Bike Maintenance

Brakes Oil Lights Tyres Steering (BOLTS)

These simple checks should be performed on a daily basis,
It will only take you about 2 minutes,
just before you get on your bike in the morning.
These “two minutes” could save your life, or prevent you from getting points on your licence.

Brakes

All you are looking for is to make sure that the front disc is not marked in anyway (i.e. there are no bits of metal broken off, or any nuts missing from it, or any excessive wear).

So you have had a good look around the front wheel now all you need to do is, stand in front of the bike and look down the gap where the disc touches the pad material, to see if there is going to be enough to stop you when you go out on your bike.

Brakes
Brakes

Now all you need to do is the same on the back brake, now I hear someone saying “my bike has not got a disc on the back”, well, if not, you will have a drum brake fitted and all you have to do is to make sure that the adjuster cable nuts are on and that when you depress the back brake, your wear indicator is within the marks on the hub of the wheel.

If all is ok on the front and back brakes, then of you go on to the next check, if not, then call in to your nearest motorcycle shop and let them have a look.

Oil

To do your check on this, all you are looking for is oil on the floor under your bike or on the engine, and if your bike runs on two-stroke oil just have a look in to see if there is enough two stroke in there to last, if not – top it up.

Oil
Oil

On four stroke motorcycles, you will have a dipstick or a looking glass, just have a look to make sure you have enough oil in your engine, if not just – top it up to the required level using the correct grade of oil for your motorcycle.

Lights

To check these all you need to do, is turn on your ignition to the on position then put your hand over the front light and flick the lights on, high and low beam just to make sure they work, the same with the back lights and indicators all so the dash board lights just make sure that they all are working as they should.

Lights
Lights

If not then if you can just replace the bulb that has failed, then you know before you go out on your motorcycle that all your lights are in good working order, and your bike is not breaking the road safety code,  if there is oil on the floor just have a look to see if it has come form your bike, the same as if there is oil on the engine, do not start panicking at this point, just wipe it of and if its there tomorrow then just go to your nearest motorcycle shop and explain the problem to them.

Tyres

To check your tyres on your bike, all you are looking for is that they have the correct amount of air pressure in them and that there are no nails or scours in the tread part. Just have a quick squeeze on the tyre’s sidewalls, just to make sure they have some air in them and they are not flat, as this could cause BIG problems if you go out on it with under-inflated tyres, you can also give them a gentle kick (on the tread bit), and I do NOT mean boot them as hard as you can, just a gentle kick and you will know. If there is nothing wrong, then on to the next check, but if there is then by now you know what to do, and that is – if in doubt get it checked out by a motorcycle mechanic.

Oh, by the way the MINIMUM tread depth on a motorcycle (over 50cc) is 1.0mm. But, I recommend, if they are down to 1.5mm, GET RID and Re-Boot! (Under 50cc Mopeds Minimum requirement is Visible Tread)
(Its always best practice to replace both the front and the back tyres at the same time and same type).

Steering

To do this check, all to need to do is hold on to the handle bars and turn form right to left (or left to right – doesn’t matter), all you are doing is seeing if there is anything that is stopping or catching on the steering (i.e. a cable or pipe) you know, something that might stop you from turning your handlebars freely, if there is, then SORT IT!  If you can not, go to your nearest motorcycle shop and ask for help.

Steering
Steering

Now after you have done these checks, you know that your bike is safe to take out on the road and it meets the requirements set out by the law.

REMEMBER: Check your B.O.L.T.S Every Day.