In a lot of pop culture, motorcycle gangs get a bad (or a bad boy) wrap. For example, Sons of Anarchy depicts an outlaw motorcycle gang. In other movies like the John Travolta movie Wild Hogs, some clubs are really just a few friends who get together to ride semi-regularly. What do these two clubs have in common? Biker communities are full of people who come together for the same purpose.
Biker Communities: Finding New Family
You don’t need to be an outlaw to join a club. Actually, it’s probably best that you aren’t an outlaw at all. Biker communities are a good way to feel at home when you’re on the road. Your friends from your local group become your family. This family will become someone you rely on throughout your biking days.
Biker communities are all over. They can be big or small, just a couple of people can be considered a club. The best part is, nothing has to be official. Just calling someone to join your ride will be good enough. You can have a destination or not, it’s up to you.
There may be scheduled rides some days, or impromptu “it’s beautiful outside, let’s go for a ride” rides. Either way, enjoy them when you can. If you decide a more formal club works best for you, try finding biker communities with regular rides. If you can’t, you can start your own! This way, you can add a new patch to your vest or jacket.
Lastly, do we really need to answer the why? Biker communities are a great way to feel more comfortable on the bike or on the road. They can give you confidence and a community of support. There are few other people who will give you the security that your community does.
You don’t need to be part of a gang to be a part of one of the plenty biker communities that are available. Joining the club will bring a new appreciation for your bike, the road, and the community it offers.
Riding anxiety can affect several different kinds of riders. Maybe you’re a new rider anxious to get on the road for the first time. Or, maybe you’re coming back to riding after an accident. Whatever the case might be, this anxiety can leave you second-guessing about going out. That’s why it’s important to know how you can tackle these riding jitters…
Riding Anxiety: Beat those Biking Jitters
Figure out why you’re anxious
The first step in handling riding anxiety is figuring out where it comes from. There are many reasons why this kind of anxiety can pop up. For example, it could come from the crash statistics for motorcycles. Motorcycles can be a bit more dangerous than traditional cars, which can give some pause before they ride.
However, it could also come from a lack of experience. If you haven’t had much or any motorcycle experience, you could be quite anxious over making mistakes. Not only do you not want to look out of your element, but you also don’t want to make any mistakes which could be dangerous.
Think…but don’t overthink
Once you’ve determined where your riding anxiety is coming from, it’s time to think about ways to handle it. For starters, if you’re worried about accidents, then take some steps to make yourself safer. Invest in some good gear, like helmets and jackets, and study why most accidents occur in the first place.
If you’re worried about making mistakes, then it’s a good idea to brush up on some motorcycle riding 101. There’s plenty of online resources you can find that’ll help you figure out what you should and shouldn’t be doing. You can also look for riding classes, which can give you a safer hands-on learning experience.
Experience is key
Of course, the only real way to overcome that riding anxiety is to get out there and ride. If you don’t, that anxiety will keep you from ever giving your bike a good shot. As with most things, the more experience you get riding, the more confident you’re going to feel as you ride.
Still, you don’t have to go crazy when starting out. You can begin with just some simple rides around your neighborhood or town. Once you begin to feel confident there, you can take your riding to the highways and beyond.
One of the best feelings about riding a motorcycle is the ability to feel close to the road. It’s important to remember that motorcycle tires are (almost) the only thing between you and the road. While this can be a freeing realization, it’s also a reminder to check your tires. As is all motorcycle maintenance, proper tire tread can be important to ensuring a safe ride.
Motorcycle Tires: Maintaining Safety
If you’ve ever seen a brand new tire next to an old tire, the difference is noticeable immediately. The grooves on your tire should be definite and distinct. The depth of the tread is a good way to tell how much life a tire has left. Some motorcycle tires have tread wear indicators. Once you see these, you know it’s time to get new tires.
The air pressure in your tires is important. A tire with good tread can be unsafe if it is over inflated. Similarly, if a tire is under-inflated, it can be even more dangerous. Check your motorcycle tires regularly with an accurate pressure gauge. Some recommend once a week and definitely before any long trips.
What to Avoid
When it comes to motorcycle tires, it’s best to avoid mixing and matching brands. If you have two different kinds on your bike, you could become unstable and uneven. However, rear tires will wear out more quickly than the front, so you can mix and match new and old tires. You will likely go through two rear tires for every front tire.
