As a motorcyclist, you love the thrill of the ride. Even if it’s just a short ride to the grocery store, it’s better when you’re on a motorcycle.
Getting in a motorcycle accident is, obviously, not what you want to have happen. To help prevent accidents, the T-CLOCK checklist can help keep you safe. Each time you ride your motorcycle, you should make sure you and your bike are prepared for the journey. Whether it’s a long, cross-country trip or that quick run to the grocery store, safety is paramount.
Of course, accidents happen. Motorcycle accidents can leave you with serious bodily injuries and decreased financial health. A motorcycle accident lawyer can help. If you’re in Gillette, Casper, Cheyenne, Laramie, or another part of Wyoming and need help from a motorcycle accident lawyer, then Metier Law Firm is for you. Contact us today to schedule a risk-free consultation with an accident attorney.
Keep reading below to learn more about the T-CLOCK checklist to improve safety when you ride your motorcycle.
T: Tires, Wheels & Brakes
First things first: it’s time to check your tires and wheels. Be sure to look at the front and rear tires for all of these inspections.
- Condition: Check for tread depth, wear, weathering, bulges, embedded objects, and if the tire is evenly seated.
- Air pressure: Check the air pressure on your motorcycle’s front and rear tires when it’s cold. Be sure to adjust to load and speed.
- Spokes: Look for bent, missing, or broken spokes. Be sure to check at the top of the wheel. A “ring” sound is OK, but a “thud” means you have a loose spoke.
- Cast: Look for cracks and dents.
- Rims: Make sure your wheel is straight. Out of round/true = 5mm. Spin the wheel and index against a stationary pointer.
- Bearings: Grab the top and bottom of the tires and flex to check the bearings. Look for no freeplay (or click) between the hub and axle and no growl when spinning.
- Seals: Check for cracked seals, seals that are cut or torn, seals that have excessive grease on the outside, or seals that have a reddish-brown color around the outside.
- Make sure each brake alone keeps the bike from rolling.
- Check brake pads and discs for wear.
Next, you’ll want to check all of your controls to ensure they’re working properly. Controls can help you avoid accidents and ever needing a motorcycle accident attorney.
- Handlebars: Check that the bars are straight, turn freely, and that the handgrips and bar ends are secure.
- Levers and Pedal: Make sure nothing is broken, bent, or cracked. Ensure there’s a proper adjustment, everything mounts tight, and that the ball ends on the handlebar levers are there. You should also check lubrication to make sure everything pivots and operates correctly.
- Cables: Check the condition of the cables — are they fraying? Are there kinks? Do they need lubrication? Be sure to check the ends and interior. You should also check that there is no interference or pulling at the steering head, suspension is fine, there are no sharp angles, and that wire supports are in place.
- Hoses: How’s the condition of the hoses? Check for cuts, cracks, bulges, chafing, leaks, or other signs of deterioration. Again, check for interference or pulling at the steering head, the suspension, that there are no sharp angles, and that hose supports are in place.
- Throttle: Make sure your throttle moves freely, snaps closed, and that there is no revving when handlebars are turned.
L: Lights & Electrics
Most lights are hardwired to be on when the bike is on, and it’s state law to always use your headlights. This can prevent accidents and therefore prevent the need for a motorcycle injury attorney, but you should still check lights and electronics for your safety. Here is everything you should look for in this category:
- Battery: Check the condition of the terminals. Make sure the battery and terminals are clean and tight and that the battery is held down securely. Check the electrolyte level. Make sure the vent tube isn’t kinked or plugged and that it’s routed properly.
- Headlamp: Look for cracks and check the condition of the mounting and adjustment system. Be sure the aim of the headlamp is correct (height and right/left).
- Tail/brake lamp: Look for cracks and make sure the lamp is clean and tight. Check that it activates when you apply the front and rear brake.
- Turn signals: Make sure the front left, front right, rear left, and rear right flash correctly.
- Switches: Check that the engine cut-off, high/low beam, and turn signal all function correctly.
