Motorcycle riding is always fun and full of thrill and adventure, especially in mountains. It is true that very few people have guts to ride on the tricky roads of mountains but yes, a majority of people always think of a dream ride that is like a “once in a lifetime journey”. Life on mountains remains uncertain and so is the journey. There are several things that can happen while riding and that can alter your experience from good to bad and vice versa. It can be related to bike, weather, roads, or any unforeseen circumstances. We cannot control these things obviously but we can prevent our travel from getting spoiled by preparing for a few things in advance. Out of all, your motorcycle is the one on which several things are dependent and that’s why it is always better to keep a motorcycle check before riding. Though it is a slightly longer procedure but investing time and energy is totally worth and it helps a lot during the ride. So here is a detailed pre-ride motorcycle checklist before long trip.
Before getting to the point, here is a question that most of the people ask –
Whether to take your own motorcycle or a rental motorcycle on a tour?
This confuses a lot of people. Every person has different choices and opinions. Some people always prefer to travel by their own motorcycle as they don’t trust rented ones while some people prefer to take rented bikes as they don’t want to torture their bikes on those treacherous roads. As per me, if someone doesn’t have a touring bike then there is no other option than renting. But if you have a good motorcycle that you can take on those tricky and treacherous roads of mountains or for a cross country ride of more than 1000 km then it is always better to take your own motorcycle. Riding your own motorcycle makes you more confident as you are aware of most of the things and the behavior of your machine. Renting a motorcycle can also be a good option but make sure that the vendor is reliable and trustworthy.
Also Read: Best Routes for Bike Road Trips in India
How to prepare for a long motorcycle ride in India?
Doesn’t matter, if you are renting out a motorcycle or taking your own one, keep a check on this motorcycle checklist before long trip. Also, don’t forget to take a test ride of at least 2-3 km before starting your adventure.
Check the frame briefly for the dents, cracks, and welding joints and notify the vendor if there is any or if it seems a problem.
Front Frame: Check for any unwanted movement by moving the suspension up and down and turning the handlebars left and right. It should ideally be moving freely without any tightness.
Rear Frame: Look at mounting locations for any unwanted movement by raising the rear wheel. The swingarm should be moving freely up and down.
Controls and Wiring –
Check all the levers and pedals for cracks and breaks. Examine all the joints and mounting locations, make sure they all are tight. If not then get it done. Look for any loose or broken wires. If you locate any, get it repaired or replaced.
Mirrors, Lights & Horn –
Check the rearview mirrors as they are quite necessary while riding. Check all the lights including headlamp, tail lamps, indicators, and high beams, whether they are working properly or not. Make sure that the horn is working fine.
Tyres & Wheels –
Examine the tyres carefully and check if the tyres are old or in good condition by checking the tread wear bars. If the tread bars got vanished or you find any unusual patterns, then ask the vendor to change the tyre or motorcycle. Check if the tyre is tubeless or not. It would be better if it is tubeless. Check the wheels by spinning them and make sure that they move in freely without any resistance or they don’t rub on the brake pads. If there is any wobble in the rim then ask the vendor to correct it.
Check if the brakes (rear and front) are working properly or not. Make sure that the brake pads are not worn. Inspect that the brake pads should hit the rim evenly on both sides while applying the brakes.
Chain and Chain Sprocket –
Don’t forget to lube the chain. There are many types of lubes available in the market. You can also use any light oil. Check teeths in the chain, if they look worn out then carry a spare chain or get it changed there.
So, these are the things that one should examine in his/her bike and follow this motorcycle checklist before long trip.