Life can easily throw a wrench into your daily routine, as this year has proven. You'll never know what might happen so it's wise to always be prepared.

Current safety protocols mean service centers are not up to their former capacity yet. It’s not as easy to get an appointment to service our motorcycles. Vehicle downtime during the pandemic can be far more costly and take longer to repair. This makes it even more important to ensure our motorcycles are always in the best shape.

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One of the best ways to ensure you keep riding strong in these tough times is to give your motorcycle a quick check before riding out. There are quite a few parts to check on a motorcycle, but thankfully, we've grouped them into six easy-to-remember components: these are Tires, Controls, Lights, Chassis, Stands, and Oil.

1) Tires (and wheels)

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Tires are the most important part of the bike because they transmit power to the road and directly affect your grip, fuel efficiency, ride, and braking. It's well worth it to buy a tire pressure gauge from any car shop to be able to check this regularly.

Check your tires every day to make sure they're at the correct pressure. You'll find the correct pressures on a sticker on your bike's swing arm or under the seat cover. While there, check your tire's tread depth and condition. You can also give your wheels a good look for cracks and dents. Doing this can help you quickly spot a problem that can be addressed before it leads to an accident.

2) Controls

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This part refers to elements like the handlebar, brake and clutch levers, throttle, cables, and pedals. Check these while the bike is stationary so you can quickly spot a problem before you get rolling.

Many bikes have little circular knobs on top of the brake and clutch levers that let you adjust how near of far they have to be before they bite. The same can be done for pedals too. Make sure the bolts attaching them are tight as well. As for the throttle, it should have a little play but still quickly snap back when needed. While there, make sure your mirrors are adjusted too.

Checking these while the bike is stationary is safer than finding out there's a problem when you're rolling.

3) Lights

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Authorities recommend that all motorcycle riders have their headlights on. So use this time to check that it works. While there, check turn signals, tail lamps and brake lights too. These ensure you can properly signal your intention to other motorists.

Lights are usually the first to manifest symptoms of electrical problems. So weak lights or some flickering are a sign that you may have problems with your wiring or battery.

4) Chassis

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This is where you check component like the suspension and frame. The chassis helps absorb the bumps on the road while keeping the wheels and tires on the ground. These components significantly affect handling and fuel efficiency.

Use this time to check the shocks and make sure they absorb and rebound properly. Checking while stationary will help you detect damping problems as well as hear potential squeaks you might not hear while riding. They can indicated potential problems with your shocks. Check on your chain as well for any stiff links or excessive play. Stiff links may mean it's time to lubricate.

5) Stand

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Finally, check the bike's stands. Stands with loose springs or bolts can swing up and down while you're riding or even fall off if poorly maintained. Checking this part can help you spot problems before you park while at work or on an errand.

Newer bikes are fitted with sensors on the kickstand. Making sure the spring is in good condition will prevent problems starting up.

6) Oils and other fluids

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Another critical matter is fluids. These ensure that your moving parts are operating smoothly and without friction. It's important to make sure they're always topped up because these fluids help lubricate engine parts, dissipate heat, aid performance and response, and help your motorcycle last longer.

When inspecting the fluids, keep the bike upright. This ensures you get a proper reading when looking at the porthole for the oil level or reservoirs. While there, check the hoses and pipes for leaks or cracks.

The owner's manual has a list of the ideal oil, brake, and clutch fluid change intervals that will help you determine when to replace them.

Top up with the best

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To help you make sure your motorcycle is in its best shape, Caltex Havoline has a dedicated motorcycle engine oil that can handle these unpredictable times. Called Havoline Super4T and SuperMatic 4T for motorcycles and scooters respectively, these engine oils maximize engine performance and deliver smooth engine operation on all road conditions. These engine oils are formulated with Havoline’s signature C.O.R.E.+ Technology, and ZoomTech.

What do they do?

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Havoline’s upgraded C.O.R.E.+ Technology is Caltex’s most advanced and best-performing formulation. C.O.R.E.+ Technology was designed to clean and protect, in order to maintain efficient engine performance. Its built-in oxidation stability protects against oil degradation. It also reduces engine heat damage to deliver continuous and superior oil stability.

Another innovation included is ZoomTech. Found exclusively in the Super 4T range, it delivers better oil frictional properties. For the everyday rider, this improves clutch grip and prevents slippage, especially under high load conditions, and ensures maximum power transfer for enhanced acceleration.

Besides these features, Caltex Havoline Super 4T and SuperMatic 4T oils now meet American Petroleum Institute (API) SN standards, one of the latest and most stringent specifications in the industry. This means they offer increased high temperature deposits protection for pistons, better wear control, and improved sludge control in urban riding conditions.

Take on the unexpected

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No matter how the pandemic has affected you, Caltex Havoline motorcycle engine oils are designed to help you and your motorcycle overcome it. The engine oil line includes fully synthetic, semi-synthetic, and mineral products. Besides Havoline Super 4T for motorcycles and SuperMatic 4T for scooters, , Caltex also has other motorcycle products like Caltex Havoline Scooter Gear Oil SAE 80W-90 API GL-5, Techron Concentrate Plus – Motorcycle, Caltex Brake and Clutch Fluid DOT 3, and Caltex Havoline Xtended Life Coolant (Premixed).

By using the six components as your guide and topping up with Caltex Havoline engine oils, you can keep on riding strong through tough times knowing that your motorcycle is up to the task.

Caltex Havoline motorcycle lubricants are available at all Caltex service stations and authorized dealers.