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Choosing the
right motorcycle

When you choose a motorcycle, consider
the type of riding you will be doing.
Choose a motorcycle that you are able to
handle at your level of experience and skill.

It is important that your motorcycle
fits you properly. While sitting on the
motorcycle, you should be able to:
• have one foot, preferably the left,
   flat on the ground. Use the right foot
   on the brake
• feel comfortable with the position of
   the foot pegs and hand grips
• reach and operate all controls without
   straining or stretching

You should also be able to push your
motorcycle and park it on the kickstand.

Be familiar with the
motorcycle controls
and gauges

You should be familiar with the location,
operation, and function of the motorcycle
controls and gauges of your motorcycle
before riding on the road. Be sure to read
the owner’s manual to learn the locations
of the controls and gauges and how they
work. Do the same if you are riding a
motorcycle you are not familiar with.

While you are sitting on the motorcycle,
and before you start the engine, practice
changing gears by shifting up and down
through the gears. Do this by squeezing
and releasing the clutch lever and
operating the gear selector as you would if
you were riding.

Without moving the throttle, go through
the motions of rotating and releasing the
throttle in coordination with the clutch lever
and the gear selector for each shift.

To become familiar with the brakes,
move the motorcycle slightly and use the
front, then rear, and then both brakes to
stop the motorcycle.

Motorcycle pre-trip

It is important that you do a complete
inspection of your motorcycle before every
ride. Problems with the tires, lights or
brakes have been found on some of the
motorcycles involved in collisions where
there has been injury or death.
The following are key points for
an inspection, and you may want to
develop your own inspection routine.
Consult your owner’s manual for more
information. If you find a problem, repair
your motorcycle before riding. If you are
unable to repair the problem yourself,
have it done professionally.


Inflation. Check that the air pressure 
         in the tires matches the pressure
         recommended in the owner’s manual. 
 Tread. Check tire for adequate tread
          depth. As well, look for uneven or
          worn tread, as this can indicate an
          alignment problem or that it is time to
          replace the tires. 
 Objects in tread. Remove objects like
          rocks that are stuck in the tread. 
 Puncturing objects. Check for an
          object like a nail, or a piece of metal


20  A Rider's Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing

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