Essex County Fire and Rescue Service



There are some simple but important machine checks that should be carried out before every ride. These are covered by a useful acroynm 'POWDERS' and are set out below:-

P Petrol Ensure you have sufficient petrol for your journey, of the correct grade. Fill up if necessary.
O Oil Engine oil should be checked either at the oil window or with the dip stick. The level of brake and clutch fluid reservoirs should be checked, and on two stroke machines don’t forget the two stroke tank. Never rely on the warning light, you don’t want a seized engine.
W Water Check your coolant level when the bike is cold and make sure you have anti freeze over the winter. Check coolant hoses for leaks. Ensure your radiator is free from damage.
D Damage & Drive Relates to any danger that may be present due to general damage on the bike and the condition of drive chains, sprockets, shafts, etc. Chain adjustment should be checked and be adjusted if required to your handbook specification, and sprocket teeth should not show signs of hooking. An over tight chain will cause damage to your final drive bearing which will be a costly job and a loose chain will cause excessive wear and increase the danger of the chain coming off.
E Electrics Check that the headlight, tail/brake light, indicators and horn are functioning correctly. Check that the engine stop switch and stand ignition cut off (if applicable) are working. Consider carrying spare bulbs and fuses. (This is a legal requirement in many European countries). With the engine running turn the handlebars from lock to lock to ensure the throttle cable is not snagged.
R Rubber Physically check your bike’s tyre pressures and ensure they are at the recommended pressures. Also check the condition of tyres - not just the tread as side walls are just as important, and also examine the tyre wear indicators. Make sure there are not foreign objects embedded in the tyres.
S Stopping & Suspension Check that the front and rear brake systems are operating. A moving brake test should be carried out at low speed. Check there are no brake fluid leaks. Suspension (check the bike's handbook) should be checked to ensure that it is suitably set for the journey e.g. lone rider, with pillion, or with luggage. Check for leaks from the suspension. Make sure the suspension, front and rear operates smoothly without any jerkiness or restriction.


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