The following are good riding tips for fall. Rides in October in Canada always have to be viewed as maybe the last ride of the season. You just never know when snow will cover the roads or it gets so cold you don’t want to ride. With that in mind, treat every autumn ride as your last ride of the season.
Shorter daylight hours and higher temperature fluctuations require greater planning for your routes. When judging your route, “an inch on the map” may not be a good rule to ride by. Plan your rides to get you home before it gets dark and the temperature drops.
You should also plan your riding gear to accommodate changes in the weather. Layering is the best approach to being comfortable. If one of those layers is electric, all the better. Carrying a second pair of warmer gloves is good planning if you don’t have the luxury of heated grips.
When you ride, please be aware that cold roads don’t offer the same traction as warm or hot roads. This is especially important for those running really aggressive sport or race compound tires. Some of these tires operate over a very limited temperature range that cannot be generated on a cold, straight road. Be careful, especially for the first few kilometers or after a long straight stretch leading into a twisty section. As always, watch out for wet leaves covering the road.
While you’re out on your ride, stop by your favourite bike shop and fill your fall shopping list including; fuel stabilizer, smart battery charger, bike cover, bike cleaner, etc.
Fill up with gas on the way home. A full tank minimizes the vapour area where condensation accumulates so your tank doesn’t rust. Otherwise, you might not get out for another ride.
Here are two more important riding tips for fall. Keep your bike clean in the autumn. You just never know when your hose will freeze up. You never want to store a dirty bike. A quick 20 minute wash will turn into an all day clean-up after the dirt has been caked on for 4 months. Wax or use motorcycle protectant on all surfaces except tires. If you have ridden on a road that has been salted a wash is mandatory.
After your last wash make sure to warm your bike up to evaporate any water and condensation.
Many motorcycle dealers offer great storage plans that include winter maintenance packages. It’s a good time to pre-arrange your storage.
Stay tuned for winterization guidelines.
I sincerely hope you are well, and your families and friends are safe in these unfortunate times. Some of us are at home, and some of us are still at our places of work. In either case, we are all in the same boat.
Or sort of…
To the Motorcycle Industry, this could not have come at a worse time. The downturn in the oilpatch, the seasonal timing of the pandemic, and the recent slowing of the Canadian economy all make for a severe situation for our beloved industry here in Canada. These are normally the biggest months in unit sales, and to have doors shut is like taping the mouth of a hungry person.
When I started in the industry in 1985, the bike industry was staggering and attempting to recover from a major recession a couple years earlier. I was working as a wrench at our local Kawasaki dealer (back then they were called “Goodtime Centres”). Part of my responsibility was prepping new units. I remember in that first year we had countless new units on the floor from prior years. Bikes just weren’t moving.
One Saturday morning, a more affluent middle aged fellow came in and bought a 1983 GPz1100 leftover. I was tasked with starting it and prepping for delivery.
I remember trying so hard to start the damn thing, and it just wouldn’t catch. One of the more senior techs pitched in and it eventually sprang to life. He made a simple comment that I will never forget. He basically told me that the bike would have fired up easily had we been permitted to let it run a couple times in the 24 months prior.
I think that is my message to our group. If we are able to, we should try and feed our local retailers as much as possible in these quiet times. A little support in May will allow these folks to resume full operation much easier once the risk has passed. Presently, the MCC is endorsing the “stay at home” mindset, not only for social interaction but riding as well. What better time than this to buy those accessories and maintenance items?
Some bright news in this regard; I am still very close with my larger local dealers, and this week all were reporting strong sales outside of new units (jackets, tires, aesthetic add-ons, etc). One shop has been conducting a lot of mechanical work, as they have been able to pick up and drop off bikes without ever directly interacting with their customers. What better time than now to have your valve clearance checked or your 20000km service done?
I would invite you to share your dealer success stories with your social network, and support them yourself, if you are able to.
We have a very bright future. Let’s lend a hand to those who need it so we can ALL enjoy it.
I wish you well. Stay strong.
Chris Bourque, CRM
MCC Board Chair
Canadian riders thinking about motorcycling during the pandemic: MCC supports the position of the International Motorcycling Federation. FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) is the global governing body for motorcycle racing. We think the following release is the correct global response to what is obviously a global health emergency:
On April 1, 2020 FIM announced its #RidersAtHome initiative. The campaign encourages all types of riders around the world, from professionals to everyday commuters, to share messages of support and to behave in a responsible manner to take care of each other. In the official release, the FIM said, “Even though riding is still permitted in some countries – the FIM is requesting that ALL riders keep their motorcycles parked in order to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries that could take up valuable healthcare resources during a period when they are already under great pressure.” Read More
Motorcycle Maintenance for Safety
The first step should always be to wash the bike. You just can’t work on a dirty bike and it gives you the opportunity to find faults. Older bikes used to vibrate stuff off. While newer bikes aren’t as susceptible, you can’t predict the extent of neglect. Loose nuts and bolts, nail in the tire, missing brake lever are good catches during a cleaning.
One million Canadian motorcyclists are back on the roads and trails. May signals the arrival of warmer weather and the official launch of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. This year, the Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada (MCC) is reminding all drivers that sharing the road means sharing the responsibility.
Take the Motorcycle Safety Pledge and put your city
on the map
Spring signals the start of motorcycling season in Canada. That’s why May is officially recognized as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. At MCC we recognize that everyone plays an important role in motorcycle safety. Even if you do not ride a motorcycle, chances are you know someone that does.