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Perfect Motorcycle Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) Checklist

Ultimate Motorcycle PDI Checklist Feature Image

Today we will discuss and outline the ultimate motorcycle PDI checklist also know as the Pre-Delivery Inspection checklist. So that you can eliminate most of the manufacturing defects on your new motorcycle and be relax.

For a rider, Motorcycling is love. The very day we take it to our home, we get into a relationship with it emotionally. The process starts with either a need or passion. We go through a lot of reviews, ask friends, compare the specifications, or evaluating our riding style to choose the perfect motorcycle. Then we finally arrange money and book our dream.

From booking to taking final delivery is one of the most anxious periods in our life. On the final day, we become so excited that we do not even check if it has problems or not. Only a few days or weeks later, we start to identify issues like a dent in the fuel tank or scratches in the headlight, or encounter a strange noise from the engine. It happens with almost everyone, even I faced this too.

My motorcycle (Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350) had problems with self-start and petrol leakage, later I had to replace the clutch switch and carburetor in the first service (2016). I had to pay Rs. 90 for the clutch switch and Royal Enfield replaced the carburetor for free under warranty.

My only point here is, if I was thoroughly checked during the delivery, I could have identified the problems on the very first day. In my case, the issue was small but for you, it might be very big. Even if you go through the owners manual specifically warranty terms you may notice that there are a lot of clauses where warranty is not applicable.

To be on a safer side, you must always do PDI (Pre-Delivery Inspection) so that most of the manufacturing problems can be isolated.

P.S. This Motorcycle PDI Checklist below may become long but I can assure you it is comprehensive. Still, if you want a compact version, let me know in the comment section, I will add a downloadable pdf checklist.

Two-Wheeler Basic and Cosmetics Checklist

You may be surprised but on many occasions, a new motorcycle can have cosmetic faults like dents, color fading, poor welding joints, or scratches. Sometimes these faults are so minute that the showroom guy might ask you to wait till the first service when they will solve it. This happens because this motorcycle traveled a long way from the manufacturing site and poorly handled all the way.

You might want to ignore cosmetic faults although I would never suggest that. Never ignore faults in functional parts like chassis, headlight, engine, etc.

Basically, you need to thoroughly inspect your new motorcycle in good lighting. Sometimes even the side or main stand may have defects like uneven length, poor welding, or jamming.

  • Check and note the engine & chassis serial number physically.
  • Check for scratches or dents in tank, handlebar ends, levers, chassis, engine, radiator, crash (leg) guards, footpegs.
  • Look for rust and welding joints in every metal part.
  • Check for scratches or cracks in the visor, headlight, mirrors, switches, indicators, tail lights, or any other plastic/fiber parts.
  • The handlebar should be free to move and not bent.
  • If the motorcycle has a radiator, its fins should not have bends.
  • Keep your motorcycle stand on both side or main stand and check for its stability.
  • Your motorcycle seat should not have any cut or out of shape. If possible ask them to remove the seat cover for inspection (note: some dealers do not provide seat cover).
  • Check all screws & bolts for tightness, especially in the handlebar, engine, mudguard, exhaust, brakes, chains, etc. Also, check if any of those have rusted or out of shape.

Motorcycle Engine, Brakes, and Transmission Checklist

Now you once you are done with cosmetic parts. Let’s move to the heart of the motorcycle, the Engine, Brakes, and Transmission section of motorcycle PDI checklist. 

  • Check for the Engine & brake oil levels, colors and leakage.
  • Whether the chain is lubed or not. Generally, a new motorcycle gets chain waxed.
  • Look for gear shifting for smoothness and unwanted noise or slack.
  • Check if there are any visible dents, scratches, or cracks near the Engine and transmission area.
  • For a liquid-cooled motorcycle check coolant level and color.

Tire Thread and Pattern Checklist

A tire is one of the most important parts of a motorcycle because it surfaces the road and provides necessary grips. Look at tire threads and patterns for defects speed rating and manufacturing date. A sealed tire may last for long but if it is attached to a motorcycle, probably not.

  • Check for correct air pressures
  • Look for its threads, cuts, shape-shifting, stones, or even nails.
  • Check the age of tires, too old may not last long.
  • Sometimes dealers change the tire, so verify with owners manuals for its size and thread pattern.

Electrical and Electronics Checklist

These days almost every motorcycle has a lot of electronics and electrical parts other than basic lights/indicators. Even a few electronic features like ABS, Traction Control, Side Stand sensor, Fuel Injection are so important that without these probably your motorcycle will never start.

  • Turn on headlights, indicators, auxiliary light (if applicable), tail lights, and check.
  • Switch on the motorcycle and look for lights blinking at the console, if needed start the motorcycle and check if everything is normal.
  • Engage side stand (applicable for side stand indicators only), honk to check battery health.
  • Ask them to open the battery panel and check for battery specs and leakage.

Motorcycle Accessories Checklist

Check all the accessories you must get with a motorcycle like the main stand, saree guard, mirror, crash (leg) guard (optional, depends on the brand and specific motorcycle).

Sometimes you may get freebies like a helmet, seat cover, keyring, chain lube/cleaner, motorcycle cover, etc.

Finally Test Ride the Motorcycle

It is the most important section in the motorcycle PDI checklist where you will check and learn about your new motorcycle more.

  • Start your motorcycle and notice if it sounds any abnormal. Do the same with continuous and gentle throttle blipping. Also, look for ticking tappet noise.
  • Check if white smoke coming out of the exhaust.
  • Self-start the motorcycle couple of times to check battery health.
  • Put the motorcycle in the main stand, give a light throttle in first gear, and check for tire wobbling or jamming or if brakes are okay. Sometimes new brake pads may resist the wheel’s free rotation, look for that too.
  • Check all the electronics and electricals thoroughly, the console indicators should be normal.
  • Before you take a test ride of your motorcycle, check if the engine is struggling at low RPM (idling).

Now you should take at least 1-2 kilometers long test ride to find out if everything is fine or not.

Motorcycle Papers and Documents Checklist

Let come to one of the most important points papers and documents. First of all, you must know what documents your motorcycle should have then we will discuss what document you will get and when? Below are required and must-have documents for a motorcycle

  1. Registration Certificate
  2. Tax token/Certificate
  3. Insurance (Mandatory 5-years of insurance)
  4. Pollution
  5. Number Plate
  6. Bill or Invoice of purchase

While you need to carry the first five documents all the time and the last one is for your proof or if you want to sell the motorcycle later.

Please keep in mind, during delivery you will only get Insurance policy papers (Validity- 5 Years as per latest Indian Government rules) and Invoice. By default, any new vehicle has a non-pollution declaration sticker attached but in many cities, police don’t consider that valid.

So, it is advisable not to take your motorcycle out before getting the number plate, Tax Token, PUC (Pollution Under Control Certificate), and RC (Registration Certificate).

In general, the number plate takes about 7-15 days and rest like tax token & RC may take up to 30 days. Keep in touch with the dealer or showroom guy to be updated. Once receive all the required documents, get yourself a PUC certificate.

Conclusion on Motorcycle PDI Checklist

Finally, I would say, taking a dream bike home is not easy at all. Starting from deciding the budget, select the perfect motorcycle, arrange money for it, so be sure you are taking your new motorcycle only not any problems.

Hope you find this motorcycle PDI checklist helpful, if yes or even otherwise let us know in the comment section. 

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