Checks before heading out?

As I'm very new to this sport I don't know a whole lot about bikes. Over the last few weeks Ive done my fair share of research, where different websites/pages all give you different guidance.

One main thing that I would like to know is what checks should every rider carry out before taking their bike out?

Ive read my manual (KTM 250SXF) back to front but as I've never had a bike before, a lot of it is maybe a little too technical... Although I'm sure ill pick it up over time.

Any help/guidance would be appreciated.

Before each ride:

Fuel up

Check and adjust tire pressure

Check air filter

Check engine oil for four strokers

 

After each ride:

Lube chain

what i REALLY need to start doing, check spokes once a week or month depending on how often you ride. I ride gnarly rocks fairly quick and so i have a toruqe wrench and need to use it more, i know they are loose right now so thanks for reminding me.

Before each ride:

Fuel up

Check and adjust tire pressure

Check air filter

Check engine oil for four strokers

 

After each ride:

Lube chain

 

You forgot chain adjustment.  Check the freeplay.

You forgot chain adjustment.  Check the freeplay.

 

I run o-rings.  I check 'em occasionally but I usually get two years out of them before they stretch.  I guess there are still people out there that still run unsealed chains for some reason though.

Before each ride:

Fuel up

Check and adjust tire pressure

Check air filter

Check engine oil for four strokers

After each ride:

Lube chain

Thanks gents! I'll need to pick up a tire gauge tomorrow as its something I don't yet have!

Lee

I run o-rings.  I check 'em occasionally but I usually get two years out of them before they stretch.  I guess there are still people out there that still run unsealed chains for some reason though.

 

Actually, everyone I know does not run an o-ring chain.  Everyone runs regular chains here once they replace the stock one. ;)

Inexplicable.

Inexplicable.

 

Actually there's a very good explanation.  Most guys I know like to replace the sprockets at the same time they replace the chain, so it would be crazy to throw out a chain that costs twice as much.  I haven't run an o-ring chain in umpteen years, I just take good care of regular chains.

Actually there's a very good explanation.  Most guys I know like to replace the sprockets at the same time they replace the chain, so it would be crazy to throw out a chain that costs twice as much.  I haven't run an o-ring chain in umpteen years, I just take good care of regular chains.

 

That's fine methodology for an unsealed chain that wears quickly regardless of care and lubrication.  O-ring units do not stretch until they fail so you can replace sprockets as needed without replacing the chain.  I often replace sprockets two or three times by themselves without servicing the chain.

 

The last one I put on went on with a set of Ironman sprockets.  These things don't really wear out either.  Last one I had lasted until it exploded but the teeth still looked good. 

Most of this has been covered but I'll throw in my 2 cents.

 

Tire pressure gauge - I've got a small digital one I carry in my pack and a floor pump in my van. I check before every ride. Tend to stick are around the same PSI frt/back during the dry months but play alot with mostly the back PSI when is really wet and snotty.

 

Oil - I run an hour meter and change my oil/filter MAX every 10 hours but I check for level and colour before every ride. If you notice you are lossing oil. Don't ride untill you sort it out. Then if the oil starts looking really dark I will change both sooner than 10 hours.

 

Brakes - Do a quick check before I leave the truck.

Throttle - again quick check it's not sticking when starting.

 

I tend to wash my bike every couple of rides and give it a good visual once over once it's clean. IE air filter, chain, brake pads, damage etc.

 

Now off topic but it's Friday nite and I'm a bit bored - As far a chains go, I was running an o-ring but when I did my last full drive replacement (over 2 years ago) and my local shop guy suggested I try non-o-ring. His theory is that you get a better response with the non-o-ring. Honestly I don't think I can real tell the difference BUT I'm anal about keeping it clean and lubed and my Renthal drive train still looks and functions like new

As I'm very new to this sport I don't know a whole lot about bikes. Over the last few weeks Ive done my fair share of research, where different websites/pages all give you different guidance.

One main thing that I would like to know is what checks should every rider carry out before taking their bike out?

Ive read my manual (KTM 250SXF) back to front but as I've never had a bike before, a lot of it is maybe a little too technical... Although I'm sure ill pick it up over time.

