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 if 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 sports 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 kilometres 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.