Motorcycles and mopeds require more attention and upkeep than cars, since the consequences of something going wrong are usually much more severe when on a motorcycle than while driving a car. You should always check the condition of the vehicle before you drive it. Here are the things you should check every time before you drive a motorcycle or moped:


The proper tires are important for good traction, mileage and safety. Check your tires for the following:

  • Pressure – Proper tire pressure means safer driving and longer-lasting tires. Use an air-pressure gauge to check the pressure when the tires are cold. If you do not know what your tire pressure should be, check the owner’s manual or with the manufacturer.
  • Tread – Worn or uneven tread can make the vehicle skid, particularly on wet pavement.
  • Damage – Check for cuts or nails stuck in the tread. Also, check for wear, bulges or cracking. A blowout on a motorcycle can be extremely dangerous.


Make sure all levers, pedals and switches are in good condition and operate properly. They should spring back to the original position when you let go.


Try the front and rear brakes one at a time. Make sure each one holds the motorcycle or moped when it is fully applied. It is especially important to test the brakes of a motorcycle or moped you are unfamiliar with or have never ridden before.


Check for loose bolts.


Check for kinks, binding or broken strands.


The headlight(s) must shine a white light. The rear or tail light(s) must be red. A white light must shine on the licence plate. Keep your lights clean and check that all are working before you drive away.

Fuel and oil

Check levels.


Check springs.

Adjust your mirrors

Clean and adjust both mirrors before you start. It is dangerous to try to adjust a mirror while driving. Swing mirrors outward far enough to see around your own body. Adjust each mirror so that it lets you see about half the lane behind you and as much of the lane beside you as possible. Reduce your blind spot as much as possible. If your motorcycle or moped has convex mirrors, note that convex mirrors make other vehicles look farther away than they really are. Remember that checking your mirrors is not a substitute for looking over your shoulder.

Diagram of the rear-view mirrors

Turn on your headlight

All motorcycles must have a white light at the front (headlight) and a red light at the back (rear or tail light) and these must be used at all times of day and night.

When driving a moped, headlights and tail lights (or a rear reflector) are required to be used between one-half hour before sunset and one-half hour after sunrise, and any other time of poor light conditions, such as fog, snow or rain, which keeps you from clearly seeing people or vehicles less than 150 metres away. It is recommended that your moped’s full lighting system be turned on at all times to enhance your safety and the safety of others. In addition, mopeds are required to have white reflective material on the front forks and red reflective material on the back forks.