March 20th is known as the official start of spring. That means it’s time to get your motorcycle (and your body) ready for motorcycle riding season. You will be on the road cruising past the blooming trees and flowers before you know it.
So, what can you do to prepare for the changing seasons? Use these spring motorcycle riding tips to start off on the right foot.
- Tune Up Your Motorcycle
Lots of riders put their bikes in storage for the winter. If it’s been a while since your last ride, spend time going over your motorcycle before you head out on the road. Inspect the tires, battery, brakes, cables and hoses to ensure they are in good condition. Send your bike to the shop for a general tune-up if it’s been over six months since it was last repaired. Change the oil and check the fluid levels, including the coolant and transmission fluid. All the belts, brushings and chains should be taut and well-lubricated.
- Build Up Your Strength
Your body may not be used to riding a motorcycle if it’s been several months since you were last out on the road. And your first trip of the season can leave you feeling sore and fatigued if you’re not in shape to ride. Consider building up your core, lower and upper body strength by doing some exercise at home or the gym. Remember to keep your balance using your abdominal muscles instead of relying on your arms. Grip the body of the bike with both legs to hold on tight.
- Invest in the Right Safety Gear
You should always wear the proper safety gear when riding a motorcycle, regardless of how nice the weather is outside. Inspect your helmet, gloves and boots for wear and tear and replace any damaged items. Watch out for weak spots, holes and rips that can leave you vulnerable to the elements. Every part of your body should be protected when riding. Wear long sleeves and durable pants like jeans to shield your skin from the sun and wind. Your helmet should still fit your head with a secure adjustable strap that will keep it attached to your head.
Riding is always more fun in a group. Use a helmet communication device to sync up with your companions on the road. It works like a regular radio, but you don’t have to use your hands to adjust the controls. Just speak into the device to start up a conversation in real-time. It attaches to the side of the helmet, so you can hear everything the other person is saying.
If you like to rock out to music or listen to your favorite podcast to help pass the time, make sure the device comes with quality speakers that won’t block out important sounds on the road. Some devices even have 45mm JBL helmet speakers with automatic volume levels for the ultimate listening experience.
- Prepare for Rainy Weather
Spring weather can be unpredictable, so be prepared to get wet. A little bit of rain won’t hurt you as long as you have the right gear. Consider bringing along waterproof riding gear in case you get caught in a sudden downpour. You might need to pull over and find shelter if you are having trouble seeing where you’re going. Remember to slow down and give yourself more time to stop when the roads are slick.
- Watch Out for Allergies
Some 81 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is caused by an allergic reaction to trees, grasses and weeds, which usually occurs in the springtime. This can result in itchy, watery eyes, stuffy nose and constant sneezing.
If you suffer from allergies, make sure your symptoms don’t interfere with your ability to drive. Riding a motorcycle can increase your exposure to pollen, which can increase the severity of your symptoms. You shouldn’t itch your eyes while riding. Keep your hands on the handlebars to prevent an accident. It can also fill your eyes with water, which can affect visibility. Wearing a full-face helmet can help reduce your exposure to pollen. It will also prevent you from scratching your eyes while riding.
Avoid taking allergy medication if it will make you drowsy while riding. You need to stay alert and responsive to make sure you can get to your destination safely. Other riders may be suffering from allergies as well. Use your communication device to check in with each other and be ready to pull over if someone is having an allergic reaction.
Enjoy The Ride
Spring is one of the best times to ride. You are probably anxious to get back on the road after so many months away from your motorcycle. Keep these tips in mind to prepare for seasonal changes that can affect your ability to drive. And wear the proper safety gear to avoid taking on unnecessary risks.