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Tips and Tricks for Motorcyclists


A monthly column of selected favorites from our vast archive.

Spray-on wash

Introduced to the market about a decade ago, spray wash products for cars are a simple way to clean the bike when you put it away after a ride, without going through the hassle of doing a complete wash procedure. You'll find spray wash products at better dealers, the auto parts store or big box retailers that sell auto accessories. It's also handy for removing bird droppings on your bike or car when there's not time to do a full wash-up.

After-market backfire

We all love to add an after-market item here and there. But, before doing so, consider what affect changing the bike up might have on its performance later. Tinkering with things like cam shafts, exhaust systems, lowering kits, ignition systems and suspension can alter a bikes performance to the point where it may fail. Do your research first to be sure any modifications will truly lead to a better ride.

Rain pant selection

Some rain pants on the market incorporate an interior fabric into the design. Over time many pants fail, and you know right where -- the crotch. It's a simple repair using a product like Tear Aid or Seam Seal, but if there's an interior lining, you'll need to cut it open to make the repair, then repair that incision as well.

Get Goopy

Be sure to put a tube of Goop into your arsenal of fix-it items. This flexible rubber cement can assist with repairing leaky boots, mending together broken body work, fixing leaky dry bags and much more. Just remember to change the tube annually if it was opened previously, as oxygen can cause it to harden over a few months, making it worthless the next time you reach for it. As a courtesy, well the small 2-ounce tube in the SR store since it's never easy to find at brick and mortar retailers.

Learning from the past

While not as popular as airplane museums, there are many motorcycle museums around the US and around the world. And there's a lot we can learn about our sport from looking at the past. You may have to dig deep to find one near you, but eventually you'll find that for every large-scale type motorcycle museum, there are a handful of personal collectors who open their shops or garages now and then for tours.

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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