Pre-Ride Checklist (T-CLOCK)

T-CLOCK is a mnemonic developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (US) for assisting you in performing a comprehensive pre-ride (or a pre-purchase) inspection of a motorcycle. It is easily memorized and very useful. The individual letters stand for the specific areas to check:

T – Tyres & Wheels

C – Controls

L – Lights

O – Oil

C – Chassis

K – Kickstand


T – Tyres & Wheels

  1. Check & Record Tread depth both Front & Rear
  2. Check for uneven wear both Front & Rear
  3. Check for imbedded objects
  4. Check & Record Tyre pressures both Front & Rear, adjust to load/speed.
  5. Check spokes (bent, broken, missing, tension at top of wheel. “Ring” OK – “Thud” Loose Spoke
  6. Check wheels for cracks & dents
  7. Spin wheels and check for trueness/wobble
  8. Grab top and bottom of tyre and flex. No evidence of free play.
  9. Check seals, cut or torn, excessive grease on outside.

C – Controls

  1. Check levers – broken, bent, cracked, tight mounts, ball ends.
  2. Lubricate lever pivots.
  3. Check cables for fraying, kinks, lubrication, ends and length.
  4. Check cable routings, move steering to full lock left & right ensuring cables free.
  5. Check hoses for cuts, cracks, leaks, bulges, chafing, deterioration.
  6. Check throttle moves freely, snaps closed, no revving at closed position.

L – Lights

  1. Battery terminals clean and tight, electrolyte levels, secure.
  2. Check vent tube routing, not plugged.
  3. Check lenses for cracks, breaks, secure, excessive condensation.
  4. Check reflectors for cracks, breaks, secure.
  5. Check electrical wiring for fraying, chafing, insulation and correct routing.
  6. Check headlights for cracks, reflector, mounting and adjustment.
  7. Check aim for correct height and centre.

O – Oil

  1. Check engine oil when warm, on centre stand, dipstick, sightglass.
  2. Gear Oil for transmission, rear drive, shaft.
  3. Hydraulic fluid for brakes, clutch, reservoir or sightglass.
  4. Check coolant level, radiator, hoses, fittings, pipes, leaks.
  5. Check fuel level, leaks, odour, gauge.

C – Chassis

  1. Frame condition, cracks, accessory mounts, paint lifting.
  2. Steering head Bearings – no tight spots, raise front wheel, check for play by pushing/pulling forks.
  3. Swingarm Bushings/Bearings – Raise rear wheel, check for play by pushing/pulling swingarm.
  4. Shocks – smooth travel, equal preload, air pressure and damping settings.
  5. Chain tension and lubrication.
  6. Sprocket teeth not hooked  and secure.
  7. Check fasteners for tightness, broken missing clips, cotter pins broken or missing.

K – Kickstand

  1. Centrestand cracks or bends.
  2. Centrestand springs in place, tension to hold position.
  3. Side stand cracks or bends, safety cut out operation
  4. Side stand springs into place, tension to hold position.
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