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1362.1 THE T-CLOCK INSPECTION: by Art Friedman of Primedia.com

If you buy a new bike, it's worth asking the dealer's tech folks what things you should make part of your daily check.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation created the T-CLOCK mnemonic as a memory and orgaization ad for a pre-ride safety check of a typical motorcycle. Each letter represent a particular inspection category, as follows:

T - Tires & Wheels
C - Controls
L - Lights & Electrics
O - Oil
C - Chassis
K - Kickstand
Tires: Pressure correct (cold), tread condition. No cuts, bulges, punctures of foreign objects.
Wheels: Spokes tight and intact; rims true; no free play when flexed; bearing seals intact; spin freely.
Brakes: Firm feel; sufficient pad depth, no leaks or links in hoses or cables.

Levers: Pivot bolt and nut; action and position correct; pivots lubed.
Cables: Ends and shafts lubed; no fraying or kinks; no binding when handlebar turned; proper adjustment.
Hoses: Check for damage or leaks, proper routing.
Throttle: Snaps closed freely when released; no excess play.

Brake and Tailight(s): All filaments work; both levers actuate brake light.
Headlight: All filaments work; properly aimed; no damage.
Lenses: Clean; no condensation; tight.
Reflectors: Clean; intact.
Battery: Fluid level; terminals clean and tight; held down securely; vent tube not kinked or mis-routed.
Wiring: Check for pinching or fraying; properly routed; no corrosion.

Levels: Brake fluid, oil, final drive, transmission, coolant, fuel.
Leaks: Check all systems for leaks.
Condition: Check color of brake fluid & coolant.

Frame: Paint lifting or peeling may indicate cracking.
Steering head & swingarm bearings: Lift wheels off floor, grab lower fork legs and pull and push to feel for play; repeat at rear. Turn fork to feel for detents in bearings.
Suspension: Smooth movement; proper adjustment; no leaks.
Chain or belt: Tension; lube, look for wear.
Fasteners: Look for missing or loose threaded fasteners, clips, pins.

Sidestand: Retracts firmly; no bending or damage; cut-out switch operates; springintact.
Centerstand: Retracts firmly, no damage.
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