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Indicator Lights

A rolling billboard on the side of a healthcare provider's truck proclaimed, "Your car has a check engine light. You don't."Your motorcycle probably doesn't have one either. In fact, there are several warning lights that would be nice to have but are not provided on your motorcycle. Some people call the indicators that replaced gauges on the instrument cluster idiot lights. Wouldn't it be wonderful if one of these idiot lights could warn you of the erratic driving behavior of other drivers?

How many times have you seen someone driving down the road with one of their brake lights not working? Normally it's either the right or left but sometimes it's the collision avoidance light. You may have even seen a vehicle with one or the other of their brake lights on all the time. Obviously there is a wiring problem there.

You've almost certainly seen vehicles on the road with a tail light burned out. Maybe it's a front running light that's darkened. I know you've seen cars and trucks sharing your road with a headlight not working. Sometimes the light is completely gone! You'd think they would know it was missing!

In all probability you've encountered a vehicle whose turn signals weren't operating - assuming the driver turned them on. The light you did see might have been flashing faster than normal, likely caused by its mate on the other end being burned out. Wouldn't a "Check Lights" indicator be helpful in letting these drivers know the need to fix their vehicle?

What about your bike's lights? There is no "Check Lights" indicator on your instrument cluster either, so how do you know if they are all working properly? The smaller profile of your motorcycle not only makes it difficult for other drivers to see you, but also harder for them to judge how far away you are and how fast you are going.

The fact that motorcycle lights are usually smaller than other vehicle lights makes it imperative that your lights are fully functional on the road. But how do you know they are doing what they are supposed to do? Do you check all of your lights before each ride to ensure their proper operation?

While you're at it, what about your tires? Do they have the correct air pressure? Are they in good shape with adequate tread for you to maintain control? How about the controls? Do they function properly and operate smoothly? Is the suspension adjusted for the type of riding you are about to do? And as long as you're looking your bike over, don't forget to check the fluid levels.

The few minutes you spend inspecting your motorcycle before you begin your ride is a small investment that can not only avoid problems on the road, but also make your excursion safer and more enjoyable. You may not have a "Check Lights" indicator on your bike, but it will be worthwhile to check them before every ride.

Ride Smart! Ride Safe!