Well riding season is about here and there are some things we need to get done for safe riding.
First, we must make sure that our motorcycles are safe and ready and that means a maintenance check up. If your bike has sat all winter, then your battery may need a charge or if old replaced.
Tread on those tires are like any other vehicle — they need to be road-ready and be able to grip those curves and stop when needed. Check those lights to see if the bulbs need replacing or if any lenses got cracked from rocks that might have got thrown up. Wiring is also important. With age sometimes the wire covering wear and break. Hoses, like any vehicle, will also rot with age and heat from weather and the bike. Some motorcyclists ride with windshields and, with age, the shield may develop a film or begin to peel and need to be replaced. Hand grips, with rain and heat, sometimes handgrips to need to be replaced so you can throttle safely while holding the grips.
Now if you’re not mechanical inclined, take your motorcycle to a bike shop in your area that will give it the once over and make it road ready.
How about your personable riding gear?
Did you look at our riding gloves to see if they are still without wear? Usually depending on how much you ride, you can replace gloves often or have summer and cold weather gloves. Jacket — are you due for another one or have you kept good care of the leather? Chaps, if you use them, like any leather gear should be treated and maintained for water resistance and cracking.
Now the helmet — should you wear one? I do but it’s your choice. The face shield may need replacing. If you have intercom system the wiring should be checked out. Did you drop your helmet? Many beginner riders don’t realize that the shock of dropping your helmet. It decrease the protection of your head should you ever need it.
Now that you have your motorcycle has been checked out and your gear is ready, the next thing you need to do is go out for a few practice runs as you have been off of the bike all winter and might be a little rusty. No matter how long you have been riding, this is very important.
We don’t like to think of laying our motorcycle down or an accident but fact is it happens and we need to be as prepared as we can for that issue. Your life depends on your safety gear and the shape of your motorcycle all being maintained and safe.
It’s your life. You need to be the one that will step up and do what it takes to protect yourself and a passenger should you have one.
JoAnn Collins is a long-time Fairborn citizen and guest columnist for the Fairborn Daily Herald.