The Latest Tips and Techniques

The Latest Tips and Techniques

At a recent multi-day motorcycle touring event we held two “Tips, Tricks and Techniques” seminars as part of the “Americade University” series. They were on a Tuesday and a Thursday at 1 pm with a total of about 67 people. As the attendees arrived we asked each person to write down a tip or technique relating to motorcycling on an index card. We collected them and the presentation consisted of reading the comments one by one. This was the core of the presentation as the audience was asked to contribute their suggestions for each one. Many lively discussions ensued! We all learned from each other in a fun and interactive session.


It was interesting to see the topics that kept coming up on the cards. Rain gear, slow speed maneuvers, packing for long trips, keeping cool (or warm) while riding and the pros and cons of using CB (Citizen’s Band radio) versus Bluetooth (e.g. Sena) for bike-to-bike or rider-to-passenger communications were some of the recurring topics. Some of the more interesting tips were:


  1. Use E-ZPass to avoid having to stop at tolls (even our Canadian neighbors can obtain a U.S. E-ZPass). If you don’t have one, many states (including Massachusetts) will send a bill to the registered owner of the vehicle passing through the toll if you don’t have an E-ZPass (cashless tolling). This is also coming to New York State soon.


  1. Use the “Ranger Roll” system for packing to save space and keep bags neat. Also suggested was putting a day’s change of clothes in Zip-Lock style freezer bags and compressing them by using a straw to suck out the air. They are also handy for putting the dirty clothes back in, thereby keeping them separate from your clean clothes.


  1. Don’t count on your GPS – have a paper map backup.


  1. Always let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to arrive, especially if you are traveling alone. Solo riders should consider using a “Spot” or other service that can be set up to upload your location and even a “911″ to specific people in the case of an emergency.


  1. Carry some tools with you that fit your bike! Some swear by the “Weego” for a quick motorcycle battery boost. They are small enough to fit in your tankbag, come with all the appropriate connectors and can be recharged via USB.


  1. Many cautioned about the danger of group rides, especially if you are with people you don’t know. Make sure to have a pre-ride meeting to discuss the route, signals, destination, gas stops, etc.


  1. Carry some extra straps and a cargo net for securing stuff on your bike. ROK-straps are much better than bungee cords! Duct tape was also mentioned.


  1. Use compactor bags or other thick plastic bags to keep items dry in your luggage. Keep hands dry and warm by slipping extra-large size rubber gloves over your regular gloves. Try using a plastic bag over your feet before you slip them into your boots for the same reason.


These are only a few of the myriad of helpful suggestions that came out of these sessions.  Hope you find these tips as interesting as we did!


Ride Safe!