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Tips and Tricks for Motorcyclists

A monthly column of selected favorites from our vast archive.

Tent repair kit

Most tents these days are pretty durable, but it's still a good idea to carry a small tent repair kit. There may be times you use pieces of it for other purposes, like affixing the tube length to your broken clutch lever. They're not expensive to buy, or you can create your own.

A good tent repair kit includes:

  • Spare nylon cord
  • 4 feet of shock cord
  • Replacement tube tips
  • A length of pole that can slip over a broken pole to make it whole again
  • Spare stakes
  • Seam seal
  • 2 nylon patches
  • 2 mesh screen patches
  • Sewing kit with nylon thread
  • Tear Aid Type A (you may already have this in your fix-it kit)

Chaps or armored pants?

Chaps were originally designed for cowboys to keep the sweat of their horses off of them and protect them from brambles. Today that's about all they are good for. Chaps won't keep you dry in the rain, offer no protection over the butt or crotch in the event of a get-off and have no padding in the knees or the hips to protect you in a fall. They might look cool (really?, have you seen how they hike some riders pants up on the butt-side) but they are essentially a useless addition to any rider's wardrobe.

Please pass the potassium

Restaurants are notorious for loading food with high amounts of salt/sodium. On the bike that means you'll be bloated and if you have high blood pressure you know this is simply not good for you overall. One of the minerals that helps lower high blood pressure, and your body needs but probably does not get enough of, is potassium. You can carry a salt substitute like Nu Salt or Moton Salt Substitute and use it as an add-on when you're dining out, or making food at camp.

For the record, despite the lore, a banana only provides 5% of the recommended US FDA recommended daily dose of potassium. Foods higher in potassium include potato skins, white beans, spinach, apricots and avocados.


Nobody ever claimed the award for being the perfect wiper, including you. Worse yet, cheap toilet paper can get left behind and cause serious bacteria to form and burn your bottom, which is clearly not fun during a ride. Take along some travel wipes or baby wipes and have them handy in the event of an ensuing bad situation before it heightens. We now return you to your regular programming.

Evaporative cooling: What is it?

Evaporative cooling is essential to keeping our marbles straight during a hot weather ride. When the body sweats, it perspires and uses sweat to draw excess heat away from the skin. If we ride with just a t-shirt on during a hot afternoon, the perspiration departs before it can do its job, leaving the excess heat behind in our body, which can lead to heat stroke. To combat this, wearing a full coverage riding jacket with the air vents open will allow you to both sweat and wick heat from your body. If you think you need more water on your skin, soak a t-shirt with water, or better yet, don an evaporative cooling vest.

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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The Ultimate Tire Repair Kit- Fixes tubes and tubeless right every time.

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Sound RIDER! Online Store                                                                            

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