Street Riding Tips

 

Know Your Bike

This probably should have been my very first tip when I started this tip section but better late than never.

Read Your Owners Manual before you take your bike out on the road for a cruise. It is filled with a lot of valuable information on your specific bike. Safety features, how to work things, break-in periods (if new), and fuse locations are just a few things that are essential to know.

So this weeks tip is quite simply, read your owners manual. Here’s a bonus tip. Buy the repair manual to your bike. If your even a little bit handy, this could be a great tool.

Ride Safe/Ride Often

Oh Crap, That Was My Turn!!!

This one is a bit obvious but I feel like I need to put it out there anyway. I have seen too many people that ride realize they are missing their turn and instead of riding past it they will shoot across however many lanes there are just to hit the exit.

Please, please, please just bypass the turn and proceed to the next safe place to turn around. A quick move across traffic lanes can prove to be fatal. There is nowhere you can be going that is important enough to gamble with your life. Have a great week.

Ride Often/ Ride Safe

Got Fuel???

There is nothing worse than being in the middle of nowhere and running out of gas. If you used one of our links on this website {hint…hint} and joined the AMA with the auto-renewal option, you can call the roadside assistance and have them deliver some gas to you so you can make it to the next gas station.

I don’t know about you but I would rather be riding the scenic highways and byways than sitting on the side of the road waiting for gas to be delivered. So what’s the tip you ask? Simply put, know your bike. Know how many miles you can go before you hit reserve. Also, know what your reserve is. How many miles can you go on reserve?

Lastly, know where the gas stations are on your route. If the next station is a certain amount of miles away and you “think” you can make it, why not be safe and top off at the station you are passing. It beats the hell out of waiting or pushing!!!…lol.  We hope this helps. Have a great week.

Ride Often/Ride Safe

Air It Out

Part 1 of this tip should be done during your pre-trip inspection but part 2 can happen while you are out on the road. You might have figured out what we are talking about but if not it’s tire pressure. Always check your tire pressure BEFORE you head out for a ride. Heading out on under inflated or over inflated tires can be dangerous.

Putting air in your tire during a pre-trip is probably easy because most people will have some kind of air compressor at home. What if you are on the road? Now what? What if you started the day with good pressure, have started your trip, and noticed that now you are low. Slow leaks and picking up nails do happen while you are on the road.

Besides having a good roadside assistance program (like through AMA, you can join by clicking the link in the AMA picture at the top of this page) you should also carry a small air compressor. If you have a complete blowout than the only thing that will help you is roadside assistance because you will need to be towed.

If it’s a slow leak and only a little low, you can fill it with your air compressor and ride either straight home or to a repair shop. We carry the Slime 40001 Air Compressor. It’s small enough to fit in our side bags. We hope this helps. Have a great week.

Ride Often/Ride Safe

The Dreaded Dry Eye

Even though wind therapy is my favorite kind of therapy, long sessions of this kind of therapy can do a number on your eyes. Long days of riding can easily dry out your eyes and cause discomfort. If you have allergies like me, not only will they dry out, they itch and become irritated.

The solution is easy. Carry eye drops. There are a couple of different kinds. Most people can just carry the lubricating drops and they will work fine. Others like me need the allergy drops. Whatever type you use, try putting a few drops in each eye when you get gas or even every other time you get gas. Your eyes will thank you.

Ride Often/Ride Safe

 

The Eternal Blinker

Remember to turn off your turn signals after completing a turn. Start training yourself to get in the habit of using that thumb to click off those signals. Push it every now and then just to be sure they are off.  If cagers see you coming down the road with your turn signal flashing away and they are waiting to pull out into the road, guess what? Yup, they are going to pull out right in front of you.

Some cagers might do that anyway, let’s not give them a reason to do it. We hope this helps.

Ride Often/Ride Safe

 

Not Going Anywhere For A While?

As we sit here getting ready for a 5-6 hour ride today, I can’t help wondering what are we doing right now that can help someone else out in the future. Then it hit me.

Whenever we head out somewhere there are a few staples we always bring. We always pack water, grapes, and some kind of cereal bar. I know in a previous tip I said to pull into a gas station so you can stretch and grab some water and a snack but what if you are stuck in traffic?

