Be Smart. Be Safe.
Riding motorcycles have been the cool thing to do for a long time and maybe you are just beginning to ride and you want to make sure you do it right. Well, you are reading the right article! Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience but there needs to be a reverence and respect for the power that you have when riding your bike. Vehicles have radically increased in power and speed over the past decades. They also have increased dramatically in safety but this does not mean that we are invincible on the road. This is especially the case when motorcycles don’t have a large metal cage to protect you from accidents along with all the other safety precautions that a car has over a bike. All the more reason you need to be safe on your bike. You don’t want to be a tragic story on the news so please drive safe.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation was nice enough to come up with a great acronym to you keep safe. It is a simple checklist to go through before you hit the open road. I’ll share each word to the acronym and why it is important to check each of these in terms of road safety. This is the first article in a three part series which explains T-CLOCS. Each article will explain two of the letters of this acronym. The acronym that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation uses is T-CLOCS which stands for:
T – Tires & Wheels
C – Controls (This includes any levers, pedal, cables, hoses & your throttle)
L – Lights (headlights, turn signals, mirrors, battery and any other light your bike might have)
O – Oil (fluid levels)
C – Chassis (your frame, your suspension, your chain, etc.)
S – Stands (center stand and/or kickstand)
Tires & Wheels- It is crucial to keep checking your tires. It is beneficial for your gas mileage to check the air in your tire. The better you take care of your tires, the better they will serve you. Also it is good to know where you are going and how long you’ll be on the road so that you’ll know the condition of your tires. They recommend changing your tires between 8,000 miles to 12,000 miles to stay safe. You don’t want to be stuck on the road with a popped tire. You also have to take into account how hard you are riding. If you are all in and hit the road at a heavy pace and very consistently then you are going to want to be checking more frequently.
Controls – This one will be more obvious to check because these are what make your bike run properly. Check and make sure that everything that is connected to a cable works properly. Make sure everything is working smoothly because don’t want anything caught up. For the brakes, push the bike in each direction and use both brakes to make sure they are working properly. Make sure the when it brakes, that it is firm and not lose at all. You can also test it out as soon as you get on the road to make sure it is road worthy. Also, make sure you check your throttle that it seems firm in its position and it isn’t in a loose position where it could be snapped which can leave you on the side of the road.
Make sure all your motorcycle parts are working correctly and if you are looking for parts there are great websites that sell Yamaha Parts, Honda Parts, Harley Part etc… Online is a great way to shop for bikes.
I will be addressing the rest of the explanation of T-CLOCS in “Motorcycle Beginning Saftey: Lights & Oil” and in “Motorcycle Beginning Safety: Chassis and Stands”