William Pendleton
DPTMS

Courtesy photo

With the weather warming up, motorcycles will become more visible on local trails and roadways.

Motorcycle safety is key during warmer weather

Commentary
With the weather warming up, motorcycles will become more visible on local trails and roadways.
During their down time, bikes can deteriorate slowly. Tires may drop in pressure or dry rot, chains can become rusty, and believe it or not condensation can develop in our oil and brake fluid.
Before bringing your motorcycle out for the season it’s extremely important to take a look at the bike to check for deficiencies.
·                  Tire pressures should be at the motorcycle manufacturer specs, not the tires. 99% of the time the pressure on the side of the tire is at max load. Look in your owner’s manual for the right answer.
·                  Change your oil, no matter how many miles you have been since the last change. Batteries will drop a charge quickly. It’s best to put a trickle charger on the battery for a couple days prior to starting the bike. Fuel octane ratings are a resistance to damaging detona­tion in our engines. As fuel sits the octane rating reduces and can possibly tarnish carburetors, fuel injectors, and throttle bodies. A fresh tank of the recommended fuel is a must.
·                  Check the brakes. Does the lever feel spongy, if so, you might need to change and bleed the fluid.
 It’s also important to keep your gear in mind.
·                  Department of Transportation helmets are required when riding a motorcycle. Make sure to look at your helmet’s manufacturers recommendation for how old a helmet should be before being replaced.
·                  Eye pro and full finger gloves with a leather palm are recommend­ed.
·                  Make sure to wear sturdy over the ankle footwear. Athletic shoes such as basketball shoes don’t count. Also, footwear is required to be properly laced, buckled, or strapped while riding.
Long sleeves are the minimum for upper garments but it is always a great practice to have a motorcycle jacket that provides impact and abrasion resistance.
Long pants are required. PT style pants, jogging pants, and sweats are not permitted.
 After the 1st ride, make sure to check everything over once again.
·                  Things like fork seals might not show up as an issue until the sus­pension gets going. Then a leak may happen. As fork fluid drips down the forks it can get into the brakes and on the tires causing a dangerous situation.
·                  The TCLOCS motorcycle inspection attached to the Motorcycle Safety SOP is a perfect tool to check your motorcycle. Not only that, but it is a quarterly requirement for your individual unit to check your motorcycle.
 
For further information or to schedule Brigade and Battalion level motorcycle training, to include: safety training, maintenance classes, or rider skill development, and refresher training call 435-9836 or email william.t.pendleton.civ@mail.mil.