As winter looms, the chances to ride in good weather grow slimmer. But it is not too cold, yet, so you decide to hop on your motorcycle and take a ride around your beautiful city of Knoxville.

As a motorcycle rider, you are more apt to be in an accident than those driving or riding in cars. No matter whether you are a newbie or an experienced driver, you should always check your bike’s condition before you head out on the road.

Your motorcycle safety checklist

If you are new to the world of motorcycles, you may want to have a checklist handy. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has one to help you remember. Once you become more familiar with your bike, you may not need the list.

  1. Tires. Common sense says that if the tires do not work, you are not going anywhere. Check your air pressure with an air gauge. You can find the PSI on the tire’s sidewall. To determine the tread depth, use a penny turned upside down with the president’s head between the treads. If his entire head is visible, it is time for new tires.
  2. Controls. Controls include handlebars, levers, cables, hoses and throttle. Cables connect almost everything on the bike. Look for leaking, frayed or kinked instruments. Grease your gears when necessary
  3. Lights and electrics. Check all the lights on your bike, which include the headlamp, turn signals and brake lights. Clean the mirrors, and inspect for pinched and frayed wires.
  4. Fluids. Look at the oil, hydraulic fluids and coolants. If there are wet spots on the floor under your bike, you may have a leak.
  5. Chassis. The chassis is the frame, suspension and belts. Check for cracks and missing bolts, and lubricate where needed.
  6. Stands. Verify that there are no cracks and that the stands are not bent. There should be tension in the springs to hold the stand in position.

By checking your bike ahead of time, you can focus on other drivers. A quick examination allows you to enjoy the freedom of the ride.