A motorcycle rider looks over their bike using the T-CLOCK acronym before they take it out on the road.

Now that springtime is approaching, the weather is warmer and the roads are more accessible, many riders will be taking their motorcycles out of storage. Many riders might be in a rush to get back on the road if it’s been sitting in storage for months, but it’s important not to rush right out and ride. Making sure your bike is ready for the road is of the utmost importance for your safety. The acronym T-CLOCK can help riders remember what they need to look over on their bike before it can be safely ridden.

Let’s look at what each letter of T-CLOCK stands for:

T = Tires – Look over your tires to make sure they’re in acceptable condition for riding. Each tire should have enough tread depth and should be inflated to the proper tire pressure. You’ll also want to examine your bike’s wheels for dents, cracks or bent spokes and replace them if necessary. Your brakes should also be in good condition without excessive wear.

C = Controls – Checking over your brake pedals and levers, as well as your clutch lever is very important because a malfunction with any of these controls could lead to a serious accident. Look at all the cables and hoses on your bike to make sure there are good connections. The cables and hoses should also have no damage, kinks, bulges, cuts, cracks or leaks. Make sure all the cable mounts and mounts for other components are tight. The bike’s throttle needs to be able to move freely and snap closed without resistance or any hang-ups.

L = Lights and Electrical – Without the proper lights, you could be less visible on the road and open to more accidents. The motorcycle’s high and low beams on the headlights should both be working and aiming in the correct direction. The taillights on the bike need to both light up when the front and rear brakes are pressed. Make sure that all your turn signals are working on the front and rear. Check over the battery and wiring to make sure everything is correctly connected and free of damage. Your battery also needs to be able to hold a proper charge, so you don’t get stranded on a ride.

O = Oils and Fluids – All the fluid levels need to be at the proper measurements for your motorcycle to operate properly. Check all the fluid levels on your bike including the oil, coolant and brake fluids. Change your oil before the first ride of the season if you haven’t changed it recently. Also, check over your bike for any fluid leaks.

C = Chassis and Chain – Look at the frame of your bike to see that it’s free of bends, cracks or other damage. All mounts and connections should be tight and secure. Your handlebars need to be straight and not have any irregular movement when going from side to side. Inspect the forks to see that they are straight and free of damage. Your bike’s chain should be lubed and have the proper tension according to the motorcycle’s user manual.

K = Kickstand – Your kickstand should be in good condition, free of any damage or bends. You don’t want your bike to fall over unexpectedly. Make sure your motorcycle stands up correctly when it’s on its kickstand. Make sure the kickstand stays up while riding and doesn’t hang down.

T-CLOCK will help you identify potential problems with your motorcycle before they put your safety at risk. It’s essential to go over your bike before you take your first ride of the season, but it’s also a good idea to go over this checklist before every ride. With the right preparation, you can have a safe and fun riding season.

Hupy and Abraham is dedicated to keeping motorcyclists safe. The firm’s “Watch for Motorcycles” campaign promotes motorcycle awareness and we also work to inform riders of the safest practices while on the road.

Our video series “Behind the Handlebars” has a quick video that shows each step of T-CLOCK, which you can view here.

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, we’re here to help. Call 800-800-5678 or visit HUPY.COM 24/7/365.

Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.