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Your pre-ride routine?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by Pugsly, May 22, 2013.

  1. As a newb on the bike I'm becoming aware of the differences between driving a car and riding. As my rider brain develops one thing that I've noticed is that I've a set routine when I drive. Jump in, start car, check/adjust mirrors, seatbelt on, in gear, handbrake off, go.

    On the bike, I'm still developing this routine. I start the bike before getting geting my gear on, gear up, then I jump on, check the mirrors, in first and go. I find I feel like I'm forgetting something.

    Something I'm going to have to make sure I do is check the strap on my helmet. I've found myself once or twice riding along wondering what is flapping to realise I've somehow forgotten to do it up. I've also got a helmet cam I need to get into the habit of turning on.

    So, my question to you gentle rider, is what routine (if any) do you follow?
  2. As well as what you have above i Check the indicators front and back, check brake light using front and back brakes, check headlight and high beam, tension of the chain once a week (chuck chain lube on if required), check coolant level and lastly check how much petrol I have.
  3. My routine is as follows: Roll bike out of garage, visually inspect tyres and chain, start bike and listen for a couple of seconds, check the brake light works, then gear up with jacket, earplugs helmet and gloves in that order. Now mount and ride!
  4. Mine is like this:
    1. Start bike up
    2. Zip up my jacket
    3. Put on and do up my helmet
    4. Put on gloves
    5. Double check brake/indicator/head lights
    6. Wait a bit for the bike to warm up
    7. Double check all of my jacket/backpack zips are done up (I've found myself riding down the freeway with my backpack open and my laptop dangerously close to falling out)
    8. Ride!
  5. Start bike, then put jacket, gloves, helmet, sunglasses on. Check that saddlebags are done up! Check mirrors, then ride ride ride. Once a week I check tyre pressure as well.
  6. But not in that order! Sunnies and earplugs before helmet, helmet before gloves :D.

    +1 for everyone who double-checks that their luggage is zipped up and firmly attached.

    Oil level and tyre pressures are checked somewhere between weekly and monthly. Chain lube is every 500km-ish (usually after I get home from a long ride).

    Now that summer's well and truly over, I find that I have to use the choke to start the bike if it's been left for more than an hour or so. I'm still fine-tuning my procedure for that... sometimes warm the bike up with choke on while I gear up, then choke off and ride away. Other times I gear up before I wander over to the bike, start the bike with full choke, drop down to where it will comfortably idle at 1500-2000rpm and ride off. Choke completely off after a couple of minutes of riding. Either ritual seems to appease the carburettor gods.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Put on earplugs, ipod, balaclava, helmet & glasses.
    Close tail bag
    Put key in bike
    Put gloves on while I'm opening the gate.
    Start bike, ride out gate.
    Check tail lights & P-plate while closing the gate.

    I don't bother with a warm-up, just ride gently until it's up to temp.
  8. In the morning (first ride of the day) when I'm home.

    Open back door and let the dog in.
    Open the gate.
    Open garage door
    Quick visual check of front of bike (including tyre and check for liquids under bike).
    Walk to side of bike, clutch in and snick it in to neutral.
    Push bike forward off centre stand
    Apply front brake.
    Release front brake and roll bike up the driveway and out the gate.
    Walk behind bike, visually checking the back of the bike (including tyre) and chain.
    Close gate.
    Open back door.
    Tell dog to get out.
    Repeat twice.
    Go inside get 'food treat' for dog.
    Bribe dog to go outside.
    Go inside get gear on, except helmet and gloves.
    Go out front door and walk to bike.
    Put key in ignition.
    Put helmet and gloves on tank.
    Turn to key to start, pull choke on, pull clutch in, press starter.
    In 3 fluid movements take glasses of, put helmet on, put glasses back on.
    Do up helmet.
    Adjust choke.
    Put on gloves (which ever one I pick up first goes on first)
    Adjust choke.
    Get on bike.
    Flick up sidestand.
    Pull clutch in, and select 1st.
    Wave goodbye to wife.
    Ride off, making sure I don't scratch my wife's car on the way past.

    Every other pre-ride routine is a variation on this dependent on where I am etc.

    On longer rides when I'm putting on my helmet, add in turn on MP3 Player, put in phones in.
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  9. Lately I blow my nose first so I don't get a helmet full if I sneeze. Have to do that before gloves go on.
    Try and get some feel for the footpegs and levers before taking off with these new boots until they break in.
    Always make sure I have a good front brake via a few pumps even though new lines and pads mean it's going to be ok. Good to have confidence that the brake is there.
    I start after I'm on since the rubber that holds the choke open is perished and I need to hold it open for a little while (not long) and then switch over to throttle.

    Rest as mostly with everyone else.
  10. #10 Jem, May 22, 2013
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
    My routine if I leave before the family is up -

    1. Search house for gloves after small boy has had them the night before
    2. Fail to locate gloves
    3. Go and get another pair from secret hiding place - (He does keep finding it however running out of places)
    4. Collect bag, helmet and Key ( He has his own key now so mine is normally where I left it )
    5. Walk out front door
    6. Put helmet/gloves on seat
    7. Attach bag
    8. Move all manner of bikes and scooters which have been abandoned in driveway
    9. Check bike is in netural
    10 Start bike
    11. Check lights, indicators etc to ensure all working
    12. Inspect rest of bike
    13. Helmet and gloves on
    14. Hop on bike, select first and ride away

