While the 2020 motorcycle riding season was unlike any other due to the Coronavirus pandemic, 2021 represents a new beginning. There is a vaccination available for the virus, we have developed new riding techniques to socially distance and are better prepared for any potential risks.
To get your spring riding season off to a solid start, consider these tips.
Prepare Your Bike
This initial step remains the same no matter if it’s a pandemic or ordinary motorcycle season. Never hit the road before you’ve checked and updated the following areas:
- Tires: Look for wear and tear, flat spots and check the treads. Also measure the tire pressure, as it likely decreased during months of winter storage.
- Wheels and Brakes: Give the wheels and brakes a once-over for signs of wear, particularly noting the quality of the brake pads and discs.
- Inspect the Full Bike: Examine the chains, wires, levers, pedals, frame and other parts for damage. Test the lights, check the battery and look for signs of pests.
- Check the Fluids: Even with proper winterization, moisture can still build up and lines may experience leaks. As such, replace the oil, coolant and gasoline before you take your bike out for a trip.
- Belts & Sprockets: Check belts and sprockets for wear, as well as rocks embedded in them. Also check chains and sprockets on older bikes.
Review our list for more spring maintenance tips to help determine if repairs are needed.
Go Over Your Gear
Your gear won’t be all that different this year but you should be prepared with a mask when making stops. In busy areas, make sure to social distance. Additionally, have protective pants, a jacket, boots and gloves. In spring, make sure to bring layers to adjust to variable conditions and rain gear in case you’re caught in a storm.
Once you have the right clothing items, make sure they all fit and there are no seams coming apart. Worn out safety gear provides reduced protection out on the road.
Take Your First Trip Slow
After a few months, your riding skills might need a refresh, so take your time on the road. Less experienced riders might even consider practicing somewhere with few cars.
As your muscles get used to riding again, stick to roads where you know you won’t run into rough patches or potholes. Eventually, as you feel more confident, you can begin planning longer journeys.
Look Out for Cars
Unfortunately, not all drivers are paying attention behind the wheel, often speeding or driving distracted. This combination of factors put motorcycle riders in a perilous situation.
In addition to following the rules of the road, riders are encouraged to remain alert to cars and trucks, look both ways multiple times before making a maneuver and to act with more caution in general.
Be Cautious at Bike Events
Many 2021 motorcycle events appear scheduled as planned, with the popular Daytona Beach Bike Week attracting hundreds of thousands of riders this year. It’s recommended riders evaluate the risks of attending a motorcycle event and plan trips with the health and safety of themselves and others in mind.
The Trantolo Tours, socially distanced group motorcycle rides hosted by Event Coordinator and Certified Licensed Insurance Adjuster Norm LeBlanc, will be resuming this spring. Norm has well over 50 years of riding experience! Contact us to learn more.