P.L.A.N.S. – Do You Have One?
During this very busy summer riding season, we thought a guest post about maintaining our bikes and staying safe would be a good read. As such, Jill Oliver a very accomplished rider and traveler has put together this very useful information. Most of us have some sort of pre-ride check, some more thorough than others. We think this is simple to remember and execute. Thanks Jill!
Zero breakdowns. Is that even possible? Well, that is, will my bike be dependable to do what I want it to do all the time? As an adventure rider, I will say that all bets are off when you eyeball that big mud puddle, thinking, “I can totally ride through the middle of that!” Then you don’t. Or, if you burn up a clutch trying to ride up a road made of baby head sized rocks. You know, stuff like that. You are going to have a self-induced breakdown. I am talking about making sure you can stop, nothing falls off the bike, or you can get from point A to B. Zero breakdowns? Really? Of course you can.
Riders for Health (RFH www.Riders.org), an award winning social enterprise, does this every day. Their expertise in fleet management, including motorcycles, enables health care to be delivered all over Africa. They have a zero breakdown policy. See! It is possible. They should know because they maintain vehicles in the worst conditions of sub-Sahara Africa. Granted, they are on agricultural motorcycles that are built like tanks, but the same principles apply to any motorcycle, anywhere in the world. How do they do it? RFH uses a daily checklist called – P.L.A.N.S.
P = Petrol (gasoline). Do you have enough?
L = Lubrication. Check lubrication of the chain, levers for brake and clutch, and oil level.
A = Adjustment. Check the chain and clutch lever. Adjust if necessary.
N = Nuts: Walk around the motorcycle, tighten loose nuts and bolts.
S = Stop. Does the throttle closes fully and both brakes work?
PLANS doesn’t replace major maintenance, but it will ensure that your motorcycle makes it between maintenance intervals and be dependable on your ride. Just make sure that you can get through that pond of a puddle or avoid the baby heads all together.
Jill is a very accomplished rider and traveler including her tour with the Riders for Health adventure Experience Africa. http://www.riders-experience.org/2013/01/my-amazing-adventure-in-zambia-jill-oliver/
She is an active participant in the Pacific Northwest Dirty Girls community and spends lots of time riding her F650GS Dakar for distance adventures and dirt bike too. Professionally she is a GIS guru and loves maps. http://www.esri.com/news/arcwatch/0112/gis-professionals-take-arcgis-home.html
You can comment here or contact Jill at: firstname.lastname@example.org