Blog

Top 3 Challenges for Smaller Motorcycle Riders

Top 3 Challenges for Smaller Motorcycle Riders

Until the last decade or so, the vast majority of motorcyclists were men. As a result, bikes were built mostly for larger, taller people. Because the percentage of women riders is increasing so quickly, major motorcycle manufacturers are scrambling to capture their new market. However, the vast majority of bikes are still built with taller, heavier men in mind. Fortunately, nearly all motorcycles can be modified. If you’re a smaller rider and new to motorcycles, there are challenges that you need to be aware of when testing bikes. Bike Testing Tips Before buying a bike, take your time to get a feel for each one and how it fits you. Each rider is different, and each bike will provide something different based on a rider’s unique traits. Pay special attention to elements such as the seat height, bike weight, and weight distribution. Seat Height This may seem obvious, but if you’re new to riding, you may think that the motorcycle is fine as long as you can touch the ground. Not so. In order to be able to competently control the bike, you need to be able to touch the ground flat-footed. Maneuvers such as backing the bike up, stopping quickly, or sitting on an incline in traffic will be a real challenge if you can’t fully touch the ground on both sides. Bike Weight This is not a big deal when you’re moving forward and everything is peachy. It becomes an issue when you need to back it out of a parking space, maneuver it in tight spaces or pick it up after you’ve dropped it, which will eventually happen if you ride long enough. You need to be able to control your motorcycle at all times so pick one that you don’t have to manhandle just to get it out of the driveway. Weight Distribution This is probably more relevant than how much the bike actually weighs. Women and smaller riders who choose larger bikes may be happier with ones that have the weight distributed toward the bottom rather than the top because the bike will feel lighter. To test this, try rocking the bike back and forth a bit when you’re sitting on it and actually back it in a circle. If it feels too heavy, bulky and awkward, try another one until you find one that feels comfortable. Maintain Riding Comfort There are plenty of bikes out there for smaller people who may not have the height and strength advantages of large men. On the flip side, there are plenty of experienced women riders who ride the bigger cruising bikes with no problem at all. What it boils down to is what you’re personally comfortable riding. As long as you can control the bike, that’s all that really matters; the rest is just personal preference. Regardless of whether you choose a big, comfy cruiser or an agile sport bike, happy riding and remember to keep the shiny side...

read more

Common Motorcycle Injuries

Common Motorcycle Injuries

Sources: CDC Motorcycle Safety Handbook http://www.cdc.gov/features/dsmotorcyclesafety/index.html http://rideapart.com/2013/05/what-the-latest…motorcycle-safety/ http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810982.pdf http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811208.PDF Use the code below to embed infographic <a href="http://afteramotorcycleaccident.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://afteramotorcycleaccident.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/MostCommonInjuries.jpg" alt="Most Common Motorcycle Injuries" style="width:100%;"...

read more

Handling Road Obstacles

Handling Road Obstacles

There are a countless number of obstacles you will encounter as you put miles on your bike. Some of them you’ll see and some of them will catch you off-guard. As in life, if you stay prepared, you can get through most of the surprises safely. Here are a few tips to help navigate the road while out cruising. 5 Tips for Road Obstacles Use common sense. When driving a car, there are some typical things you should be doing. Keep your eyes on the road and your focus ahead, but remain aware of the moving vehicles around you. Drive to suit your vehicle type, comfort, and road conditions. Remain alert and keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. On a motorcycle, using common sense and following these tips is critical. If you fail to see an object lying in the road and run it over, life-threatening injuries and big bills could result. Practice Swerving There is nothing that can save your bacon in a sticky situation better than a competent and quick swerve. First, practice doing it at low speeds. Then, progress to swerving at higher speeds as you gain more skill. That way, should you ever need to swerve around a road obstacle, you’ll be ready. Take Angles Take striations, graded bridges, and railroad tracks at an angle if you safely can. These road obstacles can pull you to the side if you take them straight on. Angle your bike so that you’re crossing the bridge, striation, or tracks at a 45-degree angle. Instead of getting pulled down into the grooves, your tire crosses them smoothly. Don’t Lock Brakes Don’t panic and lock up your brakes. A skid can turn a bad situation catastrophic in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, grabbing those brakes tends to be a rookie mistake. Try to train yourself from the very beginning to swerve. Some obstacles may require speeding up or slowing down, but suddenly and strongly hitting your brakes is often the wrong way to do it! Keep an Eye Out Make a habit of looking to the sides of the road, too. Wild animals, stray garbage bags, and merging vehicles are much easier to avoid if you see these road obstacles coming. If not, they can become a life-threatening issue within seconds. Always Be Prepared The best way to safely avoid road obstacles on your motorcycle is to simply be ready for them. There’s no way that you can anticipate every single thing you experience when riding, but you can prepare yourself as best as possible. If you follow these safety tips, your chances of staying vertical are much improved. Ride...

read more

Motorcycle Flat Tire Safety and Prevention

Motorcycle Flat Tire Safety and Prevention

If you have ever experienced a high-speed tire blowout in your car, it is fairly easy to imagine how much worse that loss of control would be if you were on two wheels instead of four. According to the Hurt Report, an investigative report that dissected causes of motorcycle crashes in 1981, only about 3 percent of motorcycle crashes are due to blowouts. No matter the percentage, nobody wants to be part of that statistic. Motorcycle Tire Safety Today we’re going to touch on some things that you can do to make it safely through a blowout on your motorcycle if you are unlucky enough to experience one. Perform Safety Checks and Maintenance The best offense in this case is definitely a good defense. Replace your tires when they’re worn and check them out each time that you ride to make sure that there is no damage or bald spots. It is better to avoid a blowout altogether than to figure out what to do once one happens. Also, be sure you are familiar with how to change a motorcycle flat tire in the event that it is needed. Pay Attention When you are riding, you should always have one ear on your bike so that you can hear any changes in motor, exhaust or road noise. One common sign of a motorcycle flat tire is a humming noise. You may also feel a wobble. If it is in the rear, you may feel like you are losing power. Slow Down and Pull Over Don’t wait. If you think that you are getting a motorcycle flat tire, immediately let off the gas and look for a pull-off spot. Don’t grab the brakes, change directions or downshift quickly; you want to roll smoothly to a stop. If you are sure which tire is flat, gently apply the brakes to the opposite tire unless you’ve got inter-linked brakes. Stay Balanced Don’t panic and get squirrely or try to look at the tire. Just sit tight, maintain your balance and focus on coming to a smooth, safe stop. Evaluate any issues or damage once you are safely stopped and out of harm’s way. Don’t Ride with a Flat Tire If you are fortunate enough to be able to fix a motorcycle flat tire, do so. If you can’t, you need to wait for a tow. It is not safe to ride your bike with a flat and you’ll damage your rim and ruin what may be a fixable tire. It is just not worth it. Ride Smart The more you ride, the more likely your motorcycle will get a flat tire. We hope that these motorcycle tire tips will help you if that happens. Take good care of your motorcycle, listen and feel for changes, and don’t panic. With a bit of luck, you’ll be back on the road in no...

read more