Pre-ride Checklist – T-CLOCS

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends a short pre-ride check of your motorcycle before every ride. They came up with the acronym T-CLOCS, (Tires, Controls, Lights, Oil, Chassis and Sidestand) to help you remember what to check. Despite the length of the MSF’s list, you can probably check everything in about five minutes.

Tires and wheels

This is all that is between you and the road, so check them carefully. Check pressures in both tires according to manufacturers specifications. Check tread wear. Check for any cuts in the tire. Remove any objects embedded in the tread.Check for dings in the wheels. Check to be sure spokes are tight and straight.

Controls and cables

Operate anything connected to a cable and make sure levers and cables feel smooth and don’t bind. Apply the front brake and push the bike forward. The brake should feel firm, and the front wheel should not move. Check the rear brake in the same manner.

Lights and switches

Making sure your lights work is imperative to your safety. Turn on the ignition and check the headlight’s high beam and low beam, the taillight and the brake light. Check left and right turn signals, front and rear. Don’t forget to check your horn. Don’t forget to look at the engine cut-off switch, if so equipped.

Oil and fuel

Running out of gas can be inconvenient, but running out of oil can ruin your day and your bike, so check the oil before every ride. Always arrive for a ride with a full tank of gas.


Sit on the bike and rock it, making sure that everything moves smoothly and relatively slowly. If you have an adjustable suspension, remember to read your owner’s manual and adjust it properly for the load you’ll be carrying and the type of riding you’ll be doing.

Sidestand and center stand

Make sure the sidestand is not cracked or bent. Check the spring or springs for good tension

If everything’s in place and operating properly, you’re done and ready to roll.