Well, it’s not going to happen to me, because I’m so skilled and experienced, but it does happen to people I know on a regular-enough basis that I sometimes wonder what the actual odds really are of me being next to crash a motorcycle? The longer you ride, the more that old saying about there being two kinds of riders applies: those who’ve crashed and those who are going to crash. Most of us of a certain age fall into both categories. As with all of life’s inevitable calamities, of which we seem to have even more than usual lately (fires, floods, pandemics, armed assaults…) it really pays to plan ahead – even if the plan is just to be aware of how best to react in the immediate aftermath. Some things that seem obvious in hindsight aren’t always that way in real time. Here are five things to keep in mind in the hope that being aware of them will be like always carrying a tire repair kit and, therefore, never getting a flat.
The rear brake is probably one of the most taboo subjects in motorcycling, second only to the black art that is motorcycle suspension. The truth is neither subject has to be any more intimidating than you make it to be, and the rear brake is actually very useful. Granted, the front brake(s) carry the majority of the workload when it comes to slowing down and stopping, but knowing how to use the rear brake effectively will serve you better when it comes to bike control rather than simply scrubbing speed.
Picture it: you’re cruising along without a care in the world. The weather is beautiful, the roads are perfect, and your motorcycle is singing its lovely tune. Off in the distance you see a grade along the path – an incline known to make motorists struggle in their cars. It doesn’t faze you, though – you’re on a motorcycle, one easily capable of powering up the hill without a problem. Then it happens: you get caught at a red light right as you’re in the middle of climbing the grade.
Kind of when it comes to love, money, work, international diplomacy – everybody has to learn the hard lessons on their own. Some other things, though, it’s good to learn from those more experienced, those who’ve slid around the block a few times on their head. Well, sister, that’s me. There’s a lot to take in and understand when learning how to ride a motorcycle. It all looks so easy and fluid from afar, but there’s a lot that’s all happening at the same time, and it can be somewhat overwhelming. Fortunately, just like anything new, starting will be the hardest part. Here’s our best advice for staying safe while you get your sea legs.
Being able to ride a motorcycle is one thing, but being able to ride it proficiently is another thing entirely. This is especially true when it comes to navigating corners during a street ride. Not only does the rider have to deal with the dynamics of the specific corner, but other things like road conditions and oncoming traffic are both important obstacles to consider.
While my colleagues do enjoy teasing me about my tendency to overpack, I have a pretty extensive background in motorcycle touring and, before that, backpacking. Also, I believe that I’m the only member of the MO staff that has ever lived on a bike for a period of months. (While chronologically, my cross-country trek took over three months, I spent about four weeks of that period living in a “nest” of gear in the corner of a friend’s Phoenix apartment.) Before settling down to a life of domesticity, child-rearing, and working in the motorcycle industry, my periodic freelance employment allowed me to hit the road for extended road trips. From these two-wheeled forays, I will now give you a little insight into the twisted world that is my technique for preparing for a motorcycle tour.
Parting with a loved one is never easy, but when it comes time to put out to pasture your two-wheel friend, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get the best price for it. If you’re like us, you’ll want a good home for the bike that’s been a part of numerous fond memories. Unless, of course, you crashed it. At that point it’s too late. Sell it to anyone with a pulse, swallow the the loss, and move on to greener pastures.
There are countless dangers when negotiating your way through traffic on a motorcycle, and the perils have only multiplied with the hazards of distracted driving. And when you’re on a motorcycle, there’s no such thing as a minor fender-bender type of accident. You’re the only one you can rely on to traveling safely. Here are five tips you should always keep in mind when riding through traffic.
The great thing about being a motorcycle rider in this part of the globe is that you can do and see plenty on two wheels within the confines of the contiguous 48. However, if you want to expand your borders a little (literally), the options for moto-exploration become even greater should you decide to travel either north or south. Of course, I’m talking about touring to Canada or Mexico. While there are plenty of great roads, paved or otherwise, in both countries, this particular piece is aimed more towards the rider who has never embarked on a trip across these international borders. Here are a few tips on what you need to know, helpful advice, and suggestions to make your ride just a little more enjoyable.
One of the beauties of living in America is that if you’re traveling by motorcycle here, you don’t really need to go anywhere else. We’ve got it all packed into our 3.806-million square miles, from purple mountain majesties to damp New England villages, vast fruity plains and burning sands. Hop across Canada to Alaska if that’s not enough, maybe catch the ferry to Russia. Jump the southern border, and Mexico’s your oyster. Unfortunately, we have no autobahns, but large chunks of the Louisiana Purchase are so sparsely populated, you can intermittently pretend like we do. When it’s time to combat cabin fever and claustrophobia, we Americans are coming from a good place.
If you’re in the market for a motorcycle, chances are you’ve noticed that a swath of new two-wheelers with a five-figure price tag. Of course there are plenty of motorcycles with smaller digits on the bill of sale, but like anything, motorcycle retail prices go up, not down.
May is National Motorcycle Awareness Month, and while we should do whatever we can to make sure other motorists don’t run us over, ultimately it’s our responsibility as motorcyclists to make sure we do everything we can to stay safe. With that, we present 10 safety tips that we often overlook or take for granted.
Riding across America is the dream of many motorcyclists. The notion of traversing the U.S.A. on two wheels has a certain romantic aspect; 4000 miles unspooling before you like reels of an old, epic film. A lone rider and his/her machine, dusty and stoic, sharing tales of the road with strangers at every stop but never lingering in one place for more than a meal or a night’s sleep.