- Mirrors: Look for cracks and make sure your mirrors are clean. Check for tight mounts and swivel joints. When you’re seated on the bike, make sure the aim of the mirrors is adjusted correctly.
- Lenses & reflectors: Check for excessive condensation, make sure they’re securely mounted, and look for any parts that are cracked or broken.
- Wiring: How’s the condition of the wiring? Is there fraying or chafing? Is the insulation OK? Check the routing as well: look for no interference or pulling at the steering head or suspension, be sure the wire looms and ties are in place, and that the connectors are tight and clean.
O: Oil & Other Fluids
Your oil and other fluids help your motorcycle run well and prevent motorcycle accidents from happening. Though we’re motorcycle accident lawyers, we’re also avid motorcyclists, and know just how important it is to make sure all fluids are keeping your bike in working condition.
- Engine oil: Use a dipstick or the sight glass and check warm on the center stand on level ground.
- Gear oil, shaft drive: Check the transmission, rear drive, and shaft.
- Hydraulic fluid: Check the brakes, clutch, and reservoir or sight glass.
- Coolant: Check this only when cool. Look at the reservoir and/or coolant recovery tank.
- Fuel: Use the tank or gauge to check the fuel.
- Engine oil: Look at the gaskets, housings, and seals.
- Gear oil, shaft drive: Look at the gaskets, seals, and breathers.
- Hydraulic fluid: Check the hoses, master cylinders, and calipers.
- Coolant: Evaluate the radiator, hoses, tanks, fittings, and pipes.
- Fuel: Look into the lines, fuel valve, and carbs.
The chassis is the base frame of your motorcycle, and it’s essential to how well your motorcycle runs and operates (and how well you’ll be able to avoid motorcycle accidents).
- Frame: How’s the condition of the frame? Check for cracks at gussets, look at the accessory mounts, and look for paint lifting in any areas. Raise the front wheel and check for play by pulling and pushing the forks. Raise the rear wheel and check for play by pushing and pulling the swingarm.
- Suspension: Check the forks for smooth travel and equal air pressure/damping anti-dive settings. You should also check the shock(s) for smooth travel, equal pre-load/air pressure/damping settings, and free, lubricated linkage movement. Be sure to check on the left and ride side.
- Chain or belt: Check the tension at the tightest point. Check the lubrication when the side plates are hot (do not lubricate belts!). Check that the teeth are not hooked and that the sprockets are securely mounted.
- Fasteners: Look for broken or missing clips and cotter pins. Be sure the threaded fastener is tight and isn’t missing any nuts or bolts.
And, last but not least, it’s time to check the kickstand. The kickstand on your motorcycle should never be underestimated.
- Condition: Be sure the center stand and side stand are in good condition. They shouldn’t be bent or have any cracks.
- Retention: Both the center stand and the side stand should spring into place and have enough tension to hold the position.
Work With A Wyoming Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today
There are a variety of causes of motorcycle accidents. From reckless driving to bad weather, excessive speed, and defective parts, there’s a lot that could go wrong. By going through the T-CLOCK checklist regularly — whether you ride often or are just getting back into it — will help your bike be in good condition so you can prevent and minimize the chances of accidents.
When an accident does happen, you need a motorcycle accident lawyer on your side. By doing so, you can ensure you have the best chance of short- and long-term recovery. Here at Metier Law Firm, our motorcycle injury attorneys have the experience, expertise, and passion you’re looking for.
Insurance companies will not treat you fairly. Indeed, they have teams of lawyers who are looking to get you the least amount of compensation possible for your injuries. Our team of motorcycle accident lawyers, on the other hand, will work tirelessly to get you your deserved compensation. We have an unwavering commitment to aggressively protecting the rights of motorcyclists. If you’re in Gillette, Casper, Cheyenne, or Laramie, then contact us today to schedule a risk-free consultation with a motorcycle accident lawyer. Let Metier Law Firm help you get back on your feet — and back on the road — again.