If you’re a rider you’ve probably heard of the T-CLOCS checklist, but if you’re new to motorcycling or need a quick refresher, we’ve got your back. The T-CLOCS method was created by our friends over at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). This checklist should be followed before every ride to make sure your bike is in good working order and is safe to take out on the road. To help you remember what to check on your bike, the MSF came up with an acronym to help you out – T-CLOCS. Let’s break down what each letter stands for and what you should keep an eye out for before you take your next ride.
T – Tires and Wheels
You’ll want to take a good look at both your tires and wheels to make sure they are in good condition before taking your motorcycle for a ride. Make sure your tires are in tip-top shape, paying special attention to any wear, weathering, bulges, and embedded objects. Don’t forget to check your air pressure as well, keeping in mind that you might need to make adjustments in colder weather. As for the wheels themselves, check the spokes, cast, rims, bearings, and seals; and last but not least, take a look at your brakes to determine function and condition.
C – Controls
Now it’s time to check the controls thoroughly. Examine the handlebars for any bending, and make sure your levers and pedals are in good condition and lubricated. Take a quick look at your cables to make sure there’s no fraying. You’ll also want to make sure your hoses are cut and crack free, and that your throttle moves freely.
L – Lights and Electrics
Examining your lights and electrics is a crucial part of the inspection. You should check your battery condition and the vent tube to make sure it isn’t kinked or routed incorrectly. Inspect your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals as these are all important components for safe driving. Don’t forget to also take a look at your switches, mirrors, and reflectors. You want to be seen out on the road, that’s why checking your lighting is so critical.
O – Oil and Other Fluids
To avoid being stranded out on the road, check your gas and oil levels before each ride. When you’re walking around your bike, we also suggest taking a good look for any leaks that your motorcycle might have.
C – Chassis
Make sure your bike feels just right before you ride. This means checking to see if your suspension feels normal. You’ll also need to examine the frame of your bike as well as the chain/belt, and make sure all nuts and bolts are properly tightened.
S – Stand
Last but not least, inspect your center stand or side stand for any cracks or bending and make sure the springs are sturdy to keep your motorcycle in place.