Motorcycle Passengers: Your Responsibility

Motorcycles are fun and enjoyable. They can double in fun and enjoyment with a passenger in tow. However, adding motorcycle passengers can be dangerous if the passenger does not properly handle the ride. Are you joining someone on a ride for the first time? Here are some tips to make a smooth ride for you and the rider.

Motorcycle Passengers: Useful Tips

Getting On and Off

For starters, motorcycle passengers are just that: passengers. Make sure the rider is on the bike first and ready for you to join. The rider should be stable with both feet on the ground. Use the footpegs to help. When getting off, make sure the rider knows your plans to do so! The change in weight can cause a rider to drop their bike.

Speaking of Footpegs

Use them! Using the footpegs will keep your weight distributed between the pegs and the seat. This will make for a smoother, more stable ride. Also, remember you should never put your feet on the ground during a ride.

Motorcycle passengers should use the footpegs during the duration of the ride to maintain their safety. Additionally, there are hot exhaust pipes near the passenger seats of motorcycles. Using the footpegs will help you avoid touching those.

Proper Outfit

Safety wise, wearing clothing that will cover and protect your skin is the best bet. Prepare yourself with proper safety equipment, such as a helmet, before going on a ride. But motorcycle passengers also have to watch out for their shoes. Untied shoelaces (and other loose pieces of clothing) can get caught on the chain or belt of the back of the bike. Ensure that nothing is hanging so nothing gets caught! 

Lean With It

Some advice for handling motorcycles is “lean into the turn”. Motorcycle passengers shouldn’t lean too much, however. Leaning too much or unexpectedly can make it difficult for the rider to control the bike. Some advice for this is: look over the rider’s shoulder in the direction you are turning.

Lastly, and most importantly, operating a motorcycle is fun, as is being a passenger. Remember that motorcycle passengers have a responsibility to themselves and the rider to help create a safe riding environment. Have a fun and safe ride!

Riding Anxiety

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.

Common Motorcycle Problems

As all bikers know, motorcycles come with problems. Any hobby vehicle, actually, will have a problem or two at some point. Sometimes, you have a problem occur that is uncommon and unheard of. However, other times, you have one of the common motorcycle problems that riders face every day. Check to see if your problem is one of the common ones!

Common Motorcycle Problems & Prevention

Tire Wear

You should always check your tire pressure before you ride. If you have improper tire pressure, you could cause your tires to wear out too quickly. In addition to this, you should check the tread on your tires. One of the common motorcycle problems riders face can be simply traced back to the tires on the motorcycle. Because the tires take all of the pressure from the bike, they need to be checked often and thoroughly.

Chain Lubrication Problems

A defective chain could cause you to have a major accident, causing harm to you and the bike. Having a properly lubricated chain will avoid chains breaking or the drive train locking up. Chains snapping are amongst the most dangerous of the common motorcycle problems riders face daily.

Dirt and Debris

If your bike is running poorly, give it a good cleaning. One of the most common motorcycle problems is also one of the easiest to fix. Check your maintenance manual first, but it could be as simple as cleaning a spark plug. Sometimes they just need a good clean to make it run smoothly again. This can also help if the bike is not starting.

Batteries

Motorcycle batteries have a short lifespan compared to other vehicular batteries. Because of this, it ranks high on the light of common motorcycle problems. Make sure you are charging your battery at the end of each ride. Your owner’s manual will also have tips on how to keep it charged.

Fuel System

Replacing the hoses on your fuel-injected motorcycles regularly will keep them from drying out and cracking. Just like with anything, proper and routine maintenance will keep you from facing the common motorcycle problems that every rider faces.

Motorcycle Tires: Proper Maintenance

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

The Treads

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. 

PSI

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.

Motorcycle World Records

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.

Longest Wheelie

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.

Most Expensive

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. 

Hands-Free Ride

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.

Buying Parts: Motorcycle Maintenance

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.

Shop smart

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.