With summer slowly coming to an end and fall right around the corner, you may be wondering how much time you have left to soak up those last perfect riding days. Fall is known to be one of the best times to ride but can pose safety risks for riders. Before you head out on that much-needed relaxing motorcycle ride during the cool fall weather, remember that there may be new challenges on the roads. Here are some safety tips when preparing to ride your motorcycle during the fall.
Basic Motorcycle Maintenance
You likely have used your motorcycle a lot during the summer months, so you may need to get a basic tune-up. Inspecting your motorcycle doesn’t take long, and will definitely give you peace of mind when hitting the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends examining your breaks, exhaust, engine, tires, headlights, and fluids before every ride. It may be smart to also do a quick walk around your motorcycle to look for leaks or anything else out of the ordinary.
Plan Your Ride
You may want to take a fun, spontaneous motorcycle trip this fall. This, however, can cause new dangers to emerge due to the unpredictability that comes with the fall season. Try to plan out your motorcycle rides instead. Things like flat tires, mechanical issues, or other complications can not only cause delays but also bring costly bills. Nowadays, most people have access to smartphones with GPS. Make sure your phone is fully charged to ensure you can contact someone in case of an emergency. Of course, riders do not have to plan every single detail of their trip, but it is important to communicate with others to ensure your safety.
Check The Weather Before Riding
While the beginning of the autumn months can usually be warm, it is important to stay prepared for a sudden change in weather. The fall season is beautiful with leaves changing and cooler weather, but could pose a danger to you on your motorcycle. Wet leaves can create hazardous road conditions, so it is important to avoid these types of situations when possible.
Wear Weather Appropriate Clothing
Fall motorcycle riding is very different from summer riding. Temperatures drop, hours of sunlight differ, and roads pose new threats. If you are normally used to hot summer weather, invest in high-quality warm clothing. This includes leather gloves, jackets, and chaps to keep you protected. Fall weather can also change very quickly, so make sure to be prepared in case of a surprise rainstorm. Pack your rain gear just in case; you’ll thank me later.
Beware of Wildlife
Autumn is mating season and migration for deer, so it is important to keep an eye out for these active animals. If you are not paying full attention you could end up in a serious motorcycle accident. Be sure to take extra caution near active roadways and wooded areas, as animals could appear from anywhere.
It is important to obey local traffic laws, speed limits, traffic lights, and signs when riding. Many motorcycle crashes happen when drivers do not see the motorcycle, so proceed with caution and yield to other vehicles and pedestrians as needed. Make sure to be alcohol and drug-free when operating your vehicle, as the fall season comes with new dangers on the road.