T-CLOCK Before You Ride!

motorcycle-safety-foundation-logoThe Motorcycle Safety Foundation created the T-CLOCK mnemonic as a memory and organization ad for a pre-ride safety check of a typical motorcycle. Each letter represent a particular inspection category, as follows:

* T – Tires & Wheels

* C – Controls

* L – Lights & Electrics

* O – Oil

* C – Chassis

* K – Kickstand


Tires: Pressure correct (cold), tread condition. No cuts, bulges, punctures of foreign objects.

Wheels: Spokes tight and intact; rims true; no free play when flexed; bearing seals intact; spin freely.

Brakes: Firm feel; sufficient pad depth, no leaks or links in hoses or cables.


Levers: Pivot bolt and nut; action and position correct; pivots lubed.

Cables: Ends and shafts lubed; no fraying or kinks; no binding when handlebar turned; proper adjustment.

Hoses: Check for damage or leaks, proper routing.

Throttle: Snaps closed freely when released; no excess play.


Brake and Tailight(s): All filaments work; both levers actuate brake light.

Headlight: All filaments work; properly aimed; no damage.

Lenses: Clean; no condensation; tight.

Reflectors: Clean; intact.

Battery: Fluid level; terminals clean and tight; held down securely; vent tube not kinked or mis-routed.

Wiring: Check for pinching or fraying; properly routed; no corrosion.


Levels: Brake fluid, oil, final drive, transmission, coolant, fuel.

Leaks: Check all systems for leaks.

Condition: Check color of brake fluid & coolant.


Frame: Paint lifting or peeling may indicate cracking.

Steering head & swingarm bearings: Lift wheels off floor, grab lower fork legs and pull and push to feel for play; repeat at rear. Turn fork to feel for detents in bearings.

Suspension: Smooth movement; proper adjustment; no leaks.

Chain or belt: Tension; lube, look for wear.

Fasteners: Look for missing or loose threaded fasteners, clips, pins.


Sidestand: Retracts firmly; no bending or damage; cut-out switch operates; spring in tact.

Centerstand: Retracts firmly, no damage.


All riders are encouraged to participate in a motorcycle safety course. New riders will gain important Information about being safe. Advanced riders can practice and enhance skills already in place.