Motorcycle Driver’s Handbook

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Weekly motorcycle inspection

Read your owner’s manual and save it for future reference, should something go wrong with your motorcycle.

There is only one way to spot problems before they cause trouble. Inspect the motorcycle carefully and fix things right away. Earlier in this manual, we described checks that should be made each time you ride. Here are some things to check once each week:


Check the tread to make sure it is deep enough. You should have no less than 1.6 mm of tread depth left in any groove. Motorcycle tires normally have tread wear indicators in the tread grooves that help to determine whether tread depth is getting low. Once the indicators are level with the tread surface the tire should be replaced. Inadequate tread depth will greatly reduce your braking traction on wet roads. If the wear is uneven, have the wheels balanced and the alignment checked. Make sure the air pressure is correct, as many blowouts are due to low air pressure.

Also check for cuts, scrapes, exposed cord, abnormal bumps or bulges, or any other visible tread or sidewall defect.


Check both wheels for missing or loose spokes. Check the rims for cracks or dents. Lift the wheel off the ground and spin it. Watch its motion and listen for noise. Also move it from side to side to check for looseness.


Check the controls for smooth operation. Check the cables for kinks or broken strands. Lubricate the control mechanisms at the each end of the cable.

Chain and sprockets

Oil the chain and check for wear. Your owner’s manual will describe when and how to tighten a chain.

Shock absorbers

Does your motorcycle bounce several times after it crosses a bump? Do you hear a clunk? If so, your shock absorbers may need to be adjusted or replaced.


Check for loose or missing nuts, bolts or cotter pins. Normal vibration loosens parts. If you keep the motorcycle clean, it is easier to spot missing parts.


If you hear a scraping sound when you try to stop, or if the brakes feel spongy, have them serviced immediately.

Fluid levels

If your motorcycle has hydraulic brakes, check regularly that the fluid level is high enough.

Drive line

Chain breakage is very dangerous. Maintain the chain and replace it when necessary. Check for slack and lubrication.

Drive shaft

Check the fluid levels.


Modifying an exhaust system will create an excessively noisy vehicle that can be very annoying to the public. A motorcycle driver with an altered muffler may be guilty of an offence.


Rev: 2015