Look before you leave
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has developed a simple checklist (In the T-CLOCK Inspection section below) summarized with the acronym T-CLOCK for the headings of each section.
Usually described as a pre-ride inspection, the best time to perform it is shortly after your ride. This helps to ensure the motorcycle will be ready for your next ride because it gives you time to fix and issues you may find. A nail lodged in your tire on Sunday morning will probably cancel your ride for the day. But, if you find it after your ride on Friday night, you can plan for its repair before your next ride.
The best way to find problems is through a post-ride cleaning. Riders who routinely clean their motorcycles uncover the small problems much earlier than riders who just walk around their bikes and shake a few pieces to make sure they’re attached. Loose pieces, small leaks, the first signs of corrosion, and components out of whack are more obvious when you’re touching every part of your bike.
One tool that makes cleaning and inspecting your cruiser less difficult is a work stand.
Some components may gradually slide out of spec and cause a smaller problem which the rider may not notice, because it happens over an extended period of time. A common example is throttle-cable adjustment. Riders may overlook the small, steady change, but the growing play causes a minor deterioration in throttle-control precision. Other items that may not be obvious are worn or damaged steering-head bearings. If your routine inspection includes checks and occasional measurements of the adjustments of items that gradually change over time, your motorcycle will operate with more precision.
T-Clock Link to Motorcycle Safety Foundation safety inspection checklist
T-Clock PDF Quick Checklist.