Any help/guidance would be appreciated.

Check your chain too.... An if lube won't take the kinks out then get a new one when you can because I took too long an it snapped on me last night about mid night after work. Had to get a lift home unfortunately.

Snapping a chain can crack your cases easily when the chain wads up, or it can lock the rear wheel causing an accident.

Just something to keep on mind. I got off easy fortunately with just a nickedscratched case.

check spoke tension

throttle cable (make sure doesn't stick)

rotors/sprockets for loose bolts

air pressure

fresh air filter

check oil

lube chain & check slack

 

 

Also wash after every ride... I know it's the last thing you feel like doing after a good ride but it will keep your bike looking fresh and will be easier to clean if you don't wait till the mud dries up all the way through

Edited by problem_child

As I'm very new to this sport I don't know a whole lot about bikes. Over the last few weeks Ive done my fair share of research, where different websites/pages all give you different guidance.

One main thing that I would like to know is what checks should every rider carry out before taking their bike out?

Ive read my manual (KTM 250SXF) back to front but as I've never had a bike before, a lot of it is maybe a little too technical... Although I'm sure ill pick it up over time.

Any help/guidance would be appreciated.

Make a written list and check it off. Otherwise you might ride in golf shorts like I did last summer....

I have written lists, converted to PDF files, saved on my iPhone.

When prepping, I start with my feet and vocally check off all the gear I've packed and need to wear...like a pilot flight check does.

check spoke tension

throttle cable (make sure doesn't stick)

rotors/sprockets for loose bolts

air pressure

fresh air filter

check oil

lube chain & check slack

 

 

Also wash after every ride... I know it's the last thing you feel like doing after a good ride but it will keep your bike looking fresh and will be easier to clean if you don't wait till the mud dries up all the way through

Great points. Also, washing then drying the bike....you spot broken or loose things you'd otherwise overlook.

Thanks gents! I'll need to pick up a tire gauge tomorrow as its something I don't yet have!

Lee

I just got, from a thumper recommendation, the slime digital. It is the one that does psi up to 150 psi. I use tubliss....so I need to know the high pressure too.

Well, this sucker only cost about ten bucks! And it works really good. A high psi gauge can go for seriously big bucks. I got mine at oreilly s auto parts.

Most of the general stuff has been covered by others here, but I also like to quickly go over the bolts (body, engine, etc..) to ensure none are loose. If you did any maintenance after your last ride, remember to set any settings to what you prefer. Also remember to remove your plugs before trying to start the bike. I've forgotten to do that a couple times and its quite embarrassing.

Most of the advice here is good, some I don't do quite the same way.

 

Regardless, I check soon after a ride so the bike is always ready to go.

 

I work for myself and the Coconino is out my back door and want to be ready when the urge strikes me.

Odo reset

Tire pressures OK

Fuel topped off

Oil change <30h

Oil and coolant level OK

Skid plate on/secure

Bolts tight - Shifter, seat, bars, plastics, handguards

Sprockets/chain OK

Light check - Headlight, turns, running lights, brake light (from front and rear brakes)

GPS: Waypoints loaded, CityNav map loaded, RAM-mount/arm, Batteries OK

 

I ride daily, so if something's amiss I usually correct it that evening rather than putting it off till my "next ride", because that's probably the next morning.

For my daily commute/around town trips I usually just fire it up and go.  Do a more thorough check before I head further out of town or into the dirt.

 

Also a big +1 for making a list - I have a "packing list" that lists every tool I carry in my tool wrap, items in my pack, things I wear.  Makes it easier at the beginning of the season to pull up that list, grab this, grab that, that thing goes in my pack, oh yeah I need this tool out of the garage... and not forget stuff. 

it may seem anal but ya - I have a book where I log all my maintenance and might stick a few reminder post it notes on the bike before the next ride.

 

Then for my multi day dirt bike/camping trips with buds, I put together a bunch of different lists in Excel/PDF. Before the trip I check off all the stuff I'm bringing then shoot it if to my buds so we don't all end up bringing for example 4 chain saws or 2 BBQ's etc. Then just basic cooking and food.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now