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We all know we should perform a pre-ride check, but let’s be honest, we tend to skip them from time to time (or more frequently), don’t we? We’re only human, and that silly little check before we hit the road isn’t that important, is it? It’s not like we’re flying an airliner thousands of feet above the ground with hundreds of people on board. While we may think that only our lives are at stake when we ride, what happens to us can affect others both directly and indirectly.
The reality is that your pre-ride check, when done regularly, only takes a few seconds to perform. You can even start it as you walk across the parking lot towards your bike. How’s that for multi-tasking? So, read on to see what we, here at the hallowed halls of MO, think you should do before every ride. If you’ve got your own additions to the list, add ’em via the comments.
Tires are, arguably, the most significant factor affecting your safety on a motorcycle. We trust both our shiny, expensive machinery and our lives to what, when you really consider it, are two impossibly small contact patches with the pavement. Modern tire performance in wet or cold or dirty or hot conditions with rapidly changing forces (acceleration, deceleration, cornering, braking, and bump absorption) is nothing short of amazing. While much of the moto-press’ attentions are focused on increased engine output or the expanding role electronics are playing in riding, the unsung advances in motorcycle tires over the past decade have been astounding. There are sport touring tires with performance that was once reserved for racing rubber. Wet weather riding need not be the worrying task it was in the past. Heavy touring bikes and cruisers achieve mileage out of a set of tires that is hard to fathom.
What do you want? There are a million greasy spoon biker hangouts in North America and it’s my job to come up with the Ten Best. The chances of me getting this right are roughly equivalent to W. Bush making new friends at an ISIS bar mitzvah, of me winning the Czech GP on a Vespa, of Mitch McConnell posting selfies from a Crossfit gym. Mine not to reason why…
I can personally vouch for the California entries, but for most of the rest of them I solicited input from friends scattered around this great continent of ours, so graciously stocked for our dining pleasure with the tastiest flora and fauna in the galaxy. Let’s start out in Malibu and work our way around roughly clockwise… (I wonder why there is no place there called 'Malibu Barbie-que'?)