For many, Fall represents the best riding of the entire motorcycle season. Cooler temperatures, amazing scenery, apple fest celebrations and the opportunity to get those last rides in before putting your bike to rest for the winter make this THEtime to ride. However, the fall brings several unique riding challenges. Here are five tips to help you keep the sunny side up as you enjoy this change of season!
#1 - Safety over Scenery
The temptation to look away from the road is perhaps greatest during the fall season. Breathtaking scenery beckons around each curve, sometimes leading riders to ignore the task at hand. Be sure to keep your eyes focused on the road ahead and pull over when it’s safe to take in the beauty of the fall season.
#2 - Gear UP!
Though it’s always important, wearing proper protective gear is vital to remaining safe AND comfortable during these final riding months. Remember, if you go down, your only protection is the gear you choose to wear on that ride. Choose wisely my friends
#3 - Sun and Shadows
With the sun dipping lower in the sky, sun glare is more prominent during the fall season. According to statistics, sun glare is involved in a high percentage of accidents when a motorist fails to see an approaching motorcycle. Longer shadows can also mask road debris, potholes, and other potential stability issues. Stay alert and use extra caution when the sun and shadows are part of your ride.
#4 - Leaves
While beautiful to look at, leaves on the street can present an unwelcome challenge to any rider, especially when wet! Anticipate what you may find around that next curve, especially if it's been windy the past few days. Recent rain also means taking extra caution as you ride. Look well ahead for those patches of wet leaves that can “leave” you wishing you had taken our #2 tip above more seriously!
#5 - Deer / Wildlife
Nothing strikes fear into a motorcyclist like the threat of encountering Bambi during a ride. Reducing risk in this scenario is best accomplished by combining our eyes (look well ahead), our mind (stay alert), and our riding habits (slow down, covering your brakes & clutch, avoiding riding along the edge of the roadway, etc.).
While no one tip, or set of tips, can totally protect you from harm, you can vastly improve both your safety and enjoyment of this fantastic riding season by adopting these five fall riding tips into your riding “matrix.”