If you’re planning to road trip on your bike this summer, or you just want to enjoy the long days with intown rides, it’s probably time for some warm-weather motorcycle maintenance. In addition to taking stock of your bike’s condition, now is also the perfect time to update your gear and refresh your safety habits. Here are some tips to keep you riding comfortably through the summer and beyond.
Tune up time
While you’ll always want to keep on top of motorcycle maintenance, extreme summer heat may place extra stress on your bike. Before you plan to ride, check fluid levels (brake fluid, coolant and engine oil). Examine your tire treads and check the tire pressure. If your fins are grimy, give them a clean—your engine won’t cool as effectively when they’re dirty. Atlanta motorcyclists typically enjoy four-season riding, but if you store your bike part of the year, your motorcycle might need some extra TLC before its summer debut.
Choose cool gear
While it’s never safe to ride in lightweight clothing, shorts or sandals, don’t feel like you have to don standard motorcycling apparel when it heats up. With hot temperatures stretching from May to October in Atlanta, it’s worth investing in breathable safety gear that will keep you cool (and protected) on your rides. Start with a wicking base layer. Then add an evaporative cooling neck wrap or vest. Top that with a full kit of safety apparel: jacket, gloves, pants, boots and a DOT-approved helmet. Search for gear featuring mesh panels and light colors.
Accept the heat
Of course, moisture-wicking base layers will only get you so far. When temperatures soar through the 90s, plan for some down time. This usually means limiting rides to the morning or early evening. Stop regularly to drink water, or consider wearing a hydration pack. If you show any signs of heat illness, pull over safely, seek shade, loosen your clothing and get help.
Watch the road
Warmer weather usually means more construction on metro roads. Be extra cautious in work zones, looking out for gravel, debris and equipment. It goes without saying that metal plates are fact of life in Atlanta, no matter the season.
Riding a motorcycle takes tremendous skill—coordination, balance and quick thinking. Riding impaired, whether due to alcohol, drugs or prescription medication, dulls those skills, slowing reaction times, clouding judgment and reducing alertness. Always bike sober.
Refresh your skills
If your summer tends to move at a slightly slower pace, it’s a great time to brush up on your skills with a motorcycle safety class. Georgia offers advanced rider classes that help teach you what to do in dangerous situations. Arman, who went through a serious motorcycle crash several years back, recommends such classes for every rider.
When you’re prepared, your bike is in good shape and your gear is on point, you’ll be more likely to have a fun, safe ride in Atlanta this summer.
Atlanta Motorcycle Lawyers
If you’ve been hurt in a motorcycle crash, you need a personal injury attorney who understands the severity of these accidents. If you need help, contact the personal injury attorneys at Litner + Deganian for a free consultation.