If you've just bought your first motorcycle, it's important that you understand how even small problems can spell big disasters. That makes it especially important for you to complete a comprehensive safety inspection before you hit the road. The last thing you need is to have a malfunction or a problem cause a serious accident that ends up injuring others. Here are a few things that you can do before every trip to reduce your risk of an accident or the need for a motorcycle accident attorney.
Check All The Fluids
Since your instrument panel on the motorcycle provides limited information, it's essential that you're attentive to your fluid levels. Running out of gas unexpectedly can lead to a serious accident on the road. Along with checking the fuel tank's level before your ride, make a point to consider your fuel mileage. Fill the tank completely and take note of the current mileage or reset the trip meter. If you don't have a trip meter, just write down the current mileage and make a note of the mileage again when you refill the tank. That way, you'll have a good idea about how much gas you have left based on your mileage.
You'll also need to be sure that your fuel tank isn't accidentally set on reserve. When you run off the reserve tank, you lose that extra gallon or two designed to get you to the gas station. Keep the reserve tank full so that you always have that to fall back on to help prevent an accident due to an empty tank.
You'll also need to check the oil level and look for any signs of potential oil leaks. Warm the bike's engine first so that you get an accurate look at the oil level. Additionally, make sure you park on a level surface. While you're at it, double check the coolant and brake fluid too.
Test Your Lights
The size of a motorcycle makes it difficult for some drivers to see it on the road. A motorcycle can easily fit into a blind spot, which can put you at serious risk of an accident. Make sure all of the lights on your motorcycle are working properly at all times to help increase visibility on the road. You should confirm that both your high and low beam lights are working properly as well as your turn signals. While you're testing everything, examine the condition of your battery terminals. Corrosion can interfere with the connection, which may prevent your lights from working properly.
Inspect The Controls
With many different cables and wires on your bike, there's a lot of room for component failures. For example, worn clutch or brake cables can snap, which may lead to a serious accident and injury. The brakes should be firm, keeping the motorcycle secure when you engage the brake, even if you try to roll forward.
Adjust The Suspension
Another common problem for novice riders is handling trouble due to poor adjustment. Don't forget to adjust the suspension to fit your body structure. Both your height and your weight will affect the way that you need the suspension to rest. The bike should be easy for you to shift under your weight and you should be able to reach your feet flat on the ground when you're sitting on the bike. If you can't, it may make it harder for you to maneuver, and losing control of the bike could result in an accident that may cost you significantly.
If you do experience an accident on your motorcycle, make sure you reach out to a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Especially when you are new to riding, you'll want the legal protection.