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Tips and Tricks for Motorcyclists

An ongoing column of useful information for riders of all types of motorcycles.

Remove the fitness watch

If you're using one of those newfangled fitness watches, you may be getting bad data about how many steps you’ve taken on a day you ride. After 200 miles in the saddle our test watch said we’d taken 13,740 steps. Plan for similar results if you must wear it when you ride.

Fire up the heat first

Planning to take a ride and it’s already chilly out? No sense in waiting until you feel the cold coming on, go ahead and fire your heated clothing, seat, grips or otherwise from the moment you depart. Waiting until later means you’ll have a longer period of time for things to warm up again.

Making up your own home tool kit

For a lot of us, our home tool kit evolves based on needs and wants over time. But it seems that with each new bike, we need to get a few more things. It’s time for you, your motorcycle and toolkit to have a family meeting and see what’s missing. Start by reviewing the various nuts and bolts around the bike. Have you got all the correct size tools you’d need to remove bodywork, do an oil change, get to a spark plug, adjust a chain and so on? Can you access all the necessary areas, or will you need some flexible extensions to get to out-of-the-way and otherwise hidden fasteners? Your home tool kit should contain all the tools you need to maintain the bike yourself and handle whatever level of standard services you plan to do at home. Create of list of what you need, then do one of your favorite things and make a trip to the hardware store to stock up!

In your ears

Wind buffeting begins causing hearing damage within seven minutes of riding on the highway. That's why it's a good idea to install some ear plugs into your hearing cavities before each ride (then removing them when the ride is over). They come in all shapes and sizes. The lighter the better, especially if you plan any off-road riding. Look for SPL (Sound Pressure Level) reductions of 32 dB (decibels) or greater. The custom formed one's only go to about 25 dB and are noisy when bumping around on the bike.

Solvents vs lubricants

While it may seem like a lubricant, WD-40 is actually a solvent. It’s handy for loosening up rusted bolts and nuts, but when it comes to lubing your chain, you won’t get much in the way lubrication to last for long. Instead consider other options such as OEM and third party chain lube products, white lithium grease or silicone sprays.

TM/Winter 15

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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