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Tips and Tricks for Motorcyclists


A monthly column of selected favorites from our vast archive.

New Year’s Resolution -Rent a Bike

Regardless of the style of bike(s) you own, it never hurts to feel what the other one’s ride like. But that doesn’t mean you need to go purchase another style bike. Instead, make a resolution to rent a bike in a category you don’t own. It will allow you to evaluate the pluses and minuses and perhaps open your mind to the true virtues of such a machine. And at the end of the day(s) you simply turn it back in. Some rental companies can provide you a discount toward purchase if you decide to buy the bike later.

Slippery Shifter Rubber

Even on some modern day motorcycles the rubber wrapped around your shifter lever can get loose disengage from the lever, never to be seen again. You can remove it before it’s too late, clean the rubber and the metal lever surface well, the apply some Goop or other rubber cement, reinstall and hope for the best. You could take it one step further and wrap the far and of it with safety wire. Be sure to trim the exposed ends of the wire nicely so they don’t tear up the top of your boot.

Removing old wheel weights

Modern day wheel weights are attached using double stick adhesive foam. Try and remove them with pliers or a screw driver and you’ll probably scratch your precious rim. Instead, apply some lighter fluid or nail polish remover to the foam, let it set for a moment and then use some dental floss to slice off the weight.

Baby wipes aren’t just for babies

Having a travel pack of baby wipes along in your gear can be handy in more ways than one. You can use them to clean up after a mechanical moment, like cleaning or adjusting a chain, inflating or fixing a tire, or those times when the rest room you just used had no hand washing facilities. Available at better convenience stores, markets and big box retail stores.

Copy your docs

Modern day thumb drives, the cloud and internal phone memory all make it possible to scan and store copies of important documents in case we lose the real thing. Take some time to scan your driver’s license, insurance information, vehicle registrations, prescriptions, passport, emergency contact information, birth certificate, credit card company contacts and any other legal documents you may need if you get into a jam. Having this information safely stored in several locations, including one on your person, and updated annually can save you hours of hassle in a worst-case scenario. When using a USB card, encrypt it, password protect your phone and typically your cloud folders are already password protected.

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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