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25Jul2018

Motorcycle Safety Maintenance Checklist

by James Holliday, posted in Florida Vehicle Accidents

All car accidents are frightening. Any type of crash can cause painful and expensive injuries. However, when motorcycles collide with cars, the results can be especially devastating.

Unfortunately, in most cases, motorcyclists can do little to prevent these crashes. They happen because of the negligence of car drivers. Still, motorcyclists can take steps that will greatly improve their safety and cut down on their risk of injury. Motorcycle maintenance is one of those steps. Here, we provide some basic tips about properly inspecting your motorcycle and keeping it in good, safe condition.

Even the safest motorcycle riders cannot control what others do. If a careless or reckless driver recently hit you on your motorcycle in North Tampa, Lutz, Brooksville, Spring Hill or a nearby area in Florida, contact Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, and allow us to put more than 50 years of collective legal experience on your side. We know how motorcycle accidents happen and how to seek maximum compensation for victims and their families.  We can provide a free consultation today.

What You Should Do Before Each Ride

Motorcycle maintenance is about more than making frequent repairs. It also requires you to make regular inspections of your bike. In fact, you should inspect some parts of your bike every time you go for a ride. You can expect many other parts of your motorcycle every few months or once a year.

Now that summer is here, it can be tempting for many bikers to skip an inspection in favor of taking a ride right away. However, bikers are encouraged to take a few precautionary steps before each ride, including:

  • Check the lights, brakes and indicators
  • Inspect the chain tension and lubrication
  • Check out the control cables
  • Look at the tires for wear and tear as well as for cuts, cracks or bulges
  • Test your tire pressure
  • Make sure the battery is fully charged.

If you take these measures, it will give you peace of mind that comes with knowing that balding tires, faulty brakes or broken lights won’t cause or contribute to an accident.

What to Address as the Seasons Change

Motorcycle riding can be difficult – if not impossible – during the winter months, even in vacation areas like Florida. For this reason, many bikers place their motorcycles in storage during the colder months and wait until the roads have been cleaned up and the weather has improved enough before they get back out on the road. However, before you take this step, you should consider tackling the following tasks:

  • Drain and replace fuel using a siphon pump and gas container
  • Charge or replace the battery
  • Perform an oil change and replace the filter
  • Inspect the tires by keeping an eye out for bald spots, sidewall bubbles or other damage
  • Check brake fluids and coolants, which could have leaked during the offseason.

Although performing this type of maintenance does not guarantee that a rider won’t be involved in a motorcycle accident, it can play an important role in preventing single-motorcycle crashes.

Tasks that Bikers Should Complete Every Year

All motorcycle manufacturers have specific instructions when it comes to maintaining a specific brand or model of motorcycle. Similarly, owner’s manuals differ depending on the type of motorcycle a person. A motorcycle’s age and mileage can also play roles.

Generally speaking, however, most motorcycle owners should do the following at least once per year:

  • Change the oil and filter
  • Inspect the steering head bearings
  • Replace coolant and transmission oil
  • Inspect spark plugs and valves for cracks, corrosion or deterioration
  • Inspect and adjust the carburetor or throttle body
  • Inspect and adjust fuel lines and clamps
  • Inspect, clean or replace the air filter
  • Inspect rear shocks for leaks or worn bushings
  • Inspect and replace brake pads and brake fluid
  • Check for leaks in brake calipers and hoses
  • Inspect and adjust wheel spokes, bearings and alignments
  • Replace worn or damaged tires
  • Visually inspect the engine and frame bolts
  • Inspect the operation of the lights and battery.

Taking these steps can keep a bike from suddenly breaking down in the middle of the road, which would put both riders and other motorists at risk of serious injury.

What To Do If You Own a Motorcycle for More Than One Year

Motorcycles provide a means of saving gas during long commutes. They also give riders a way to enjoy local scenery and travel the country. They are an important investment. So, Florida riders who own their own motorcycles are strongly encouraged to perform routine maintenance as this can keep a motorcycle operating smoothly for years to come. The best way to ensure that a motorcycle is kept in tip top condition is to follow these suggestions offered by Motorcycle Cruiser:

  • Repack the steering head bearings with grease every two to four years
  • Inspect or replace the brake lines, fuel lines and radiator hoses every four years
  • Inspect and change coolant hoses every two years
  • Replace the air and fuel filters
  • Check the brake levers
  • Examine both the front and rear brake pads
  • Replace brake fluid
  • Service the air injection and evaporative systems.

Most manufacturers recommend that motorcyclists perform these tasks at least every two years or every 12,000 miles, whichever comes first.

Get Help from an Experienced Tampa Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Ensuring that a motorcycle is properly maintained is one of the best ways to prevent motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, even those who keep their bikes in good condition and are careful to comply with all traffic laws can be injured in an accident if another driver is careless. When this happens, having the advice and representation of an experienced attorney can make all the difference in the success or failure of a case.

For help filing your own claim against the at-fault driver who caused your own motorcycle accident, contact one of the dedicated motorcycle accident attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm. Our initial consultations are always free.

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