I was on a group ride one time from Long Island New York to West Virginia and on one of the main roads, there was a serious accident. The road was closed so a helicopter could land and everyone sat in one place for about an hour. We have also been in stop dead traffic jams that move slower than a snail’s pace.

An hour isn’t so bad your thinking and maybe it’s not. Change a few conditions and it’s a different story. What if it’s 100 degrees and the sun is beating down on you with no shade in site? What if you’re hypoglycemic? What? What the hell is that? Basically, it’s low blood sugar. Yes, I have it.

So you see by carrying some water (a must) and something with sugar like the grapes and a cereal bar if my sugar starts to dip usually a couple of grapes and a cereal bar do the trick. Even if your not hypoglycemic, being stuck in a traffic jam is no fun without water and a snack. Being super thirsty or hungry will affect the way you ride in a negative way.

So, the long-winded tip for this week is to always pack at least one bottle of water and a couple of small snacks before a ride. Even if you don’t use them during the ride it’s better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them!!!

Have a great week!!!

Ride Often/Ride Safe

Where Am I?

We are definitely guilty of this one. Have you ever taken a ride into a mountainous area counting completely on your phone or GPS? If so, like us, you will learn that many times you will lose signal on your phone and GPS while riding through the mountains. Usually, by the time that happens, you are deep into them and have no idea how to get back. Especially if you’re like us who like to explore side roads…lol.

What’s the solution? Well, glad you asked because that is the tip for this week. Always carry a paper road map of the area you are going to ride in. If you never lose signal on your phone or GPS, great, but if you do, you will be prepared.

Ride Often/Ride Safe

Is That A Tar Snake?

Always scan the road surface. Sounds simple enough right? The fact is many riders are watching for cagers. Some are just sightseeing. While watching for cagers is definitely a good thing, don’t forget about the road surface. You should be looking for oil/antifreeze/any liquid spills, sand, loose gravel, tar snakes, debris or the dreaded pothole. All of these can be extremely dangerous.

So get out there and ride but always have your eyes scanning. I hope this helps. Have a great week!!!

Ride Often/Ride Safe

Are We There Yet?

If you love riding as much as I do, you will undoubtedly take some long trips every now and then. When I lived on Long Island, it took me an hour (or more sometimes) just to get off the Island and over the bridges. Then it could be a few more hours to get to the area I want to ride.

Even though you might be really excited to get to your destination and want to ride straight through, make sure you take breaks. Many motorcycles can go long distances before they need gas. Just because your motorcycle can go a long distance before it needs to stop doesn’t mean you should.

Approx every hour to hour and a half or so you should pull over, have a small snack, drink some fluids (no, not beer…lol), and get off the bike to stretch. Doing this will keep you more alert and awake. Never ever ride tired!!!

Ride Often/Ride Safe

That Cager Must Be Out Of Blinker Fluid

Everyone knows that most cagers do not watch out for motorcycles. Furthermore, most just change lanes with barely a glimpse. Try this the next time you are riding in traffic.

Watch the drivers head and mirrors– Most cagers won’t change lanes without at least a quick head movement to either side. If you keep an eye out for a cagers head movements either through their mirror or window, you may be able to anticipate their next move.

Ride Often/Ride Safe

Are There Any Cars Coming?

Before you head out on your bike, always adjust your mirrors. Unlike cars, there are a lot of bikes that you need a wrench to properly adjust your mirrors. You also want to make sure your mirrors are tight before you take off. It would totally suck to try and merge into traffic with your mirror swinging around in circles!!!

Ride Often/Ride Safe

Keep Small Issues Small

Sometimes while you are out riding little things can happen. Maybe a mirror bolt or battery bolt loosens up. Both relatively minor problems. Unfortunately, those minor problems can be rather large if you are in the middle of nowhere and don’t have anything to take care of them with.

So this week’s Thursday Two Wheeled Tip is to get yourself a small toolkit and carry it somewhere on the bike. It’s an easy way to keep a minor problem small.

Ride Often/Ride Safe

How Safe Is Your Bike?

Always perform a Pre-Ride Inspection of your bike before taking it out. See my page on the Pre-Ride Checklist for a complete list.

Ride Often/Ride Safe

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