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101 Critical Days of Summer: Chapter 1, Wild Hogs

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Amber Corcoran
  • 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs
This feature is one of 16 in the 101 Critical Days of Summer series from 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs.

The summer season can be a great time for outdoor fun, but with an increase in activities comes a greater chance for accidents to happen. This time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known to Air Force members as the 101 Critical Days of Summer.

This year, the critical day's campaign is broken down into 16 movie title-themed weeks listing and discussing various summer activities and how to stay safe, and injury free while enjoying them mishap free.

"The chapters will emphasize risk management, core values and following proper guidance as it relates to each chapter's topic," said Russell Knowles, 2nd Bomb Wing Safety. "Week one is titled "Wild Hogs" and focuses on motorcycle safety."

Between 2009 and 2013, from June to September each year, there were 36 Air Force fatalities due to motorcycle accidents.

As summer weather continues, motorcyclists spend more and more time riding. Whether it's just for an hour or a long-distance trip, riders must be aware of becoming complacent about safety. The Air Force requires training for all motorcyclists, as stated in Air Force Instruction 91-207; risk management techniques provide a rider the means to ensure all safety precautions are taken to include proper personal protective equipment; and excellence is attained because of the continuous improvement in riding skill.

By being refreshed on the AFI and tips and precautions learned through training, a rider can determine whether they and their motorcycle are road ready.

Below are some tips for getting ready to ride:

-Check your T-CLOCS
T: tires and wheels
C: controls
L: lights
O: oils and fluids
C: chassis
S: stand

-Look for any signs of leakage, such as stains underneath that indicate problems.

-Remove the gas cap and peer into the tank with a small flashlight (switch it on first to avoid sparks), look for rust in steel tanks, and note if the fuel has sediment or other contamination. Give the gas a quick sniff. If it smells like old varnish the fuel system may need to be drained, flushed and the fuel filter replaced.

-Check the oil level and note the color of the oil, as old, dirty oil leaves sludge and deposits in the engine.

-Tires more than about five or six years old should be replaced even if they aren't worn out. After a thorough inspection inflate the tires to the recommended pressure in the owner's manual.

-Check your maintenance records and schedule to determine if the motorcycle is due for a major service, including a tune-up and valve adjustment.

-Inspect the brake linings and rotors or drums for wear. Also check the brake fluid, which should be changed every two years, and if it looks dark replace it.

-Check the throttle cables and clutch cable (if equipped) for free travel and lube with special cable lubricant.

-Inspect the sprockets and chain (if equipped) and make sure it's properly lubed and adjusted.

-Start the engine and allow it to warm up gently without revving. After the engine is up to normal operating temperature, check the idle speed and adjust if needed.

-Test all controls, lights and accessories to ensure they're working properly. Addressing these items before you ride can save a lot trouble down the road.

-Remember personal protective equipment; protect your body with long pants and sleeves and wear boots to stabilize your feet and ankles. Even if it's hot out, don't forget a jacket. (Check AFI 91-207 3.5.4. for the proper PPE list.)

Once a rider has checked all the basics, they'll be just as road ready as they were at the beginning of the season.

For more safety and reference tips, contact the base Safety office at 456-5606 or visit or