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Ready to ride? Inspect your motorcycle first

Motorcycle enthusiasts are chomping at the bit to get out onto Kentucky's highways and byways for some wind therapy. But before heading out, be proactive about your safety and inspect your bike after a winter's rest.

Doing the following things can help keep you and others safer on the roads this spring and allow you many more years of motorcycle riding.

  • Start off with a fresh tank of gas. Fuel degrades over time and can cause problems with your motorcycle.
  • Inspect both tires. Check the air pressure and be alert to the presence of cracks in the rubber.
  • Top off fluid levels. Brake fluid, oil and antifreeze all should be at proper levels. Look for signs of leakage as well.
  • Chain-driven motorcycles need to be lubed. Also, watch for signs of wear-and-tear on the chain and sprockets.
  • Beware of rusty suspension. Tarnishing on the rear shock shaft or fork tubes can be removed with steel wool.

Now that you have prepped your cycle for its first ride of 2018, there are also some safety tips to keep in mind while you are on the open road. Remember that at this time of the year, few Kentucky motorists are used to seeing motorcycles back on the roads.

Oblivious and distracted drivers can be life-threatening hazards to motorcyclists, so make sure that you are highly visible to drivers. Also, leave yourself plenty of room to maneuver around vehicles or road hazards.

Remember, too, that the roads can still be slick from winter ice or snow and that roads often deteriorate over the harsh winter months. If you wind up injured in a motorcycle accident, you may need to file a claim for damages to be compensated for your medical expenses and other damages.

Source: ADV Pulse, "Dodging The Dangers of the First Spring Ride," accessed Feb. 23, 2018

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