You’ve probably used a checklist to help you complete a variety of tasks:
- Chores around the house
- Educational goals
- Financial goals
- Work related projects
- Engine rebuilds
- Vacation or travel preparation
- Flying your own private 737 airplane
- Etc, etc, etc.
We use checklists because we can’t remember every item, every time. If we miss an item it might not be a big deal, but it could be something important, like tightening axle nuts. As we complete each task we check it off the list. Easy, right? Usually it is, but we tend to become complacent over time. We forget things, important things. So a checklist is helpful, no matter how many times you’ve done it.
A motorcycle riding checklist is equally important. Unlike a car where we can just get in and drive, a motorcycle requires a higher level of preparation and scrutiny before we swing a leg over the saddle. If something fails on the bike, our butt is on the line, literally, and I’m talking about that solid yellow line running down the middle of the highway.
There’s checklists and there’s checklists. You might be a minimalist who does nothing more than make a mental checklist. Or you might be a sticky-note guy who puts a couple cryptic words on that note and sticks it to the windscreen. Or you might be a walk-around-the-bike guy who does a quick visual of the important parts. Or you might be a clipboard-and-pocket-protector guy who does a complete safety check of the bike as you’re wear your white lab coat and safety goggles.
Checklists shouldn’t be onerous or frustrating; if they are you won’t use them. Checklists should be easy and quick, but detailed and thorough enough to keep your bike in good shape and keep keep you safe. Checklists should be handy so you don’t have to create one every time you go for a ride; you shouldn’t have to dig thru your filing cabinet to find one, or go online and search for one.
Here’s a few checklists in a few formats that you can save to your phone or on your computer. Print several copies and hang them in the garage so they’re handy. Keep one in your tank bag. You’ll get used to having it there when you need it.
We’ve provided 3 checklists. They cover most of the bases, but checklists are constantly changing. If you think we need to add something pleas let us know:
T-CLOCS Inspection Checklist – this is an inspection checklist of the bike. T-CLOCS stands for Tires, Controls, Lights, Oils, Chassis, Stands. These are the items you’ll want to check on a daily basis. This list comes courtesy of the US Navy who published it for their personnel (same content as the MSF T-CLOCS).
Click and download to your device. T-CLOCS Inspection Checklist – US Navy PDF File
Day Ride Checklist – this is a list of items you’ll want check on the bike PLUS it has a short list of items you’ll want to have on the bike.
Day Ride Checklist 09-12-17 PDF File
Multi-Day Ride Checklist – this is a list of items you’ll want to check on the bike PLUS it has a comprehensive list of items you’ll need on your journey. It’s geared toward camping and adventure riding, so if your’re staying in motels you can delete the camping items or the additional tools needed for a CDR ride.
We encourage you to edit these checklists so they meet your own needs. If there’s something missing on one of the lists, add it. If there’s something on the list that you don’t think is important, delete it. Make your list according to your needs, and make it simple so you’ll actually use it. Multi-Day Ride Checklist – camping – 09-13-17