5 Things every self-respecting Biker should know- You’ve got the ride, now own it

Posted by Wild Ride Radio Crew November 5, 2017 Comments are off

5 Things every self-respecting Biker should know

You’ve got the ride, now own it

Article by Dallas Hageman, Wild Ride Radio Host | Image by Wild Ride Radio

www.WildRideRadio.com

Every rider is like every motorcycle, unique in their own way. From my travels across the U.S. and dealings with other riders I have found that for the most part there are a couple of key things that get neglected which can aid in the enjoyment of riding a motorcycle. Some are subtle and others are as subtle as a gorilla in a tutu so below I have listed five key things that every self-respecting rider should know. If you follow these guidelines then I have no doubt that your next ride will be as enjoyable as a mother-in-law-less holiday.

  1. Know how to ride

This point may seem rather obvious but I have found that some riders still do not know how to properly operate their motorcycles. It is somewhat shocking considering they probably spent money on riding classes, sold one of their children into slavery to afford some vey overpriced gear and got a second mortgage to buy the bike of their dreams. They look the part and can (sort of) ride the part… but after that it seems as though all interest in actually honing any type of skill is null and void. Judging from what I have consistently seen at any major rally it is nothing short of a miracle that most riders can maneuver any type of corner. Heaven forbid Sturgis would be located near a road with more than two turns in it. I should think if that were the case there would be a massive pileup every year of twisted metal and dazed bikers. The point is riding is like anything else in life, if you want to make it better, you have to practice. LEARN a bike, don’t just own one. Spend some saddle time with it, find a curvy road, and take an advanced rider course. Find out just what you and your bike can really do. It will be worth it and you will be surprised at just how much more enjoyable it will be.

  1. Know how to fit your bike

Not only should you know HOW to ride your motorcycle but know how to FIT your motorcycle. On my radio show I recently talked about an article where some upwards of 65% of riders don’t change anything on their bikes to fit them. That surprised me because motorcycles are a “one size fits all” produced product and I figured more motorcyclists knew that. Sure, there are different models to fit various riders, but within those models they all have the same fitment. Manufacturers have to crank out thousands and thousands of bikes and can’t be bothered by fitting thousands and thousands of different body types. This is one reason that PG&A (parts, goods and accessories) are so important for manufacturers to provide. To remedy the problem of improper fitment get on your bike, see where you need the handle bars located at, look at the windshield and if it needs to be raised or lowered. Think about where your feet rest and if your butt likes the seat it currently is in. Consider if all of these things are comfortable and if they are located at a position fit for YOU. If the answer is no, it may be time to start the process of fitting the bike to YOU. You will find that if done properly, whenever you slide on your scoot, it will feel like slipping into a glove.

  1. Know how to pack

Ladies, this may be directed more towards you but this advice can be applied to everyone. If you have just purchased a bike and have yet to go on a road trip let me tell you a secret… you have almost no room to store any of your crap. That’s right. The ten pairs of shoes, curling iron, extra sleeping pillow, two cats and that framed picture of your mother will have to stay home. Again, I am not denigrating women (I love them… especially my wife), but females tend to carry more and require additional items on road trips. Now, being a guy my list to pack for a road trip is this: 1 pair of underwear. That’s it. I probably need to pack a little more than that and admittedly regret it after the first day so it is necessary to learn how and what to pack for a motorcycle trip.

After many years and a quarter of a million miles under my belt, I’ve found some necessary things to pack for any good and enjoyable road trip. Depending on the season, I pack cold/ heated gear and extra warm gloves for fall and winter and if its spring or summer it is still a good idea to pack a hoodie or light jacket. Also, bring your top and bottom leathers, along with helmets and a couple of bandanas. I try to pack a pair of clothes for three days’ time and if the trip is longer, I bring dry laundry detergent to do a load of laundry and save space in the bike. Also, when packing clothes, fold them in half then roll them like a burrito, it saves space and keeps clothes from wrinkling. Finally, pack a map (you know… the old fashioned paper kind) in case you lose battery life on your GPS. Think about other ESSENTIAL stuff you may need and throw it in the saddlebag as well. I’m sure you have your own list and will add or subtract from mine but all in all, pack what you’ll NEED, not want.

  1. Know how to be self sufficient

Guys, this one is for you. In this day and age it seems as though very few people are self-sufficient. Gone are the days of manly men who knew how to get crap done. This continuous emasculation of men by the fake media and various groups of pink-haired lunatics is nothing short of pathetic, so if you are part of the castrated majority of limp boned guys, consider this your slap in the face to wake up. Learn how to do stuff. You know… general stuff, like back up a truck, read a map, fix a flat, and build a fire, change your oil. Just general stuff that your grandfather would be embarrassed you don’t know how to do. Bikers are (are SHOULD be) self-sufficient and knowing how to do everyday tasks should be a requirement for anyone wanting to climb on a bike. Know the basics of how your motorcycle works. Sure it’s a great idea to have a charged cell phone to get you out of a pinch, but if it’s a small fix that has downed your bike know how the hell to fix it. Get familiar with your ride and how it works and bring a small bag of tools. Even if you don’t need to fix your bike who knows, you may be able to help your friends who are still wandering around in a mind numbed, castrated funk.

  1. Know how to enjoy it

This should to be the simplest point but is more complex than what it seems to be on the surface. You see, I have noticed that MANY people who buy into the “rider” or “biker” lifestyle do so to stand out from society, but once “in” all they want to do is fit in with the crowd. From what I have seen, many buy the bike that they think others like, wear the clothing others might approve of and are lacking confidence unless “approved” by other riders. This is complete and utter B.S. and I’m here to tell YOU… to just be YOU. You purchased a bike to express YOURSELF and if someone does not like YOU then I would encourage you to invite them to walk off a bridge. Real and confident riders know who they are and don’t look for the approval of others. If your riding “friends” judge you and make you feel small for the kind of bike you prefer to own, then find new friends. There are countless forums and groups I belong to and I am consistently shocked at how many small and petulant people are on social media, denigrating others for what they have, or don’t have. I say screw them. Just be you, own the bike you love and enjoy the hell out of it. Life is WAY too short to deal with small people. If you forget them you’ll find other, valuable friends that accept you for who you are, not what you ride and THAT will make riding a motorcycle the most enjoyable it could ever be.

There you have it… the five things that every Biker should know; not to try and fit in, but to get more out of your riding experience. You bought the bike, grabbed the gear and wanted the freedom. Now get out there with a couple genuine friends and take that curvy road you always wanted to, it will be worth it.

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