For those of us who live, breath, and sleep motorcycles there is not a “gearing up for spring”, as we usually have our bike geared up all year long. However, for those of us that don’t brave the cold and run down the highway on 2 wheels all bundled up under layers of clothing, there are things that need to be done to get geared up for spring. Gearing up for Spring Motorcycle Riding is important, and at AMERiders, we know this, which is why we want to help you gear up the right way! Now when we say gear up we don’t just mean being decked out head to toe in protective wear, but we mean the bike as well.
When a motorcycle has been in winter storage it needs to be inspected before riding season starts, this is a big importance, for most of us winter has gone and spring is in full tilt and we are ready to hit the road! So extending the life of our dear friend (your motorcycle), and making our ride more enjoyable and not to mention safe should be the first thing on our minds.
How do we do this and what do we look for? We are glad you asked! The Motorcycle Safety Foundation(MSF) has come up with a great little inspection too to help you go through your bikes “Spring gearing up”. The T-CLOCS inspection checklist (download here) is an awesome tool to help check and make sure that your bike is ready to ride. What does T-CLOCS mean, again, we are glad you asked. It is an acronym for a simple pre-ride inspection plan created by MSF, it is the same steps that your service tech takes when you take your motorcycle to the shop for a check-up.
- T for tires and wheels
- C for controls
- L for lights
- O for oil
- C for chassis
- S for stands
It is not only important to have your bike geared up for Spring Motorcycle Riding, but ensuring that you are geared up properly as well. When properly geared up a rider is protected from road rash and all types of other injuries that can be caused when just wearing jeans and a t-shirt. What is the proper gear to wear?
- Helmet– A sturdy well-made DOT or Snell Certified helmet that is properly and comfortably fitted will help to protect your noggin from injury.
- Jacket – Leather or textile material will keep you warm/cool as well as protect your skin from abrasions and also works as a cushion if a crash happens.
- Long Pants – Shorts (skirts) are unacceptable wear when on a bike and will not protect you from road rash or even a burn from the exhaust from the bike. Long pants such as jeans and moreover even chaps or leather or textile pants are the best to wear.
- Gloves – Your hands are delicate, whether you think so or not they are so a great pair of gloves will help protect them from scrapes.
- Footwear– No flip flops or tennis shoes these will not provide you with traction or support when riding. A good pair of leather riding boots is what you need. Make sure they are above your ankle and that if they have boot-laces that those laces are not too long or are tucked inside the boot well.
And last but not least in our information on gearing up for Spring Motorcycle Riding! Is Ride as if you’re invisible! Doing this all year round is a good idea anyway as automobile drivers more often than not suffer from “inattentional blindness.” This means that they may see you and your motorcycle but the image doesn’t register in their brains because you aren’t the normal car or truck they are used to seeing so hence, they don’t see you.
Think about it this way there are some areas of the US right not that some auto drivers haven’t seen one of us on a motorcycle for months so their brains have essentially been trained off watching for not only cars and trucks but motorcycles as well, and since some people operate in a semi-aware state while driving it is more dangerous for us.
So gear-up not only your motorcycle but yourselves, the proper gear will make you more comfortable on your ride and safer as well. Plus, if your motorcycle is well tuned and geared up there is less likely to be a breakdown or problem that could cause an accident as well. Have fun on your adventures and as always…
~Live Free Ride Hard~
Let AMERiders be your stop to gear up for Spring Motorcycle Riding.
And as always don’t forget to send us your stories, pictures and events for posting to GALLERY.AMERIDERS @ GMAIL.COM and we will post them for you. The more people that know about your event the better and we are offering free advertising. We would also love to hear about your rides and love to see those bikes so send those stories and pictures.