Fall Motorcycling Skills for Midwest Riders From MotorcycleInsurance.com
In the Midwest, our weather means the end of the riding season is approaching fast, and as the weather changes, serious riders need to know how to deal with the varying road conditions they’re going to face in the coming weeks.
To that end, we want to make sure you’re ready for the season and ready for the road.
Our Fall Motorcycle Riding Season Tips:
Cornering has to be one of the most satisfying techniques to master on a motorcycle.
A perfectly executed curve is a great feeling, and this tip will positively improve your cornering skills.
Above a certain speed, around 10-15mph, a rider needs to have positive input to make a bike lean in the intended direction of travel. This is positive steering (sometimes also referred to as counter steering) and it is an important part of smooth, safe cornering.
To negotiate a right turn you need to gently push forward on the right handlebar. This will cause the bike to lean to the right and enable you to negotiate the bend. At higher speeds and on tighter bends, more steering input may be required. On a right-hand bend you can also pull back on the left handlebar to make the bike lean further and quicker.
For left hand bends, the technique is to push forward on the left handlebar and pull back on the right handlebar.
Your riding position is another important factor to achieve accurate, proportional and progressive steering. You should have a gentle bend in your elbows with a relaxed grip on the handlebars and relaxed shoulders. The angle between your forearms and the fork legs should be as close to 90° as is possible.
You need to be able to assess road conditions well before you encounter them, and your steering technique and situational awareness are crucial to doing that well.
Wet roads during the fall of the year offer considerably less traction, so be prepared to monitor the condition of pavement during this season.
Fall Road Conditions Distract Automobile Drivers Too
As the light changes in the fall of the year, drivers spend more time gawking at the colors and shadows around them.
You need to know this and take it into account as part of your defensive driving strategy.
You’d also be living in a dream world if you believe automobile drivers are always focused on driving and committed to doing it safely. Some drivers that are distracted, even in high traffic congestion conditions, and not above using cell phones, texting and eating while they operate their cars.
As a rider, you know it’s this kind of driver who poses a clear and present danger to the motorcycle riders. Splitting lanes can be particularly dangerous when this sort of driver swerves across lanes.
And Tips For Making Sure You’re Ready for Next Season:
- Shop around. Prices can vary from company to company, so shop around. Make sure you’re buying from a national carrier who offers specialized motorcycle insurance. Don’t just add your bike to your car insurance policy. Another tip: If you purchase comprehensive and collision coverage, consider raising your deductibles. This can lower the cost of your physical damage overage.
- Cover customized parts. Parts such as chrome plating, a new paint job, saddlebags, or special rims usually increase the value of your bike. If you’ve added custom parts or equipment, make sure they’re protected.
- Make sure your insurance policy is still in force. Some companies have a winter layaway period when some coverages are restricted. Check with your insurance company to see if you have a type of limited coverage.
- Update your policy. Let your insurance company know about any changes such as additional riders, a new address or customized parts. A quick call to your independent agent can secure coverage that meets your needs.
- If you don’t need it, drop it. If you own an older bike, check its value. Don’t pay for coverage that you don’t need. Consider dropping collision coverage if the premium exceeds 10 percent of the bike’s market value. Understand, however, that you won’t be covered if your bike overturns or collides with another object.