Looking forward to this first biker Sunday and a mighty move of God. Looking forward to the ASR fellowship. Pastor David Showalter from Omaha Nebraska is the guest speaker. Looking forward to what God has for southern Ohio. Hope to see you in New Straitsville, Ohio. Southern Ohio has some great motorcycle roads to ride.
You can not change some drivers’ attitudes, but you can protect yourself. Here’s how.
Touring Tip: Helping a Stranded Rider
In the earlier days of motorcycling, when bikes were less reliable, riders frequently became stranded by a mechanical malfunction. Back then, motorcyclists were often as handy with a wrench as they were with the throttle. If they couldn’t fix their own bike, other riders invariably stopped to help out. The bonds among fellow bikers were never stronger.
Today, we’re living in much different times. Modern motorcycles are less prone to breaking down. Crime is more prevalent. Many times a stopped bike along the roadside is due to something other than a mechanical malfunction. The rider may be taking a bio break in the bushes, extracting refreshments from the saddlebags, or some other plausible reason for stopping that doesn’t require assistance. It’s easier nowadays for other riders to rationalize not stopping to ask if help is needed.
In the event an actual mechanical problem is encountered, many, if not most, riders have roadside assistance and carry a cell phone to procure help. I recall an instance when a fellow member of ASR who shall remain nameless—simply ran out of gas. I’ve personally been surprised to find a nail in my rear tire on several occasions.And remember when the spring on my kickstand broke off. Or my headlights went out.So unexpected breakdowns still do happen out on the road!
But let’s suppose a single rider is stranded. How does a passing motorist know if the rider needs help? The universal signal for a car driver needing help is a raised hood. Last time I checked, motorcycles don’t have hoods. So, is there a universal SOS signal for motorcyclists seeking help from passersby?
The Ministry of Transportation in Ontario, Canada, advises that riders who need help should “… place your helmet on the ground near the road.” (Another good reason to wear a helmet, even if it’s not required.) One of the more common hand gestures, used in some locations, is for the passing rider to give a thumbs-up signal, to which the stranded rider would return a thumbs down gesture if help is needed or a thumbs-up if it’s not needed. The stranded rider can also try to get help by waving emphatically. I remember doing this once and the passing motorist just gave a friendly wave back. Of course, most of us would simply pull over and ask if they need help—not too complicated.
What do you do if a rider is stranded? As indicated earlier, we live in a riskier world than our forefathers. Here are several questions to consider:
There aren’t any easy, universal answers to these questions. Each rider has to assess the particular circumstances of each situation. My personal experience has shown, though, that riders are often likely to offer help to other riders because of the overarching camaraderie and goodwill among motorcyclists. Do You stop for a stranded rider?
Ten Steps to Winterize your Motorcycle
If your idea of storing your bike for winter is just throwing a cover over it, you may be in for some nasty surprises come spring time. The last thing you want to find out when riding season starts is that your bike won’t, so use these tips to make sure your bike is as ready as you are when it’s time to ride!
We may not want to admit it, but winter is just around the corner. And as the air cools off and the snow starts falling, most of us riders store our bikes and impatiently wait for spring to ride again.
But storing your bike in the winter isn’t as simple as just throwing a cover over it and hopping in the car. In order to keep your motorcycle in top running condition, there is some work that needs to be done before storing it for several months (talk about adding insult to the injury of not being able to ride!)
However, if you properly get your bike ready for winter storage, it’ll make getting it running again when the riding season begins a whole lot easier, and prevent any unwanted surprises such as dead batteries, corrosion, and rust spots (or worse.)
Depending on what kind of motorcycle you ride there may be different things that will need to addressed. But there is some general wisdom on how to get it ready to be stored for the winter. Your main enemy during winter storage is damage from moisture, so most of our winterizing efforts will be aimed at keeping that away from your bike. In addition, well give some love to your fuel system, battery, tires, and all your moving parts as well.
With just a little prep work using these ten simple steps, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hassle come spring time, and your bike will be ready to hit the road as soon as you are!
1) Surface Prep
Washing your bike when nobody will see it for a few months can be a drag, but giving your bike a thorough cleaning before storage is important; letting bug guts or water spots sit on your paint can corrode the finish permanently. Wash your bike and dry it completely to get all the moisture off the surfaces (an electric leaf blower is a great way to get all the nooks and crannies really dry.)
