Motorcycle trip: 5 tips to enjoy your motorcycle in autumnKeyin Web
In autumn everything looks and feels better, even a motorcycle trip. Maybe is because the roads have amazing colors thanks to leaves getting those orange and red accents, maybe is because temperatures are so nice, or maybe both. Some of the best rides I had, I got to enjoy it in autumn. However, riding in autumn’s conditions can be challenging. Let’s see how to prepare and plan your autumn motorcycle rides!
Plan Your Trip
Plan your autumn motorcycle trip properly. It is important to choose routes or stints doable in daylight hours. Add some extra time to the number of hours it would normally take you to ride on the same route during summertime. You might need to stop to gear up for a rainstorm, that would also cause you temper your speed due to slippery road conditions. Being out after dark, on a road you have never ridden before, with pouring rain and leaves on the pavement is not fun. Therefore picking a route that will bring you to your destination before dark is key.
Check your tires
Your tires are one of the most important elements for a motorcycle trip in every season, however in autumn and winter they are even more important. Due to colder nights and cooler temperatures, your motorcycle tire pressure may seem low. Check your tire pressure and make sure they are properly inflated. Keep in mind that tires are designed to work at a specific percentage of deflection. Keep also in mind that Two-wheeled vehicles performances are largely governed by tires properties. Tires influence handling and stability and, therefore, have a huge impact on safety: a motorcycle with a certain weight equipped with a certain set of tires may exhibit a safe behavior, whereas, a motorcycle with the same set of tires inflated at a wrong pressure may exhibit a dangerous behavior over some range of speed. Tyres not inflated correctly will cause an increase of braking distance, low adherence, low fuel economy, high tires wear.
Tires that are too worn, or that are not in good shape, when wet, will cause a further increase of breaking distance and in some cases hydroplaning.
As you can imagine, all this is bad news. So, it is really important for the tires to be on point.
A cold/wet motorcycle trip, is not a good trip. Be warm and be visible! Keeping and staying warm is key to a successful trip. It will be nippy when you leave the house and it will get even nippier once wind-chill starts hitting you right. I’ve never been a fan of heated gear, but, if you are not claustrophobic( it adds extra linings to your jacket and pants), it is fabulous. Winter riding gloves are another good option if you are ok with having a bit less sensitivity. I much rather prefer to layer up with performance under garments (Dainese are my favorite), and under-gloves. When it rains it is best to use goretex gloves (if you are into winter gloves, pick them in goretex so you do not have to swap them) and rain suit. Make sure to wear high-visibility and reflective gear to make yourself seeable by other drivers under any weather condition.
Give yourself enough following distance and space cushioning. You do not want your motorcycle trip to end sooner than expected so, remember that there is a two to three second reaction gap starting from the moment the vehicle in front of you hits the brakes. Remember that it is challenging for other drivers to see you, therefore it is important to allow extra time to react both in front and behind you. Slow down, look further ahead, increase your following distance, and properly turn your blinkers on.
Check your battery
Be sure your battery is always in optimal conditions. I know, that is a must in every season. However, Autumn and Winter are particularly harsh on batteries. I have a smart charger that I use all year around: highly recommended.
I know all this might seem very obvious to you. However, it is incredible of how many things get overlooked when cold season arrives. It is important to remind our self to be aware of all the things we can do to enjoy our motorcycle all around the year.
With good planning and the right attention to detail, every motorcycle trip you take, in any season, will be simply spectacular.