It’s that time of year again when the temperature drops, the leaves turn, and days get shorter. This is, by far, my favorite time of year for riding. I enjoy the reds, oranges, and browns of the turning leaves, the cool crisp air, and the motorcycle camping trip or two. Today I am going to talk about some tips for making your fall rides more enjoyable and things to look out for while on the road.
First let’s talk about how you should gear up for the fall. Layers, Layers, Layers. Fall riding is great but you need to plan ahead. You always get crisp cool mornings and evenings with a warmer mid day. Proper layering will make this much more enjoyable. You should start with a base layer (tank top, t shirt or lightweight athletic shirt) then you should layer over top with a long sleeve shirt and if needed a thin fleece jacket or hoodie depending on how cold you get. Everyone’s temperature tolerances are different.
Your outer layer should be a jacket that is a good windstopper. There are many brands of cool/cold weather jackets out there. Firstgear, Speed and Strength, Icon, Tourmaster, and Cortech, just to name a few. I personally use the Firstgear Kathmandu jacket due to the wide temperature range I can ride with it and it is waterproof.
You should also have a pair of thicker/warmer gloves for those chilly mornings. Having your hands be too cold can be unsafe for riding since it can slow your reaction time to do lower tactile response. A jacket that is waterproof or a set of rain gear is good too since most places get more rain this time of year. We all know rain sucks but cold rain can really ruin your day.
If you use a helmet with a shield you should take a few extra steps to prep it for the fall. With the cool mornings you tend to get more fogging issues. This can be prevented with a good anti fog spray or a warmer face mask. If you are lucky enough to have a pin lock shield you can install the pin lock insert for your helmet and never worry about fogging again. The pin lock option is the most effective.
Some other things you should do for fall riding safety is check your tire pressure. Since motorcycle tires are smaller they are more affected by temperature changes. Best to check them right before you go out if you don’t already have this habit. You should also remember that it will take longer for your tires to warm up when it is cold out so make sure to give them extra time to warm up before you start tearing up the asphalt. Fallen leaves and a dew wet road can be just as dangerous as ice. Make sure to keep an eye out for these and give yourself time to react to road hazards.
Last tip is for the early AM riders and commuters. The days are getting shorter and you should make sure to have tinted shield/drop visor and good sunglasses to stop the glare of the low morning and evening sun. Being able to see is paramount so you should take steps to keep your vision from being impaired.
I hope these riding tips help you stay safe this fall and enjoy the amazing riding weather. If you have any tips I have not mentioned that you think other riders would like to hear about please leave a comment and share the knowledge. Stop by the store and mention this article to get a discount on fall riding gear. Keep riding and keep adding to your story.