Add a coat of wax, which will act as a barrier against moisture and rust. Finally, spray exposed metal surface with WD-40 to displace all moisture (fun fact: the WD in “WD-40” stands for water displacement) and to give them a protective coating against corrosion.
2) Change Oil and Filter
Change your oil and filter. It’s better for your lubrication system to have fresh oil sitting in it for several months than to have used, broken down oil in it, not to mention the last thing you’ll want to do when riding season begins is change the oil before you can go ride. Using a winter weight oil like 5W30 can help it start up easier come spring time as well.
If you’re going to be storing your bike for a long time (4-6 months or more) you will want to protect your engine’s internals against moisture by coating them lightly with oil. You may not be able to see it with your naked eye, but the cold winter air is perfect for moisture to gather in your engine and cause rust to form on your pistons and cylinder walls.
In order to do this, remove the spark plugs and put a little squirt (about a tablespoon) of engine oil into the holes, then turn your engine over a few times to coat the cylinder walls by spinning the rear wheel with the bike in gear. Once everything is coated, replace the spark plugs.
3) Lube Moving Parts
Keeping moving parts lubed during the winter will help keep moisture from building up on them and causing any rusting or binding. Any part of your motorcycle that needs to be lubed at any point should be lubed again before storage. Some parts to check are: chain drive, cables, controls, fork surfaces, and any other pivot points.
4) Prep Fuel System
Gas tanks have a tendency to rust when not in use, and untreated pump gas breaks down and becomes gummy over time. To prevent rusting and make sure your fuel is ready to run after a few months in storage, you’ll want to fill your tank completely with fuel treated with a product like Sta-Bil Fuel Stabilizer Star brite Star Tron – Enzyme Fuel Treatment
On your last ride of the season, stop in at the gas station nearest to where you will be storing your bike and add the proper amount of fuel stabilizer, then top off the tank. A full tank will keep moisture from building up on the tank walls, and adding the stabilizer before the short ride home will help mix the gas and stabilizer together and run it through your fuel system before storage.
Note: Another method that some some do is to drain the tank and fuel system completely. This is more troublesome to do, and requires that you treat the inside of the tank with fogging oil to prevent rusting. This method may be preferred for very long-term storage (6 months or more), but for winter storage, a full tank of treated fuel is easier and completely safe to do for both carbureted and fuel-injected bikes.
5) Safeguard Battery
Batteries have a tendency to self-discharge when sitting over time, especially when they remain hooked up to the bike. The easiest way to combat this is to hook up a battery tender like the Battery Tender Super Smart Junior which uses smart technology to monitor the charge and keep the battery topped off without overcharging. Normally you should pull the battery from the bike for storage, but with a smart tender you can also connect the tender with the battery left in the bike. Before doing this, make sure the electrodes are clean and corrosion free; if necessary, clean them off and give them a light coating of grease.
6) Protect Tires
If your tires are left to sit in the same position all winter long, they could develop flat spots. Keeping the tires off of the ground will prevent this, so if you have motorcycle stands, put the bike up on them for storage. If you don’t have stands, try to get at least the rear tire off the ground, or you can rotate your tires by rolling your motorcycle slightly every few weeks. If you need to leave your tires down on concrete, put a piece of carpet or plywood under them to keep any moisture from seeping into them.
7) Check Coolant/Anti-freeze
If you’ll be storing your bike somewhere that gets below freezing, make sure you have adequate levels of anti-freeze in your coolant system. This is very important; if you run straight water in your coolant system and it freezes, you could come back to a cracked head in the spring!
8) Plug Out Pests
Mice and other rodents are notorious for hiding from the cold inside exhaust pipes and making homes out of air filters. In order to avoid any furry surprises when it’s time to ride again, plug up your pipes with an exhaust plug like the Muffler Plug. You can also simply stuff your air intake and the ends of your exhaust with some plastic bags – but do use bright colored bags or tie something to them so you don’t forget take them out when you fire up the bike!
9) Keep it Covered
With your motorcycle fully prepped for winter, invest in a proper motorcycle cover. A quality motorcycle cover will not only keep dust off the bike, but will keep the moisture out so it doesn’t get trapped underneath it, and create corrosion or rust. If you’re storing it outside, be sure to get a cover with tie downs to prevent it from blowing loose in wind. If you’re storing it inside you’re in much better shape, but you should still use a cover to prevent dust from building up on it.