    If the family is up -

    1. Question small boy about location of gloves
    2. Fail to locate gloves after much being taken around the house looking
    3. Go and get another pair from secret hiding place
    4. Collect bag, helmet and Key
    5. Hand helmet to small boy to carry to front door
    6. Kiss small girl and big girl goodbye
    7. Walk out front door
    8. Put gloves on seat
    9. Attach bag
    10. Move all manner of bikes and scooters which have been abandoned in driveway - some assistance would be handy here but rarely happens
    11. Retrieve helmet from small boy
    12. Check bike is in netural
    13. Key in ignition and turn to on
    14. Get small boy to come and push the start button
    15. Notice small boy now has first pair of gloves and his helmet on
    16. Have discussion about gloves
    17. Lose discussion
    18. Check lights, indicators etc to ensure all working
    19. Inspect rest of bike
    20. Helmet and gloves on
    21. Hop on bike, select first and ride away
    22. Stop 10 meters down the road and get off bike
    23. Walk back to small boy who is by now on his bike at the top of the driveway
    24. Take small boy back inside
    25. Say goodbye to everyone again
    26. Small boy cracks it as he wants to watch me ride away
    27. Finally get out the door
    28. Walk back to bike
    29. Hop on and ride away.

    I try to leave before they are up.......
    Picture is of the aforesaid small boy with his sister as fender bunny - Notice the gloves.
    photo (4).
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  11. That seriously made me lol
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  12. #12 Nightowl, May 22, 2013
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
    Routine of pre-ride checks helps me get my “rider-head” on (brain into ride mode) and keep track of changes in the bike. Lights, levers, fluids, chain and tyres – especially tyres, given their importance – and kit up. Some are a visual check by a walkaround bike & holding it level, rest is active check. Occasionally will dangle a hand in front of end of exhaust – to me it’s a bit like holding hand to chest to feel heart beat – beat of engine, and how it’s running (fuel rich etc). Love my bike, and as my life’s in its hands and its life is in my hands, I like to have a sense of it being all good.

    Some clips (on the basics, aimed at new riders) that might help with figuring out own routine, the whys and hows ...

    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Start engine (it's shite when you get geared up only to find the bike won't start)
    • Check indicators, brake lights, tyres
    • Gear up
    • Check mirrors once on the bike
    • Kick myself for not riding more
  13. I have created a monster!

    He has now got the Aprilia 2013 bike catalogue and while he has trouble with some of the names he has got RSV4 Factory down pat!!!!!

    Suspect the guys at A1 in Ringwood have worked out that if they work on him and Aprila's then they will get a sale from me to stop him banging on about it!!!

  14. I've had to add one to the list lately -
    #. Check zips on the jacket pocket, in case your wallet goes flying out in the middle of nowhere. :cry:
  15. You jinxed me I forgot one step today.

    Unlock chain from bike. luckily I was parked nose in and didn't try and hoon off.
  16. I used to be a lot more diligent with pre-ride checks than I am now - have not checked fluids, indicators, brake lights or chain slack in ages. This has reminded me to be more proactive!

    My routine is normally something like the following:
    1. Remove disc lock (forgot to do this once after parking nose-in in garage, ended up cracking the plastic on the front mud guard where it attaches to the fork - got one of those gumby high-vis reminder straps now).
    2. Wheel bike out of garage and lock door.
    3. Check tailpack to ensure all pockets zipped up.
    4. Zip up jacket.
    5. Insert ear plugs.
    6. Don helmet.
    7. Muck around with neck sock to try to eliminate wrinkles between helmet and cheeks. Normally requires reaching in through front of helmet to pull the thing up. Looks ridiculous to passers by.
    8. Check tailpack to ensure all pockets zipped up.
    9. Start bike.
    10. Start whatever GPS tracking app I'm trying out that day (none of which ever seem to really work).
    11. Check tailpack to ensure all pockets zipped up.
    12. Phone in jacket pocket.
    13. Get on bike.
    14. Take a moment to clear my thoughts and shoot a quick prayer upstairs to make sure I come back home to my family in the correct anatomical configuration.
    15. Ride away.
    16. Then at each of the first 3-4 sets of lights, reach back to check tailpack to ensure all pockets zipped up.

    Little paranoid about the tailpack thing. First big group ride I went on (88 bikes), one guy didn't close his tailpack properly and ended up losing his house keys somewhere between Oberon and Bathurst.
  17. This is all great stuff - thanks. (y)

    I'll need to work out what to incorporate. I've checked lights etc about once a week, not every day. Perhaps I should be more diligent there.

    I reckon my young fella will like pressing the start button. I'll have to get him onto that. :)
  18. Update -

    Things had been going very well in the glove locating department recently.

    I gave the small boy my Rhock Gloves about a month ago in an effort to restrict his glove fetish to just 1 pair and that went alright for a week or so. He then informed me that as it was not summer it would be okay for him to have my summer gloves as well as I would not be needing them. A week later he informed me that as it was not raining he could also have the rain gloves as It was not raining so I did not need them.

    So he now has 3 pairs of my gloves and I am left with my RS Tachi winter short gloves not bad at least it was the pair I wanted to be wearing.

    Fast forward to this morning, get my helmet down, look inside no gloves. Look at small boy and ask if he knows were the gloves may be.... At this stage he runs down to his bedroom and then returns empty handed, " I don't remember" is the comment; you wear these ones dad it will be ok ( The Rain Gloves )

    At this stage I am just resigned to doing so, his hiding spots have proven to be far more effective than mine. I leave the house with a parting instruction that it would be good if he could try and locate all the gloves after Kinder today. Will be interesting to see if he has when I get home.

    Cheers Jeremy
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  19. hahaha your kid is awesome.