Safety Information

Bike Preparation (Mar 2008 newsletter)

by Ted and Joyce Strutz

Well folks it's March and we should be seeing the new riding season before long. Now is the time to start preparing our trusty iron steeds and ourselves. Trust me; one is just as important as the other.  

When it comes to getting the bike ready, the T-Clock formula is a good place to start. The bike should be gone over top to bottom and stem to stern. Don't be afraid to get down and check the tires thoroughly. Change the oil if you didn't do it in the fall before putting it up. Check all your fluids and change them if it hasn't been done for a couple of years. While you are doing all this it is a good time to check any electrical connections for tightness and corrosion. Also check any nuts, bolts, and screws you find to make sure nothing has come loose. This may sound a little nitpicky, but as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure. It may also keep you from sitting alongside the road waiting for help.  

Besides getting the bike ready we also need to consider preparing ourselves for the new riding season. This includes physically and mentally. To prepare physically we can exercise by taking walks, using a treadmill, or any other number of ways. Remember, we are riding a nearly 900 pound bike. Anything you can do to stay physically fit and healthy helps.  

To prepare mentally we can read safety articles and there are quite a few good books out there to help our riding techniques. Another very good thing we can do is take a riding course. Whether you take a course from GWRRA or a MSF Rider Course you are doing what you can to break bad habits and improve your riding techniques. There is a GWRRA Skills Day scheduled for May 18th from noon to 4PM at Triway High School near Wooster. As anything else becomes available I will get the word out. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation also has a Rider Education Center set up at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course outside of Lexington. They will be offering the Basic Rider Course and the Experienced Rider Course. To find out the schedule for the courses you can call 937-332-6177. This number will put you in touch with the Rider Education Center office in Troy, Ohio.  

I can tell you from experience that these courses really help. I have taken both the ERC and GWRRA's Advance Rider Course and they were both very helpful. You are never too old to stop learning and when it comes to motorcycling, the more you learn the safer you should be!!