Serious riders Check Their Motorcycles Before Any Long Trip

Motorcycles are a great way to discover the country and travel the distance while staying close to nature. Experienced Wisconsin riders know that there are enough risks of serious motorcycle crashes not to be exposed to the added dangers and worries of mechanical issues.

The Wisconsin rider checklist

Legal: After checking your papers (insurance, license and registration), turn your eyes to the street-legal features of your bike: Head-, tail- and brake-light, turn signals, horn and mirrors on each side.

General: Your bike should be cleaned before doing any inspection. Cleaning your motorcycle is the first step of any maintenance job and allows you to discover problems that remained hidden under the dirt. After cleaning, apply lubrication fluids and grease that may have been washed away. Use and take your owner's manual with you; it may come in handy.

Fluids: Verify the level (and check for leaks) of engine and transmission oil, as well as of brake hydraulic fluid and coolant. Make sure your fuel tank is full and the reserve fuel switch (petcock) works properly. You should know the approximate distance you can ride with a full tank and with the reserve fuel. This varies a lot among different motorcycle models and could be a problem if your mileage is much worse than that of other riders in the group.

Chassis: Check your front suspension for binding, and make sure rear shocks and springs move smoothly. Verify the state and tightness of the transmission chain. Be sure the stand (side or center) works well and stays firmly against the chassis when in the up position.

Wheels: Check your tires: inflation pressure, wear and cuts. Make sure both wheels are balanced and haven't been damaged.

Electric: Verify your battery level and starter. If you have trouble starting you may have to clean the plugs. Check the wiring: hanging loose or damaged?

If your bike has been thoroughly checked and maintained and operates like a dream, you can relax and start enjoying your trip. The less you have on your mind, the more you can enjoy the ride.

If you have been hurt in a Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois car, truck or motorcycle accident, contact the attorneys of Hupy & Abraham today at 800-800-5676 (toll-free) or 414-223-4800 (local) for a free evaluation of your case, or send us an e-mail with your questions. Hupy & Abraham has lawyer offices in Milwaukee, Madison, and Appleton in Wisconsin, and Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Quad Cities in Iowa, and Gurnee and Bloomington in Illinois.