motorcycle, I will always suggest doing a pre-ride check," says Daniel. "The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has a great list for you to check prior to every ride, but I want to go one step further.”
This list by the Motorcycle Safety Inspection is one of the most thorough you can find, and it even comes as a PDF for easy printing. It goes through T-CLOCS, which is an acronym for the procedure to follow when completing your regular motorcycle inspection.
Here are some of the areas you must inspect before getting back on the road after a season. Download the full T-CLOCS Inspection List here.
T – Tires and Wheels
Inspect the condition of both front and rear tires. Be especially mindful of tread depth, wear, and weathering.
Use a tire pressure gauge to check air pressure. Remember to check in cold temperatures.
Inspect spokes, cast, and wheel seals for any cracks or dents.
Check brake pads and discs for wear
C – Controls
Inspect the condition of handlebars, levers and pedal, cables, and hoses for any cracks, fraying, or bent parts.
Make sure pivots are lubricated.
For both cables and hoses, check the routing - ensure there’s no interference or pulling at the steering head.
L – Lights and Electrics
For your headlamp, tail lamp, mirrors, lenses and reflectors, check for any cracks or brakes.
Ensure terminals are in good condition and that everything is clean, tight, and held down securely
Check turn signals for operation
Make sure your tail lamp still activates when you apply front and rear brake
Check the condition of all wiring for any frays or chafing
O – Oil and Other Fluids
Inspect the levels for all fluids, including engine oil, gear oil, hydraulic fluid, coolant and fuel
Inspect the above for any leaks
C – Chassis
Check the condition of the frame for any cracks at gussets or accessory mounts
Inspect suspension at both front forks and rear shocks
Inspect the tension of your chain or belt
Make sure fasteners are tight
S – Stands
Check center stand and side stand for any cracks or bends
Make sure springs are still in place and holding retention
Note: This is just a breakdown of the acronym. The actual list is much more detailed. For the complete list, visit this page.
Make sure you have all FIVE pieces of protective gear
“Wear a DOT full-face motorcycle helmet, jacket, pants, boots, and gloves,” says Daniel.
DOT stands for Department of Transport FMVSS No. 218 safety compliance testing for motorcycle helmets. Simply put, any DOT helmet meets the national standards for impact protection.
Depending on where you stored your gear during the offseason, it may show some age or wear. Check for any holes or cracks in your gear before going out for your first ride. Always choose motorcycle-specific gear, which will ensure it’s built specifically to protect the most prone areas. Wear your gear for every ride, no matter how long or how short.
Double-check your gear
Dan’s next tip is to double check your gear: “I want you to double-check your gear prior to putting it on. As a Firefighter, we would double-check each other’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) before a fire. I continue that habit with motorcycle protective gear…Beyond that, make sure your safety gear isn’t ripped/torn, and don’t forget to secure your helmet after putting it on!"
Daniel made a 4-minute video that highlights the five motorcycle pre-ride checks you need to do. Check it out below:
Take your first ride nice and easy
Lastly, Daniel recommends everyone, from motorcycle beginners to so-called experts, ease back into riding. He said, “After you made sure your motorcycle is in top shape, and you have checked all your safety gear, my best tip is for you to take your first dozen or so miles nice and easy. After a break, your mental and physical riding skills have deteriorated."
This is an excellent tip that we cannot emphasize enough. Use the first miles back on the road to reacquaint yourself with the feel of your bike. You’ll be using some muscles and joints that likely haven’t been exercised in the same way during the offseason. It should all come back to you fairly easy, but stay cautious for the first several miles.
Gear up with Rokform
Make sure you have all the right accessories to stay connected while you ride. Choose from four different motorcycle mounts with full adjustability, so you can mount it to the spot that works best for your motorcycle. Made from CNC machined aircraft grade aluminum, the quality of our motorcycle mounts are the best you’ll find. Built to be sleek, yet discreet, if you haven’t picked one up yet, you will be floored by how seamless they look on any frame.
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Learn the core fundamentals with DanDanTheFireman
On Daniel's YouTube channel, he focuses on keeping these skills sharp by creating helpful videos on the core fundamentals.
- Predict The Hazard Through Situational Awareness
- Avoid The Hazard Through Emergency Evasive Skills
- Minimize Injury By Wearing Safety Gear If You Crash
- Treat The Injury Through Bystander Medical Training
If you would like to learn these core fundamentals, swing by his YouTube channel to view regularly posted content receive motorcycle training tips.
How are you getting ready for riding season? Let us know in the comments below!
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