Shares of Ires Reit, the residential property company and Ireland’s largest and Irefs (Irish Real Estate Funds, the Reits’ little brothers), the introduction of a …
What are the best tips/tricks/hacks for motorcycle riders?
Learn how motorcycles work. Embrace countersteering reality. Ignore, then be wary of, friends who claim that countersteering doesn’t work. They will die, you will live.
Take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s courses – Basic RiderCourse, Ultimate Bike Bonding RiderCourse, Street RiderCourse, Advanced RiderCourse. Even some of us “lifers” (I’ve been riding over 50 years) retake the Advanced every few years or so.
Attend the California Superbike School. The one- and two-day courses are amazing skill builders, and are fantastic even for those never intending to ride on a racetrack. You will learn more about the art of cornering than you can imagine, and this will translate into safer riding out on the street, where you will be faced with a split-second decision to make and you want to call upon the correct reflexes.
Buy Keith Code’s “A Twist of the Wrist 2” on DVD from the California Superbike School. Watch it over and over and over and over, and over again… then watch it at least once a week.
Never ride beyond your field of vision. Can you see all the way through a turn? If not, how do you know there is not a hazard waiting to ruin your day (or life)? If you find yourself unable or unwilling to dial it down on public streets, schedule as many track days as possible to get that “crazy speed” out of your system.
Never, ever, EVER ride in a manner that allows any part of your body to cross the yellow line. Treat the yellow line as an inviolable invisible wall.
Know your limits, and ride your limits. Ride YOUR ride, never someone else’s. If riding in a group and the group is faster than you, drop back and catch up with them later. If you are feeling peer pressure to keep up, you need a new set of riding buddies. Friends don’t pressure friends to risk their lives, even if it is fun!
Always let someone know where you are planning to ride, “just in case.”
“See fuel, buy fuel.” I have been called paranoid about my penchant for filling up at each chance I get, but I have never run out of gas.
Bring a small “boo boo” kit: Eyedrops/Liquid Tears, BandAids, Neosporin, Aspirin, extra earplugs, etc… you’ll thank me later! 🙂
ATGATT — All The Gear, All The Time. Make this your mantra. Invest in the best helmet that FITS YOU. Always wear gloves. Always wear boots, although there are some more casual high-tops that may be appropriate for urban riding. Proper riding pants — denim is not a great choice, with the possible exception of engineered denim pants from Klim, Rokker, or Aerostich Protekt. Comfortable riding jacket — leather is still the best thing to be wearing in any crash but modern ballistic Cordura is also very good. I do not personally like the modular jackets that rely on an inner layer for rain protection. I prefer a separate rain shell if I am not rocking a Gore-Tex jacket. Jackets should have shoulder and elbow impact protection, and adding back protection is even better. ATGATT. ATGATT. Even if it is hot. Get a set of vented or mesh gear, and use it religiously. ATGATT. ATGATT. ATGATT. ATGATT. ATGATT……
High Visibility. Hi-viz helmets, jackets, gloves, everything. Anything we can do to make it easier for the often highly distracted cage driver to see us, the better. If you feel you have to wear black to “look the part” and fit in, at least think about adding some high intensity lights to your bike.
Something I learned the hard way: when riding in the desert, it is best to be covered up, protected from the sun and wind. Believe it or not, wearing an Aerostich Roadcrafter Light one-piece suit with the vents open, over a Long Distance Comfort base layer which I would keep wet, I was dramatically cooler and more comfortable, and stayed better hydrated, than when riding in just t-shirt and jeans. This, in the Mojave desert, with daytime high temps about 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heated gear. If you live where it gets cold, even if only at night, heated grips and seat make a world of difference. If you get caught in a rainstorm, heated grips will help keep your hands comfy, which will allow you to maintain focus on getting home safely. A heated vest, when riding at high altitude, or in the chilly mornings and evenings, might become your best friend ever.
Consider putting together an improved tool kit, and of course bring it with you on each ride. The “factory” tool kits supplied with the bikes are terrible, all but useless. Add some Gorilla Tape, zip ties, a tiny volt-ohmmeter, maybe even some J.B.Weld Epoxy Putty, a small amount of a lubricant (never use WD-40).
Hearing protection. Get something you will not mind using every time you ride. If you don’t already have Tinnitus, trust me, you don’t ever want to get it.
Other Stuff and Hacks:
Put great tires on your bike. Very few motorcycles come from the factory with quality rubber. Great tires can help the bike initiate turns better with improved stability, improve comfort, perform better in the rain, offer better braking, and can make one a more confident rider.
Get a proper suspension setup. This is something that is tricky to do by oneself. Your dealer might be able to help you set the correct sag, and adjust the compression and rebound damping for your style of riding. There are suspension experts out there who can really help you dial in the best settings for your bike. Getting your suspension right is one of the very most important things you can do, affecting cornering ability, cornering stability, ride comfort, and safety. I am astounded by the number of riders who only muck about with the preload settings on their forks and shocks, often not even knowing what it is they are trying to accomplish. Cornering is a science, and the suspension is the key to unlocking your bikes’ best performance.
For the more knowledgeable, experienced, and demanding riders, reprogramming your bike’s ECU for improved tractability and power delivery can be just the ticket. Using the Dynajet PowerCommander is just the beginning… there are a LOT of cool ways to transform a bike’s performance envelope to perfectly fit a given rider’s style and needs.
Now get out there, have fun, and above all stay safe. Remember: they ARE all trying to “get you” out there on the road, so ride accordingly.