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Yamaha Motorcycles Street Event - Hinshaws


Tips and Tricks for Motorcyclists


A monthly column of selected favorites from our vast archive.

1st bike smarts

As a reader of this publication, you've probably already bought and sold your first bike. But how about that curious guy on the block who told you he's thinking about taking up riding. Surely you learned a few things from your first bike between what you bought the first time out and what you know now. The war stories are endless about riders who get a first bike that's too much muscle for them. Many know, it's smarter and safer to buy a small bike for the first one and graduate later, selling the original bike for almost what they paid for it. If you agree, share the wisdom.

All about GOOP

We were discussing the virtues of Shoe Goo, a product of the 20th century has been expanded over the years into a number of variations of GOOP, which can be purchased at most hardware stores. Today you can use the product to seal holes in waterproof bags, raingear, a leaky saddlebag or hold together broken plastic bodywork. The applications seem endless once you have it. If it's been opened, it's important to replace it soon after, as oxygen in the tube will cause what's left to harden over a few months.

Breaking in new gear

When it comes to new gear, full face helmets, leather attire and boots need time for breaking in - especially the full face helmets whose cheek pads need time to form to your face. Be sure to plan your purchases with a few short day rides before jetting off for a full 12 hour 500+ mile day ride, to give the gear time to morph to your shape.

Creating your fix-it kit

Often times, when you need to make a quick repair, your OEM tool kit isn't enough. Put together a fix-it kit that includes:

  • Duct tape
  • Tear Aid
  • Zip Ties
  • JB Weld
  • Spare nuts, bolts and washers common to your bike
  • White lithium grease
  • Spare fuses and a fuse puller
  • WD 40
  • Several varying hose clamps
  • Rescue Tape
  • Electrical tape

Credit card & cash

After several instances of leaving my wallet behind at home, I finally woke up to the fact of carrying a spare credit card and cash as part of my riding gear onboard, not just in my wallet. Banks love to dole out credit cards and you may already have one or two laying around that you never use. Pack one away. It also can't hurt to stuff a few twenty dollar bills into the same place. I store these items inside of a cell phone holster I converted to carry items like a flash light, pens and GPS unit.

Packing Light, Packing RightTips and Tricks is a monthly column created by our editors and readers alike. If you have a tip or trick you'd like to share, email it to If we use it we'll send you a copy of The Sound RIDER! guide to Packing Light, Packing Right - FREE!



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