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2018/19 Fall/Winter Moto Projects

Unlike bears, we don’t hibernate in the winter, but for many, our bikes do. Instead, we hang out in our dens, watch football, cook and read books – dreaming about the coming spring when we can ride again.

Turns out fall and winter are a great time to take care of some odds and ends we’ve been putting off throughout the summer, allowing us to tend to our passion even if we’re not on the bike. Here are a few ideas to consider in the upcoming months.

Make a bucket list of new places to ride

Many riders stick close to home and don’t get the chance to venture beyond a few hundred miles. Time constraints, financial inability and otherwise can all play a hand in why. But just for the heck of it, start dreaming and create your bucket list of places you would like to ride your motorcycle. Print one copy out to hang in the garage as a reminder. Place another near your entertainment center and start searching for videos of motorcycle trips people have taken in these areas. You never know when you might win the lottery, or your 22 year-old successfully graduates high school and all of a sudden you can start working on the list.

Plan a trip you’ll probably never take

Kind of like the bucket list, start planning a trip you may never take. Figure the details of shipping your bike, what that costs, where you would stay, how many miles you would travel each day, what things to see and do along the way. Use the internet to search images of each area you’ll go to and create your own little wish-trip. You might be surprised at how this adds to your own trip planning right here at home.

Dial in your ergonomics

Motorcycles come in all shapes and sizes and so do humans. What looks like a great bike in pictures may not provide the best fit to the rider once they’ve purchased it. But that doesn’t mean you need to trade it in and try again. Foot peg position, seat height, handle bar height, sweat pocket position and more are all variables that can be dealt with to improve the ergonomic fit of your motorcycle. To learn more, enjoy our two-part series about how to get started.

Up your storage game

Sure, it may seem a little anal to get all your gear organized just so, so that you can access what you need on the road without rummaging through a tank bag or side case where everything is piled in together. Follow this link to details of how to successfully categorize all your gear, store individually, and make navigation a snap.

Create a custom packing list

Do you continually find yourself leaving important things at home, usually at the most inopportune time? Having a set packing list you can follow as you prepare for a trip will lessen those moments, if not put an end to them altogether. Use ours as a template to get started or refine an existing list.

Go gear shopping

Oddly enough, fall is when many manufacturers release new products into the market. But since you’re in the northern hemisphere, it’s also when sales are the slowest at dealers. So, it’s often a good time to get some deals on last years' close-outs as well as new lines of gear that have just arrived.

Pick a sunny day and go ride

Be sure to keep your bike on the trickle charger so it’s ready to go in the event of an unusually warm, sunny day, which has a way of happening just about annually in most parts of North America during the cooler months.

Digitize your maintenance schedule

In most manuals, you’ll find a maintenance schedule for level I, II and III services. What many manufacturers tend to leave out are other important aspects such as checking steering and wheel bearings, cable quality and so on. Take a minute to determine five or six add-ons items and add them into the service schedule. Store the file on the cloud and you’ll be able to access it from just about anywhere at any time.

Up your riding skills

Sage riders know they can never posses all the best skills for riding a motorcycle, no matter how many years they’ve been riding. Savvy riders make a point of taking a next-level skills class every two years or so. This could be an intermediate or advanced course, a well-run track day, a three-wheel class, some off-road training or the latest craze, Gymkhana.

Hang out with your local community

With so much riding to do in the spring and summer, you may be missing out on some of the other social aspects of motorcycling. Fall and winter is a great time to hang out with other riders at a year-around local bike night, if you have one in your area. It’s also a great time to find a local motorcycle show, visit a museum that has bikes on display and so on. And if you’re able to ride there, that’s a bonus, but don’t be ashamed for going in the car if you so choose.

Patrick Thomas/October 2018


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