Motorcycle Driver’s Handbook

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Daily motorcycle check

With a little experience, you will become familiar with the motor cycle controls.

If there’s anything wrong with the motorcycle, the time to find out about it is before you are in traffic.

Here are the things you should check before every ride. Take a look at the critical parts of your bike before starting out.


You have only two tires so you must keep them in good condition. Check for:

  1. Inflation
    The motorcycle does not handle properly if the air pressure is too low or too high. Check the owner’s manual for the right amount of air.
  2. Tread
    Worn or uneven tread can affect the handling of the motorcycle, particularly on wet pavement. Once the centre wear bar is exposed, you have minimal tread left. The tire must be replaced.
  3. Damage
    Check for cuts or nails stuck in the tread. Also, check the sidewalls for cracks. A blowout on a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous


The controls are mounted on the handlebars. Make sure your controls work before you start out.


Try the front and rear brakes one at a time. Make sure each one holds the motorcycle when it is fully applied.

Clutch and throttle

Make sure the controls work smoothly. The throttle should snap back when you let go.


Check the cables for kinks or broken strands. If a cable breaks while you are riding, it could cause a crash.


Don’t put your faith in lights that may not work. Keep them clean and check them regularly.

Turn signals

Check all four turn signal lights. Make sure they flash when they are turned on and are bright enough to be seen.


Check your headlight. In daytime, pass your hand in front of the beam to make sure the headlight is really on. Try your dimmer switch to make sure both high and low beams work.

Tail and brake light

Try each of your brake controls and make sure that each one activates your brake light.


Try the horn to be sure it will work if you need it!

Gas and oil

Check gas and oil levels before you start. Running out of gas is inconvenient, and can also be dangerous if it happens where you cannot get off the road quickly. You can check the oil through the oil level window or on your dip stick.

Lack of oil can cause your engine to seize. This could lock the rear wheel and make you lose control.


Clean and adjust both mirrors before you start. It is difficult - and dangerous - to ride with one hand while you adjust a mirror.

Swing your mirrors out far enough to see around your body. Adjust each mirror to show half the lane behind you and as much as possible of the lane beside you.


Rev: 2015