Modern day motorcycles are equipped with a host of features that aids the rider with riding safety. As a motorcycle rider, it's important to understand the various warning lights and indicators that may appear on the motorcycle’s dashboard. These lights can alert you to potential problems with your motorcycle, indicating that it's time to take your motorcycle in for maintenance or repair. In this article, we will look at the common tell-tale lights modern motorcycles come equipped with, what they mean, and what you should be doing when you see one of them lit up.
Oil Pressure Warning Light
Oil is the lifeblood of a motorcycle; hence, it is important that there is no issue with the motorcycle’s oil pressure. When your motorcycle's oil pressure is low, this light, which often resembles a miniature oil can, will turn on. Any irregularities in the oil pressure, like low oil levels, clogged oil filters, or a broken oil pump, may cause this light to illuminate. Low oil pressure can cause serious harm to your motorcycle's engine, therefore it's crucial to get it serviced as soon as this light illuminates.
Battery Warning Light
The battery warning light is another crucial light to pay attention to. This light, which typically looks like a battery symbol, turns on initially when the motorcycle’s ignition is turned on. This is a good sign indicating that the starter system is working fine. However, if it does not go out after a few seconds, it means that there is some issue with the battery or charging system. This can be brought on by several problems, including a broken alternator, a dead battery, low voltage, or a wiring issue with the charging system. If this light appears, get your motorcycle checked for its electrical systems right away, because a dead battery can make it impossible to start, and an alternator problem can drain the battery and harm the electrical system. If your motorcycle starts, it is safe to ride for a short distance which should be to the nearest service station.
Engine Temperature Warning Light
When the engine temperature is too high, this light, which resembles a thermometer, will illuminate. This can be an indicator to multiple problems, including low coolant levels, a broken radiator, or an issue with the cooling system. It's critical to get your motorcycle serviced as soon as possible if this light illuminates. Since there is so much wiring so close to the engine, the electricals are also at risk if your engine frequently overheats. Overheating can also cause permanent damage to your motorcycle engine’s pistons, valves and can even lead to an engine seizure. It is best to avoid riding when this light comes on. Call for help from the Road Side Assistance and ask them for directions.
Engine Check Warning Light
On a modern motorcycle, the engine management warning light is an essential indicator. It usually comes on when the motorcycle is in ignition and goes off after a few seconds much like the battery indicator. However, when there is an issue with the engine management system, it stays illuminated. A malfunctioning sensor, improper intake, emission issues, a problem with the fuel system, or a problem with the engine's computer are just a few possible causes for this. The list of the issues that trigger this light is a long one as it fires up as soon as it detects the slightest abnormality. It's crucial to get your motorcycle serviced as soon as possible if this light illuminate, because a damaged engine management system can seriously harm your motorcycle and even cause it to break down.
ABS Warning Light
If your motorcycle is equipped with ABS, you will see this light on your motorcycle’s MID. This light typically appears as an "ABS" symbol, and it will illuminate when there is a problem with the anti-lock braking system of your motorcycle. The light also stays lit when the ABS is off. It usually is lit up when the motorcycle is in ignition and goes off after a few seconds. In some motorcycle’s the ABS is programmed to be activated after the motorcycle reaches a speed of 10-15 kmph and that’s when the light goes off. A lit ABS light may also indicate a variety of issues, such as low brake fluid levels, a malfunctioning ABS sensor, or a problem with the brake system. If this light comes on while riding, take the motorcycle to the nearest service station as it is not safe to ride with the ABS not working.
This light typically appears as an “N” symbol, and it will illuminate when the motorcycle is in neutral gear. This is a reminder for the rider to shift the gear to a higher or lower gear when ready to move. This light also indicates that the motorcycle is in neutral and it’s safe to crank up the engine or kick start it.
Low Fuel Warning Light
This light comes on when the fuel level is low. This light is a reminder to fill up the tank as soon as possible to avoid running out of fuel and being stranded. Typically, it lights up when the motorcycle is using up the reserve fuel. It is best to find the nearest fuel station and get your motorcycle tanked up as soon as this light comes on.
As the name suggests, this light indicates that the turn indicators are on. They are in the shape of arrows pointing right and left. Some motorcycles have only one light that flashes when either of the turn indicators is turned on. Others have dedicated right and left arrows that flash when the corresponding turn indicator is turned on. It acts like a reminder to the rider that the turn indicator is on, and he/she should switch it off once the turn is completed.
Traction Control Light
This light will be present only on motorcycles that are equipped with traction control. Most of these motorcycles have the traction control on by default and will have the option to switch it off. This light is off by default indicating that the TCS is working. The light comes on when you switch TCS off. If the light stays ON when you have not switched off the TCS, it means that the TCS is not working. This could be because the wheel-speed sensors are not functional, or they have dirt on them, or there could be a malfunction in the TCS electronics. It is best to take the motorcycle to the service station if the light stays on.
Now that you know about all the basic tell-tale lights on your machine, make sure that you have a good look at them before you start, and glance at them occasionally, to ensure that you are not taken by surprise while on a ride. And with this extensive guide, you also know what exactly to do when one of these lights come on. Ride safe!