10) Theft Protection
If you’re storing your bike outside, bear in mind that being parked unattended for months at a time makes it an easy target for theft. In addition to protecting your bike from weather, using a cover will conceal it from view, and securing it with a heavy lock and chain can give you some peace of mind. Make sure to add some sort of lock or alarm on your bike there are many different aftermarket alarms for bikes out there.
With your bike fully prepared for a few months of hibernation, you’ll find that the winter is the perfect time to get done any maintenance or upgrade projects that you’ve had on your mind. You may not be able to ride in the snow, but nothing is stopping you from getting your hands a little greasy and actually starting one of those projects that you’ve been thinking about all season!
National Road Captain
How To Tackle Winter Like A Pro
First, if at all possible, store the bike inside a garage. It’s amazing how much damage can be done by exposure to the elements, even in a few months.
But before you put it away, take a little time to check the following:
Gas: Top off the tank and add the recommended amount of a fuel stabilizer. This additive will keep your gas from breaking down and leaving a gunky brown “varnish” on the inside of your carburetors (assuming your bike still has carbs). Then start the engine and run it for several minutes to make sure you get the treated gas distributed throughout the fuel system.
Oil: Oil starts out golden and clean, and winds up black and dirty. This is bad. The contaminants in the oil can be corrosive, and you don’t want your engine parts sitting in a corrosive bath all winter. So do yourself a favor and change your oil just before the bike goes into storage.
Coolant: Because most motorcycles don’t get a lot of use in sub-freezing temperatures, many riders overlook the importance of checking their coolant for protection against winter freeze-up. Use one of those floating-ball testers to make sure your coolant will resist freezing in the temperatures you experience. If you need to add any, make sure you use the type of coolant recommended by your manufacturer.
Battery: Some modern motorcycles can put a slight drain on a battery to run a clock, maintain radio presets or operate an alarm system. If you’re in this situation, make sure you have a charger system in place to keep your battery alive. Otherwise, at least make sure it starts the winter with a full charge, and give it a recharge every month or so. I keep My bike on a battery manager all year when not in use I simply plug it in.
Other stuff: Some will insist you should store your bike with the tires off the ground. This is a great idea—if you can arrange it. If not, inflate both tires properly, put the bike on its center stand, if your bike has one and every week or so spin the front tire to avoid flat spots. Also, a good coating of wax will help preserve your paint and chrome, and a breathable cloth cover can keep off dirt and dust.
Do it right, and all you’ll have to do come spring is turn the key, press the starter button and begin racking up the miles again.
Unlike summer, when you can just throw on the same jacket, gloves and helmet any morning, autumn and winter temperature swings mean you need to think before you ride.
In many parts of the country, it’s not uncommon to see temperature swings of 20 degrees or more from morning to afternoon. That may not matter much when the high and low are 80 and 60, but it can make an enormous difference in your comfort level when the numbers involved are, say, 40 and 20. With the chilling effect of air flowing past at 65 mph, the perceived difference to exposed skin can be 20 to 30 degrees or more.
Here’s a simple, three-step program to help dull the sting of those colder temperatures.
Think layers: What keeps you warm it isn’t just the material in the clothes you wear. It’s also the air trapped inside. That’s one reason why a few lighter layers are better than one heavy one for fall riding. Plus, layered clothing allows you to fine-tune your comfort level by adding or subtracting a layer in variable autumn temperatures.
Build a base: The stuff you wear right next to your skin is called a base layer, and it can be incredibly important in staying warm. Old-school cotton provides warmth, but if you sweat, it’ll stay damp, and you’ll get chilled. Synthetics like polyester wick away perspiration to give you more consistent warmth, and they adapt better when the temperature goes up. Looking for an unconventional choice? Some well-traveled motorcyclists swear by silk long underwear for its combination of warmth and comfort.
Get fleeced: Remember when you were a kid and your mom dressed you in so many layers of winter clothes you could hardly move? It didn’t work for throwing snowballs then, and it won’t work for operating a motorcycle today. What you need is a light insulating layer that fits comfortably inside your riding jacket. Consider an inflatable vest, which makes maximum use of the insulating properties of trapped air. Best of all, you can adjust the level of insulation by adding or subtracting air through an inflation tube.
