B.O.L.T.S - HOW TO CHECK STEERING
Checking your steering, and the components associated with it is crucial. There are multiple checks that you can perform to make sure all is well before hopping on to your motorcycle and riding away. Firstly, apply pressure to the front brake to fully lock the front wheel while pushing the motorcycle backwards and forwards, this allows you to feel if there is some play in the steering column. If there is, you should be able to feel the play in the grips and hear a clanging noise from the column (be careful though, sometimes floating discs can also make a similar noise).
In case of any doubt, contact your local mechanic to get it checked as soon as possible, as play in the steering column can result is serious handling issues or cause an accident. Try turning the handlebars left and right without feeling any excessive resistance (except from the friction with the ground). This will also enable you to make sure that cables or hoses are not being over stretched or squeezed while steering.
When sitting on the bike, remember to check that your mirrors are correctly adjusted (if you have mirrors that is!). Re-adjusting mirrors while riding is not recommended, as your focus should be on the road and other users. While you are at it, you can check for play in the throttle and clutch cable. Cables should always have a slight play of about 2mm.
While the ignition is off, give a quick twist on the throttle to make sure it springs back as it should, the last thing you want when decelerating is that the throttle gets stuck or does not twist back on its own. Another part of steering, (and this may sound odd!) is where your feet are. When cornering, we apply pressure to the peg we want to turn in the direction of - therefore, when thinking steering, also think about your pegs; are they moving freely without excess play (forget about this if you have rear sets), are the gear lever and brake pedals pivoting freely?
So there you go - A pretty comprehensive list of checks you can do to ensure that your bike is in tip top condition, ensuring a safe, efficient and enjoyable ride each time you go out. Do you have any to add to the list? Contact us or comment on facebook. Happy riding!
Remember B.O.L.T.S check brakes, oil, lights, tyres and steering IMPORTANT - Please seek the assistance of a professional if you are in any doubt about correct and safe fitment of parts to your vehicle