In addition to avoiding mix and match brands, you should also avoid old motorcycle tires. A set that has never been mounted but are more than five years old are unfortunately no good. Over time, the chemicals in the rubber wear down. After this point, the “sticky” tire becomes hard and brittle.
To conclude, be safe and diligent about your tires. If your tread is getting low and the roads are wet, it’s best to not ride. Keep an eye on your PSI regularly. Check your brands and make sure the front and back matches. While these are all basic things, they can be crucial in a safe ride.
It’s easy to talk about the fun aspects of motorcycles. It’s just as easy to talk about the dangerous ones. But no one ever really talks about the weird ones. For example, any world record held by people involving motorcycles. If you’ve ever wondered about some of the strangest motorcycle world records, we’ve compiled a list of the weirdest ones for you here.
Motorcycle World Records: Historical Moments
Balancing a Motorcycle
Every motorcycle rider knows you need balance. But for Gerard Jessie, balance takes on a new meaning. Jessie holds the record for the longest time balancing a motorcycle on his head. After balancing the motorcycle for 14.93 seconds, Jessie earned the title for one of the strangest motorcycle world records.
With the popularity of wheelies in movies and television shows, you’d think they’d be a little easier to accomplish. As wheelies are pretty dangerous, most riders don’t attempt them. If they do attempt them, they certainly aren’t over 200 miles long. In 1991, Yasuyuki Kudo held a wheelie for 205.7 miles at the Japan Auto Research Institute. This is by far one of the most impressive motorcycle world records.
Some people have luxury cars that had a small production run. Others, 13 of them actually, have limited production motorcycles. This is the most expensive of the listed world records. At $300,000, the Ecosse Titanium Series Fe Ti XX is the most expensive production bike in the world.
Most People on a Bike
The most people on a motorcycle is 56 people. In 2013, a group of people in India broke the record for the most amount of people on a bike. While this is one of the hardest motorcycle world records to beat, keep in mind that the group goes by the name “Daredevils”.
Longest Continuous Ride
2013 seems to be the year for breaking world records. For nine miles, Captain Abhayjit Mehlawat stood on his motorcycle. Remember, the motorcycle was moving for all nine of those miles.
Your mom probably dreaded hearing, “look mom, no hands!”. I’m sure Marcello Sarandrea’s mom dreaded it, too. Marcello rode his bike for 137.94 miles in Rome, Italy with using absolutely no hands. That’s one of the most impressive (and most dangerous) motorcycle world records we’ve heard.
Every rider hopes that their bike will run without issue. However, there will be some times where something might wear out or break and you’ll have to do some maintenance. However, buying parts can be a bit tricky. That’s why it’s important to know some general guidelines to follow when doing some parts shopping…
Buying Parts: What You Should Know
Manufacturer vs. aftermarket
The first thing to consider when buying parts is if you’d want a manufacturer part versus an aftermarket part. However, many people don’t fully know what the differences between these two types of parts are. Manufacturer parts are parts that come straight from the bike manufacturer. These parts will fit your bike exact, but can be a bit more pricey.
Aftermarket parts are parts sold by other companies. These parts can fit your bike, and others as well. These parts also tend to be cheaper, but this comes with some of them not being as well put together or tested as their manufacturer counterparts. Ultimately, it’s a good idea to do some digging to figure out which part type is best for your needs.
Replacements vs. upgrades
Another common mistake people make when buying parts is getting confused between replacement parts and upgrades. Replacement parts will ensure that your bike acts the same as it did before. After all, the designers intended for these parts to fully replace a broken part only. However, things get trickier with upgrades.
Upgrade parts will change how a certain part of your bike handles. This could include your bike’s speed, traction, exhaust, and many more. Many popular aftermarket parts tend to be upgrades. Remember to keep that in mind when looking for parts, so you get the right kind of part for your needs.
It’s important to be a smart shopper when you’re buying parts. You’ll want to make sure you buy your parts from reputable dealers or sellers. Buying from other riders can be cheaper, but those parts could be used, or have other issues which you may not know about. You also wouldn’t be able to return those parts should you run into a problem.
Also, don’t just buy the first part you see. Do some looking around, and ask others for their opinions. A good idea is to check the reviews for a part before you buy. That way, you’ll see if there are any serious problems that you should know about.