7 Tips for New Motorcycle Riders to Keep You Safe on the Road

Rev up your ride and keep it running smoothly! Discover the must-know tips for new motorcycle riders, and even experienced ones, to ensure essential motorcycle maintenance.

photo of ryne working on a motorcycle for a story about tips for new motorcycle riders

Essential Motorcycle Maintenance for New Riders

Imagine you’re cruising down the open road on your motorcycle, feeling the wind in your hair and the thrill of the ride. But before you embark on this exhilarating journey, there’s one crucial thing you need to know: Is your bike road-worthy?

We’ll guide you through the ins and outs of keeping your bike in tip-top shape no matter what your riding skills are. From tire inspections to fluid checks, clutch examinations to brake system inspections, we’ve got you covered.

So, grab your helmet and let’s get started on the path to a smooth and safe ride. And, if you have any bad habits when it comes to maintaining or inspecting your bike, I hope you replace them with better habits.

1. Check Your Tires

Check the wear pattern of your front tire and rear tire to identify any signs of underinflation, such as scalloping in the middle and excessive wear on the edges. It’s important to regularly inspect your tires because underinflation can lead to reduced tread life and unsafe riding conditions.

If you notice bald sections on the tire, it indicates severe underinflation and you should replace the tires to ensure your safety. Underinflated tires not only compromise your grip on the road but also affect your bike’s handling and braking ability.

2. Check Your Oil

Ensure you locate the oil sight glass on the engine case to check the oil level. It should be between the high and low marks. This is a crucial step in brake fluid inspection for your motorcycle.

The oil sight glass is typically located on the side of the engine and allows you to visually check the oil level without having to open the engine case. It is important to ensure that the oil level is within the recommended range, as both excessive oil level and low oil level can cause engine problems.

Maintaining the proper oil level will help ensure optimal performance and prevent any potential damage to your engine.

Make it a habit to check the oil regularly to keep your motorcycle running smoothly.

3. Inspect Your Headlight, Brake Lights, and Turn Signals

To ensure proper visibility and safety on the road, make sure your headlight is functioning correctly and illuminating your path. The headlight is an essential component of your motorcycle, allowing you to see and be seen by other drivers.

Start by confirming that the headlight turns on and functions properly. Test both the front and rear turn signals to ensure they are working as well. Additionally, check the brake lights by holding a hand behind the lights or backing your bike up to a garage door or wall so you can determine if they are working by looking for a reflection.

It is crucial to ensure that all lights are functioning correctly to enhance visibility and safety. If any bulbs are burned out or there are issues with the lights or signals, replace them or fix the problem before riding.

4. Inspect the Brake System

Check the firmness of both the front brake lever and rear pedal to ensure proper brake pressure and effective stopping power.

Squeeze the front brake lever firmly and feel for any sponginess or excessive travel. If the lever feels soft or lacks resistance, it may indicate air in the brake lines or low brake fluid. In this case, it is important to bleed the brakes or top off the fluid to maintain safe braking performance.

Similarly, press down on the rear pedal with your foot and check for any abnormalities. A mushy or unresponsive pedal may indicate the need for brake fluid replacement or adjustment.

5. Check Your Front Forks for Fluid and Debris

Make sure you inspect the front forks for cleanliness and absence of fluid to ensure proper braking performance and avoid potential hazards. Fluid on the forks could indicate leaking fork seals, which can lead to braking issues.

If there is any fluid present, clean the forks and consider replacing the fork seals to prevent fluid contamination on the brakes and rotor, maintaining optimal braking ability.

6. Inspect Your Chain

When it comes to keeping your chain in good condition, there are a few important steps to follow. First, make sure that your chain is properly adjusted. This can be done by referring to your service manual or looking for a sticker on your bike that indicates the correct chain adjustment distance.

Typically, this measurement is taken from the bottom of the swing arm to the middle of the chain. Most bikes can be checked on the side stand, although some may require the bike to be on the center stand or upright.

Next, it’s crucial to ensure that your chain is adequately lubricated. Neglecting to do so can result in excessive wear on the gearbox and wreak havoc on your bike’s performance. Avoid riding with a chain that is too tight, as this can put unnecessary pressure on the gearbox. Conversely, a loose chain can cause it to bounce off the swing arm and potentially damage it.

Keeping your chain properly adjusted and lubricated is key to preventing costly repairs and maintaining your bike’s performance.

7. Regular Maintenance and Servicing is Important for Your Motorcycle

Be diligent in maintaining your bike. Look out for potential issues before they happen, when they are easier and less costly to deal with.

Follow the recommended maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer to keep your bike in optimal condition. Regular maintenance and servicing are essential for the longevity and performance of your motorcycle.

It is crucial to change the engine oil and filter at specified intervals to keep the engine running smoothly. Additionally, inspect and replace air filters as needed to ensure optimal engine performance.

Checking and adjusting tire pressure regularly is important for proper traction and handling. Don’t forget to schedule periodic inspections and servicing with a qualified mechanic to address any potential issues before they become major problems.

Does Your Motorcycle Need More Attention?

We hope you find our articles helpful. If you are in the Columbus, Ohio, area and are looking to have your motorcycle repaired or service, we would appreciate you checking out Richardson Motoworks. We provide a premier concierge service: Schedule a time, and we will pick up your bike and drop it off when finished. We know you have a hectic and busy life. We’ll make maintaining a well-running motorcycle easier for you.

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