Sunday, December 22, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


For most motorcyclists, this is the time of the year that we all dread...fall and winter. The end of the summer riding season. Depending on what part of the country you live in, your season could end in September or October, or maybe extend into November if you're in a warmer climate. For those lucky enough to be in Florida, Arizona or southern California, you don't have this problem, but for people who experience all four seasons, there will be a time when you have to garage your bike. When you get to December, that time is now. Some people in extreme cold climates may decide to winterize their motorcycles, meaning they drain the fluids and disconnect the battery, to keep their bike in good condition through the winter. In this case, you really are done for the season. For those in the Midwest or climates where the weather can be fickle, taking a chance against winterizing may mean you'll get a ride in every now and then if the weather cooperates. I have lived in Missouri for the past 32 years and can remember times when we saw temperatures in the 70's in January! So if you watch the weather trends and see a nice warm spell coming, get out the tender and charge that battery might get a ride in! In the meantime, you may have to pass the time talking up past rides and rallies with your biker buddies at the shop or dealership, or diner. Heck, you could even check out an upgrade for next year. This is the time of the year for deals on new wheels!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Caught in the Rain?

TIPS FOR RIDING SAFELY ON WET ROADSTip #116 from the pages of The Total Motorcycling ManuelGuest Post By  of Cycle World
We’ve talked elsewhere about how to stay dry on a bike. Now we’re going to talk about how to ride more safely when the road is wet.
Your biggest issue is reduced traction. Painted lines, manhole covers, and metal bridge gratings are real danger zones. Puddles may seem benign, but they can hide deep, sharp-edged potholes. If you see standing water on the road, pay attention.
Gentle control inputs are the key. You needn’t ride significantly slower in the rain, but you won’t be able to lean as far, or as suddenly. Easy on and off the throttle; ditto for the brakes. Take conservative lines—this is no time to dive for the apex. Try to be smooth, like you’re giving your grandmother a nice ride on the back. Keep your brakes dry—this means you’ll have to drag them lightly every 3 or 4 miles (5–6 km), in order to heat them up and drive the water out.
It’s smart to short-shift the bike (shift earlier to keep the engine revs lower) on the street, but do just the opposite (let the bike rev higher) on the freeway. Short-shifting helps keep the wheel from spinning at low speeds and lessens the torque multiplication at the rear wheel so the bike doesn’t step out on paint stripes or manholes. Letting it rev higher on the freeway lets you use compression braking to gently slow the bike without depending on sudden brake inputs.
Finally, wear a full-face helmet. At speed, even small raindrops feel like bullets.
For more tips on motorcycle safety, check out Cycle World.