The Motorcycle Pre-Ride Checklist You Should Be Following  

  • Wednesday, June 17, 2015
  • by Mary Panerio

It doesn’t matter how ready you are to get out and ride; if your bike isn’t ready, you could end up stuck in your garage, stranded on the side of the road or in a world of hurt. Luckily, a few quick motorcycle maintenance checks can go a long way in making sure every ride you take is safe, comfortable and gets you home in one piece. Want to know what tasks need to be on your motorcycle pre-ride checklist? Then let master technician Bob LaRosa of Fix My Hog show you in this video! 

(If you want to skip straight to the video, just scroll to the bottom.)    

1. Make sure your fluids are fresh and full.

Be sure to check the following:
√ Oil
√ Transmission Fluid
√ Primary Fluid
√ Brake Fluid
√ Any other fluids involved in the operation of your motorcycle

2. Make sure your battery has adequate voltage.

There’s nothing worse than gathering a group to go for a ride and being the only one whose motorcycle won’t start. Pro Tip: Use a battery maintainer or take your battery out and store it in a warm area on a trickle charger. 

3. Check all your brakes for proper function.

What you’re looking for is a firm pedal and lever feel. In addition, you should occasionally use a flashlight to check for even pad thickness. Check the inside, outside, front and rear.

4. Make sure your filters are fresh.

Don’t let your filters run until they’re filthy. The old adage “wait till it breaks to fix it” should not apply with your air and oil filters.

5. Check your tire pressure.

Check your manual to see what the proper rating is for your bike. Inflating to proper tire pressure will help you maintain the life of your tire.

6. Make sure your windshield is clean.

Use a clean, soft cloth and look for a cleaning product with a label that indicates it can be used on acrylic.

7. Check for proper foot peg operation.

A loose foot peg could fall off and hit another rider behind you when you’re out riding in a pack.

8. Make sure your seat is secure and comfortable. 

Don’t just consider yourself; think of your passenger too! When your passenger is uncomfortable, their constant readjustment can cause the motorcycle to shake as it travels down the road. When this happens, those around you may get nervous and send you all the way at the back of the pack.

9. Complete a full electrical check.


Be sure to check the following:
√ High beams
√ Low beams
√ Turn signals (L and R)
√ Running lights (front and rear)
√ Brake lights (hand and break levers)

For the full motorcycle pre-ride checklist including maintenance and packing tips, check out this video featuring Bob LaRosa from Fix My Hog.

Have any other pre-ride maintenance suggestions you abide by or has forgetting to follow these motorcycle maintenance tips ever gotten you in trouble while out on a ride? Tell us in the comments below!

About Fix My Hog
Fix My Hog is dedicated to people who love motorcycles but don’t know what to do with a wrench. The website contains an extensive collection of high-quality Harley-Davidson motorcycle maintenance and repair and videos presented by master HD Technician Bob LaRosa. Learn more about Fix My Hog here.

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