5 tips to keep your motorbike in tip top condition

Author: Philip Youngwood

8th December 2009

Keeping your motorbike in tip top condition will not only help to keep you safer on the roads, but prolongs the life of your motorbike. Try our 5 tips for looking after your bike:

1. Familiarise yourself with T-CLOCS
T-CLOCS is the acronym used by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, and stands for Tires and Wheels, Controls, Lights and Electrics, Oil and Other Fluids, Chassis and Chain, and Stands.

How to brake and stay upright

Anyone can twist a throttle to the stop, but not so many know the principles behind safe and effective braking – if you engage in the former often but aren't so hot on the latter, you're just playing a waiting game before push comes to shove, and end up going down the road next to your bike, instead of on it.

Braking skills should be mastered to a competent degree from the outset of anyone's riding career, and then refined as time goes by, but what's the best way to brake anyway?

Workshop Manuals

I know this topic has been broached before but I have found a new way to find some manuals for older model bikes.

I recently serched on ebay for the model of my bike (CBR1000F, 1990). All I did was type in CBR1000F & up came a link for the genuine workshop manual. As mine is a 1990 model there are no elctronic versions of this manual so this is a scanned copy in PDF format. It is pretty good & everything can be understood easily.

How to ride a motorbike for the very first time

An instructional video on how to ride a motorcycle for the very first time. Of course, if you are here you may already have ridden a motorcycle once or twice, but you may know someone who hasn’t ridden before, so show them this video.

Please let us know what you think about this video. I think it has some shortcomings, but it’s better than nothing.

[video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdySkge4aKM]

Choosing the right boots

Over 80% of motorcyclists who are injured in a crash have injuries to their legs, including 16% to feet and 23% to ankles.

Your feet are the part of your body that is most likely to make contact with the road, resulting in injuries even in a slow speed and minor crash. Injuries occur from direct impacts or being trapped between the motorcycle and other vehicles or objects as well as with the abrasive road surface.

Choosing the right gloves

Motorcycle gloves need to keep your hands warm but not sweaty. They need to be sufficiently robust to provide protection from injuries in a crash without restricting your ability to operate the controls. They need to be designed and fitted to stay on your hands in a crash.

About 30% of motorcyclists’ injuries are to the hands and 23% to the wrists. Imagine what it is like to lose part or all of the functions of your hands.

If the gloves meet the European Standard they must be marked EN 13594. If not, here are some design features to help guide you in your choice.

Choosing the right jacket and pants

Most riders wear a motorcycle jacket (97%) but fewer wear motorcycle pants (45%). This is despite the fact there is actually far more risk of injury to the legs than to the upper body or arms. Four out of five motorcycle casualties (81%) have injured their legs and a third have broken bones (32%). Arm injuries are less common (56%) and less likely to involve fractures (17%).

You need different levels of protection for different parts of your body according to the level of risk. Injury risk zones have been identified through the analysis of crash damaged riding gear.