Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Winter Tips for Motorcyclists.

I figured I'd try to start the new year off on a good note and give some tips and advice to other motorcyclists out there... Not that I'm actually qualified to do so - but what the heck!

Please note that many of these tips are from nowhere else than my own pathetic experience - use at your own risk.

  1. When winterizing your bike, you should also consider winterizing your gear. Riding jackets, pants and gloves should go to the cleaners and then get stored in the plastic bag that the dry cleaner used. Boots should get a good cleaning and buffing; I like to stuff them with newspaper or something to make sure they keep their shape. If your helmet has a removable liner then clean it; if not, spray a few squirts of Febreze or a helmet deodorant before packing it away for the winter. Helmets should be stored in a breathable bag (cotton is best) - not a plastic bag.
  2. For winterizing your bike before hibernation, you should be sure to check the freeze-point of your antifreeze if you're in an area where the temps drop really low (if your bike is liquid-cooled... Duh!). In my area, a low of -35°C is not unheard of, so I always make sure my antifreeze is up to par. You also want to shine the seat! Put some sort of protector on the seat and bring it inside if you can. Vinyl that is soft and pliable in the summer heat can become hard and brittle in sub-zero temps.
  3. Winterize your brain! If you're anything like me, you'll find winter is torturous. You can make it a little more bareable by subscribing to a few motorcycle magazines. Some of my favourite winter reads are magazines that have ride reports (like Road Runner), these give me ideas on trips that I can plan for the next season.
  4. If you can't beat 'em... If you live in an area that has significant snowfall, consider getting into snowmobiling. Of course, it's not the same as motorcycling - but it can help compensate for lack of two-wheeled mobility.
"Winter is nature's way of saying, 'Up yours.' " - Robert Byrne

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