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The cold is coming. Six tips to get you and your motorcycle ready

Added November 7, 2017
Man working on a motorcycle
Autumn is probably one of the best times of the year to ride a motorcycle. The fall foliage turns all of our favorite country roads from a sea of green into a spectacular palette of oranges, reds, and gold. At the same time, milder temperatures make wearing protective riding gear more comfortable than during summer’s swelter.

But as enjoyable as those milder temperatures are, they may also come with some surprises. With a little thought and planning, we can prepare and help improve our enjoyment and safety during this transitional season. Here are some tips:

1 - Check your battery

Your motorcycle’s battery will get a workout this season. Starting a cold motor takes more energy. And as the battery gets colder, the amount of power available is reduced. That’s when a battery with a higher cold-cranking amp rating really shines. Load test your battery’s charge to make sure it’s ready for those cold weather starts.

2 - Check your oil and other fluids

Some motorcycles come with different recommended oil viscosity ratings based on the temperature. Make sure you follow these recommendations to help your motorcycle engine run better and last longer. If your motorcycle has a liquid-cooled engine, check both the coolant level and quality. Follow factory standards for the coolant type and mix ratio.
 

3 - Examine your tires

You’ll want to take a look at your tire pressure before each ride this fall. As the temperature drops, your tire pressure drops. Proper inflation improves your bike’s handling, braking, and tire life. And while you’re checking the pressure, make it a habit to examine the tires for wear or damage.

4 - Test your lights

Fall means darkness comes earlier, so you’ll depend on your headlight more. Check both the high and low beam before each ride. And don’t forget your turn signals. Remember, your lights make you more visible to drivers who may be distracted with leaf-looking.

5 - Consider electric riding gear

Riding with electrically heated gear may extend your riding season, increase your comfort, and help prevent hypothermia. Carefully choose your gear based on your motorcycle’s charging system capacity. Compare how many amps your motorcycle generates at cruising speed to how much amperage your motorcycle uses. That way you can determine the available spare power for electric gear. If it uses more than the available spare power, you’ll be discharging your battery while riding—leaving you in need of an overnight charge to start your motorcycle the next day. 

6 - Watch the weather forecast

We all know the weather can change rapidly this time of year, so it’s important to check the forecast for the areas where you’re riding. When you know what to expect, you can pack the gear you’ll likely need during your ride. Weather can be fickle, so pack a few extra layers just in case. You can’t be too prepared for falling temperatures.

Till next time, enjoy the autumn and ride safe!

Related links:

We’ve got another article on being safe on fall rides. Check this out: Tips to avoid fall foliage driving failures

At Dairyland, we feel strongly about your safety and promote it through our Rider Training Course discount. Check it out.