By Staff Sgt. Robert Cloys
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
As warmer weather makes an appearance across the front range, motorcyclists are starting to bring their bikes out from the garage, dust them off and take to the road.
With a long winter hiatus, there are two major hazards for riders to be aware of as they get back on the road according to the 50th Space Wing Safety office. Gravel from snow and ice cleanup, especially at intersections, are big safety hazards for those traveling on two wheels.
Additionally driver awareness may have declined. “Car and truck drivers are less apt to see motorcyclists at the start of the season since they haven’t had to keep an eye out for several months,” said Tech. Sgt. Sarah Law, 50 SW ground safety manager.
Before setting out on a motorcycle this spring, the safety office recommends performing a T-CLOCS inspection:
• T — Tires and Wheels
Check the condition of rims and tires, air pressure and tread.
• C — Controls
Check shifter, cables, lines/hoses, throttle and brake function.
• L — Lights
Inspect battery condition, head, brake and tail lights, as well as turn signals to make sure they are working.
• O — Oil
Inspect oil level and for signs of leaking.
Inspect bike’s frame, suspension, chain, belt and fasteners.
Inspect center and side stands for functionality.
The pre-ride inspection is important to ensure motorcycles are in good condition after being garaged all winter.
According to Air Force Safety Center statistics, there have been seven U.S. Air Force fatalities already this fiscal year. Causes for those fatalities include excessive speed, distractions, poor training and inexperience.
There are some precautions riders can take that will make their ride safer and be in compliance with military regulations.
In accordance with Air Force Instruction 91-207, active-duty military members must meet the following requirements to ride motorcycles on or off base:
• A helmet, certified to meet current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Standard 22.05, British Standard 6658 or Snell Standard M2005 shall be worn and properly fastened under the chin.
• Goggles, wrap-around glasses or a full-face shield, properly attached to helmet, designed to meet or exceed American National Standards Institute Standard Z87.1, or UNECE 22.05 or BS6658 for impact and shatter resistance will be worn and properly used.
• Wearing of long sleeved shirt or jacket, long trousers and full-fingered gloves or mittens is required.
• Sturdy over-the-ankle footwear that affords protection for the feet and ankles.
• Motorcycle riders will choose riding apparel as upper garments that incorporate high visibility colors (such as fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent orange-red or fluorescent red, etc.) during the day and a retro-reflective upper garment during the night.
• Outer upper garment shall be visible and not covered.
• Wearing a backpack is authorized if it has high visibility colors/high visibility reflective properties or does not obscure the high visibility and reflectivity of the rider’s upper garment.
“This AFI affects military members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of state law,” said Law.
For more information about motorcycle safety, contact the safety office at 567-7233.