Tune up for the 2015 Motorcycle Riding Season

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  • Installation Safety Office
With the 2015 riding season upon us the 78th Air Base Wing Safety Office would like to share a few tips in an effort to continue awareness and safety for both riders and vehicle drivers this riding season. The Robins 2015 training courses are now available. Registration can be filled out at the 78th Air Base Wing Motorcycle Safety Registration page and on the Team Robins Splash Page, quick launch Safety. 

Motorcycle Riders:
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation's "T-CLOCS" inspection checklist is a good place to start. T-CLOCS - which stands for Tires, Controls, Lights, Oil, Chassis and Stands - is a pre-ride inspection process the foundation advises all riders to perform before going out for a ride. Its principles also apply to preparing a motorcycle for a new riding season. Your Unit Motorcycle Safety Representatives can provide a copy, or you can get one from the Team Robins Safety SharePoint under the Motorcycle Safety Program Toolkit. 

Here's a quick 7-point plan to winter recovery, in order of importance from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation: 
1. Manual Labor - Dust off your trusty service manual and skim through it. 
2. Fuel First - You shouldn't use fuel that has been sitting.
3. Battery Maintenance - Lead-acid or lithium, you probably need a charge.
4. Tires - Will they be good for the whole season?
5. Oil and Filter - Now is a good time to change them.
6. The Forgotten Fluids - Don't forget your brake fluid and coolant. 
7. Spring Cleaning - Days are getting longer, make your bike shine. 

Vehicle Drivers:
Ten Things All Car & Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles:

1. More than half of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Most of the time, the car or truck driver, not the motorcyclist, is at fault. There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road, and some drivers don't recognize a motorcycle - they ignore it, usually unintentionally.

2. Because of its narrow profile, a motorcycle can be easily hidden in a car's blind spots or masked by objects or backgrounds outside a car, such as bushes, fences and bridges. Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you're changing lanes or turning at intersections.

3. Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is. It may also be difficult to judge a motorcycle's speed. When checking traffic to turn at an intersection or into or out of a driveway, predict a motorcycle is closer than it looks.

4. Motorcyclists often slow by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Allow more following distance, say three or four seconds. At intersections, predict a motorcyclist may slow down without visual warning.

5. Motorcyclists often adjust position within a lane to be seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles and wind. Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off or to allow you to share the lane with them.

6. Turn signals on a motorcycle usually are not self-canceling, thus some riders (especially beginners) sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change. Make sure a motorcycle's signal is for real.

7. Maneuverability is one of a motorcycle's better characteristics, especially at slower speeds and with good road conditions, but don't expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.

8. Stopping distance for motorcycles is nearly the same as for cars, but slippery pavement makes stopping quickly difficult. Allow more following distance behind a motorcycle because you can't always stop "on a dime."

9. When a motorcycle is in motion, see more than the motorcycle - see the person under the helmet, who could be your friend, neighbor or relative. 10. If a driver crashes into a motorcyclist, bicyclist or pedestrian and causes serious injury, the driver would likely never forgive himself or herself.