It’s important that you keep your motorcycle safe by maintaining it and make sure any modifications are legal.


A motorcycle needs plenty of attention. When something goes wrong with a motorcycle, it’s more likely to cause a crash.

The only way to spot problems before they cause trouble is to regularly inspect your motorcycle carefully and fix things right away.

Make sure you read your manual carefully. Check these items each week.


Your brakes are the most important part to check on your motorcycle before you ride.

Adjust the brakes so they lock the wheel when fully applied. If you can’t get the wheel to lock, or if you hear a scraping sound when you try to stop, have the linings or pads checked.

You can also adjust the position of the brake pedal so it’s not in your way. You can overheat the rear brake by having your foot constantly on the pedal.


Check the tread for the amount and kind of wear. If the wear is uneven, have the wheels balanced and alignment checked.

Make sure the air pressure is correct, as many blowouts are caused by low air pressure.

Also check for cuts and scrapes that could lead to a blowout.


Check spoked wheels for missing or loose spokes.

Check the rims for cracks or dents.

Lift the wheel off the ground and spin it. Watch its motion and listen for any unusual noises. Also, move it from side to side to check for looseness.


Check the controls for smooth operation. The clutch can be adjusted so that the friction point is where you want it.

Check the cables for kinks or broken strands. Lubricate the control mechanisms at each end of the cables.

Chain and sprockets

Check the tension and lubricate the chain.

Check the sprockets for worn teeth.

Shock absorbers

If your motorcycle bounces several times after it crosses a bump, or if you hear a clunk, your shock absorbers may need to be adjusted or replaced.


Check for loose or missing nuts, bolts or split pins. Washing your motorcycle regularly will make it easier to spot parts requiring maintenance.


If you add the wrong accessories or make changes to your motorcycle, it can change its centre of gravity and may make it much harder to handle. The wrong modifications can make your motorcycle:

  • wear out faster
  • harder to handle
  • less comfortable to ride.

If you modify a motorcycle, the alterations should be done by a recognised organisation. Before you can use it on the road, it may need to display a certification plate detailing the alterations.

Engineers spend years designing a motorcycle that handles well. Don’t make any changes unless you know what effect the changes will have.

Modifications can also change the LAMS status of your motorcycle. Learner and restricted riders are only allowed to ride LAMS-approved motorcycles.

Learner approved motorcycle scheme (LAMS)