Adapt to conditions: Lots of riding jackets offer liners you can zip in when the weather gets chilly. Some are just thermal vests, which can leave your arms unprotected from the cold, while others have an entire inner jacket for maximum warmth. Remember, though, that this is likely to be the layer you’ll want to shed first when the sun gets high in the sky. So plan space to carry it on the bike.
Get dressed inside: If it’s chilly in your garage or the parking lot of your hotel, be sure to put most of your gear on indoors. There’s a fine balance here—you want to retain the indoor heat, but you don’t want to seal everything up and start sweating. You might want to zip that last zipper just as you’re headed out the door.
Have a glove strategy: Some riders carry as many as four pairs of gloves on a cold-weather ride, with heavy gloves, lighter gloves, glove liners and rain gloves. There’s good reason to take this element seriously: Your hands are the most important interface between you and your bike. When they get cold, your ability to operate your bike safely is compromised.
Cover your head: If it works for ninjas, it can work for you. We’re talking, of course, about wearing a balaclava—a thin head-and-face covering that allows only your eyes to show. Sure, you look funny. But you’ll be warmer. You can find balaclava’s in motorcycle shops or outdoor stores. Just make sure the one you buy is thin enough so you can still get your lid on.
Wear a full-face helmet: It may seem obvious, but a full-face helmet can keep you much warmer than an open-face lid. The trade-off is that you risk fogging your face shield, so keep it cracked while moving, and be ready to open it wide when you stop.
Stop it cold: Make sure your outermost layer is windproof. Leather is pretty good at this, and so are some high-tech fabrics, but you probably already have an effective wind-block layer in your tank bag—your rain suit. No, it doesn’t add warmth, but it can be remarkably effective in keeping the chill out.
Watch where clothing overlaps: When the wind is blowing at 65 mph, it will find its way through any cracks in your cold-weather armor. Take the time to pull your gloves completely over your jacket sleeves and clinch them down tight. At the waist, “weave” upper and lower layers over each other—pants over base-layer top, fleece pullover over pants, rain suit pants over fleece pullover, jacket over rain suit pants, etc.—to keep the wind at bay. Finally, make sure there’s no gap between your pants and boots.
Don’t stick your neck out: When it comes to heat loss, one of the most vulnerable areas is your neck. Even a simple bandana can help, but there are products made specifically to protect this area.
Don’t forget the bike: You don’t have to wear all your wind protection. A fairing, even a small one, can make a tremendous difference in cooler weather. In addition, many dual-sport bikes and adventure-tourers come with hand guards that serve as mini-fairing’s for your hands. Don’t have a fairing? A well-packed tank bag can be almost as effective in blunting the wind.
What’s especially nice is that most electric garments offer some level of insulation when they’re turned off, too, meaning they’re perfect for variable fall weather.
Here’s what’s out there:
Going electric: In the beginning, electric clothing for motorcyclists meant vests. That’s still a good starting point, because if you can keep your body’s core well-heated, your extremities should stay warmer, too. These days, though, they have come a long way for motorcycle riders. Now you can choose from electric jackets, liners, pants, chaps, gloves’s and socks. If your alternator is up to the challenge of powering them, those pieces can generate enough heat for extended forays in sub-freezing temperatures.
Hand warmers: Like other electric clothing, heated gloves turn your bike’s generating system into protective warmth. Here, though, it’s more than just comfort at stake. Warm fingers handle the throttle, brake and clutch more safely than stiff, frozen digits. Plus, electric gloves can often be thinner than their fully insulated counterparts, making for better control feel.
Hot bikes: Instead of wearing your heated gear, you can outfit your bike with electrics. Heated handgrips come standard on some models, and they’re available as options on some other bikes. Some companies sell do-it-yourself kits to warm up the grips on almost any machine. Want to get your heat from another direction? Try a heated seat, available as a factory option for a variety of bikes. There are aftermarket company’s out there with a heated seat for almost every bike. On my Ultra Limited I have heated grips along with my heated seat and passenger seat and backrest. I use my full heated gear jacket liner,gloves,pants and socks when I ride in the winter months. And this has made one huge difference in why I ride and can stay out all day long riding in the cold months.