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Tips and Tricks for Motorcyclists


A monthly column of selected favorites from our vast archive.

Neck wraps for cooling – are you serious?

If you think a wet bandana or similar is all you need to cool your body when temps go up, think again. What’s overheating your body is the heat stored in your core which is sending hot blood to your brain. A wet bandana can’t possibly cool all that blood down. What can is something wrapped around your core. Some will wet down a t-shirt or sweat shirt, but the smart money is on an evaporative cooling vest. They’re easier to put on and take off than a sweatshirt, and hold a lot more water than t-shirt.

Passenger upgrade

While some riders tell passengers to close their eyes and hold on tight, don’t let that be you. Instead incorporate your passenger into the ride along with you. Teach them to lean when you do, focus on the road ahead like you do and be all means, relax as you do so they don’t constrict your ability to operate the bike in a safe manner. That beats the heck out of someone falling asleep and knocking on the backside of your helmet as they doze off into a nap.

Skip a day

If you’re out on a multi-day ride and fall ill, it’s a good idea to take a day off from riding. Sure, that will mean you’ll have to change your plans, but your body will thank you and most likely the ensuing days will be better days of riding for it. Having a nagging cold, the flu or getting food poisoning are absolute reasons for a break. If you’ve had food poisoning, hole up with a bottle of electrolytes like Pedialyte and sip, not guzzle lots of water, about a tablespoon per minute so you will re-hydrate. Regardless of your illness, if it’s not better the next day, resist the urge to move on and instead, go to a local health clinic for further examination.

Deep Clean your Laptop

If you’ve got a laptop, you know how specs of dirt can build up down inside the keyboard. You can use your motorcycle to clean it out. Here’s how it works. Next time you go for a ride, pack your laptop in it’s case and place it so the keyboard is upside down in your top case, or cinched across the back seat. Now go for a ride. 50 miles will do it. When you’re done, keep in the laptop upside down, remove it from the case and clean all the specs away from the screen with a slightly moist microfiber cloth.

Relax those elbows

Do the elements like wind and rain seem to get you a little tight in the upper back? When that happens, your arms are probably a little locked as well and you’re steering your motorcycle with your shoulders. If you notice this, it’s time to relax that upper body, loosen up those elbows so you can flap them like wings and get your ride back under the control of your mind and hands.

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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