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Tips and Tricks for Motorcyclists

A monthly column of selected favorites from our vast archive.

Joey Chair 2.0 by TravelchairCamping chairs

With the lighter weight metals, composites and fabrics that are on the market today, carrying a camping chair has never been more of a reality. The newer ones are easy to assemble and breakdown, come in various heights and make for a welcome addition to your gear arsenal even if you’re not camping. Beyond camping, they can be enjoyed while waiting out a roadside mechanical, or just for taking an unplanned stop along the route. Those with bright fabric can also be set up and used as a cautionary device to warn others or your emergency parking situation just around the corner.

Wrap your feet in plastic bags to keep the rain out – Really?

This old tip is ready for retirement. Wrapping your feet in plastic bags to keep the rain out won’t keep your feet dry. Eventually your feet will perspire and with nowhere for the moisture to go your feet are going to be wet from the inside out, subjecting them to heat loss, which you won’t want happening on colder rides. Instead, spend the extra money and buy solid water proof boots. To date the only water proof boot we’ve found to be truly waterproof and stands the test of time is one lined with Gortex® which allows moisture to escape, but not enter. Thus far, the imitators to this lining have proven to fail.

Replacement cables

Do you need to carry them? - Long story short - if your bike is 10 years or older or has more than 20,000 miles on it, it is advisable to carry spare cable's because it's a 99.9% chance you won't find them while you're on the road. They don't take up much space. The other alternative is to include replacement of your cables as standard procedure each time you take your bike in for a level three service. A good rider would train one's self to perform this service on their own. Why not practice at home?

SR! Hi-Viz Zip E-ZsLubricating zippers

Zippers, whether they be on our clothing or luggage, seem to take a beating when it comes to motorcycling. How many times a day do you don and remove your jacket, open a compartment on your tank bag, or get into a zipped mesh sack containing daily items like a phone or sun screen. Sometimes these guys need a little lubing to help them last longer. Perish the thought, you don’t want the zipper on your jacket failing midway through your riding day. A little silicone, chain wax or white lithium grease sprayed on them before the start of a journey can keep them slipping and sliding smoothly.

Leave the hearing protection behind. Say what?

We whole heartedly condone the use of hearing protection every time you ride more than 7 minutes, which is the time it takes to start deteriorating your hearing at highway speeds – even if you wear a full face helmet. But riding short distances (travel time under seven minutes) without hearing protection may actually be a good idea. Consider taking the bike out for a short spin now and then without stuffing your ears. This will allow you to hear any motor, transmission or drive train oddities that may be getting masked during regular riding times.


Got a tip or trick to share. Email it to us at SReditor@soundrider.com . If we use it, we'll slip you a copy of the Sound RIDER! guide to Packing Light/Packing Right.


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