It’s a great feeling when you buy your first bike, whatever make, model and engine size you decide to ride. It’ a shame you can’t bottle that feeling of freedom, just thinking about it makes us smile at CBT London Bike Tests. Before you set off riding the bike though, spare a few moments to perform a few checks, it’ll keep you safe and highlight any problems you might have with the bike.
- Tyres: Two skinny little tyres are the only parts of the bike that make contact with the road when you are riding. Therefore, check to see the rubber is in good condition and safe to use. Establish the pressure in the tyres when they are cold and have a good look at the tread to make sure it’s legal and it’ll give you plenty of grip.
- Lights: Look at your front and back lights, test indicators and brake lights too. They get you noticed on the road, they’re vital safety features, if you find a loose connection or a bulb that doesn’t work, get it fixed or replace it straight away.
- Steering/suspension: Turn the handlebars left and right, see if the action is nice and smooth, sit on the bike and test the front and rear suspension for creaks, groans and any signs of issues.
- Brakes: Test the front and rear brakes separately. Do they work firmly and release without problem? Look at the brake fluid reservoir. Is it within the maximum and minimum levels? If it’s low, top up with the approved fluid type.
- Oil: Test the engine and transmission oil before you start the bike. The levels should be somewhere between the maximum and minimum setting, your bike’s engine could seize if you let the oil levels drop too low.
- Coolant: Take a peek at the coolant reservoir on your bike. Do the levels look okay? Normally the coolant shouldn’t drop unless there’s a problem with the system, if you are losing coolant this could be the sign of a leak.
- Chain: Finally, check the condition of the drive chain. Press the chain with your finger to make sure it’s not too slack. A little bit of lubricant will keep the chain in good condition and moving freely, you can pick up cans in motor accessory stores.