The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

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storysunfolding
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The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#1 Unread post by storysunfolding » Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:43 pm

Many of us didn't get to ride this winter (STFU S. California) and believe it or not, we won't be able to hop onto our bikes and be at 100%.

Hopefully you took the time when you put the bike away to winterize her properly. Her fluids were changed, her battery contently topped off by a trickle charger and all her surfaces protected. However, even if you went the full monty, it's still time to give her that thorough once over. I like the MSF TCLOCS sheet. It's exceptionally thorough and makes sure that everything gets the attention it needs.

Now, remember those glorious months of binge eating and all those promises about losing that weight? Let's talk gear. Does it still fit? If so, how old is it? Gear doesn't last forever and every year there are phenomenal new updates that you should probably look into. If you're still rocking your 1970's bell helmet, I'm talking to you! Helmets shouldn't be older than 5 years old. Not only do their materials break down over time, but the enzymes in your sweat play a major role in that deterioration as well. This goes for your gear too. The road at 25 mph is like a big belt sander. If you're not ok with a belt sander touching you somewhere on your body, get gear to cover it (anyone wear chaps?).

Finally, there's you. Let's face it you aren't the rider you were at the end of last season. Time away from the bike means lack of familiarity, loss of our muscle memory and a slight detachment from reality when it comes to our "skill level". Before hitting the road, schedule some parking lot practice. Refine those quick stops, master those swerves and work on your overall bike control with some figure 8's and u-turns. I like the last 40-60 pages on the MSF riding tips booklet It's a great place to start but obviously work on challenging yourself. Make the weaves harder, practice the perfect technique and remember you're not going to do it perfectly right away.

Want to work on becoming the best rider you can be? Sign up for a ridercourse. Hopefully you've already taken the Basic RiderCourse and the Experienced RiderCourse. Now it's time to look into other courses in your area. I highly recommend a Lee Parks Total Control Advanced Riding Clinic, a stayin safe trip, the MSF Advanced RiderCourse- Sportbike Techniques. All three are open to all bike types and will give you extra tools in your toolbox for those quandries life throws in our way.

Good Luck and God Speed
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RhadamYgg
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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#2 Unread post by RhadamYgg » Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:32 pm

Excellent write-up. Even those of us that got a few rides in over the winter are still a bit rusty. Muscle memory deteriorates in two weeks, and it has been a lot longer than two weeks for a lot of us.

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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#3 Unread post by Wordherder » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:09 pm

Got the bike out last Saturday for the first time - got above 45 degrees and I was antsy (Chicago area). Took the Harley for a short spin through the backstreets just to get reaquainted and then yeah, hit the local elementary school parking lot to run through the figure-8s and low-speed maneuvers from the MSF course. Didn't drop the thing, although I came damn close more than once.

Once I felt like I'd shaken the cobwebs, I headed out into the (soon to be) cornfield country past Plainfield. Had a great 45 minutes until my fingers started smarting, even through the thick "winter" gloves. When I got home, my fingers were scary-white and pretty much immobile. Ran lukewarm -- not hot! -- water over 'em until they were OK.

On a related note, sure feels good to be posting on TMW again. It's been a looooong winter!
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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#4 Unread post by HYPERR » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:12 pm

Been riding all winter here in CT. 8)
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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#5 Unread post by storysunfolding » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:27 pm

Oh this isn't a brag thread you salty ol riding dog. This is a make ourselves better thread.

Must be nice not having record snowfall that you're state hasn't ever in its existence been prepared to deal with.
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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#6 Unread post by HYPERR » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:30 pm

storysunfolding wrote:
Must be nice not having record snowfall that you're state hasn't ever in its existence been prepared to deal with.
Yeah man, we sure lucked out this winter in CT. When the mid atlantic was getting 2 feet plus, we got virtually nothing. The one that dumped 4 feet in upstate NY, we only got like 8 inches. :laughing:
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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#7 Unread post by gsJack » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:51 pm

My 1st riding season hasn't ended yet, just finished my 26th winter of riding here in NE Ohio, it was a beautiful 70F here today after a colder than average winter. Think I went about 2 weeks without a ride twice this year, a good winter I don't miss more than a week or so at a time. Only ride when streets are free of ice and snow but I splash through a lot of salt water. I'm afraid if I put it up for 3 months I might forget how to ride, might even forget where I put the bike so I just keep on going. :D

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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#8 Unread post by MZ33 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 3:12 am

Only ride when streets are free of ice and snow
You must be on a main street! Here in Columbus, side streets aren't even considered until we have 4 inches on the ground. My street has a total of 7 houses on it, so you can guess where we fall in the schedule. We got sand on our street once this year, though, which helped.
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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#9 Unread post by Superfly3176 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:12 am

I rode my bike for like five or six hours saturday, taking breaks in between. When I got up from my nap later that day my legs were sore for the next 3 days.

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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#10 Unread post by Player-P » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:40 am

HYPERR wrote:Been riding all winter here in CT. 8)
Been riding everyday! But I ain't saying JACK, being that I'm out here in Cali...so I'll just hush :cowboy:
The only true finish line is making it back home safely after a ride!

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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#11 Unread post by havegunjoe » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:31 pm

I fired her up for the first time Sunday when the temp hit 64. It took about 2 tries and she caught right on and ran smooth. I then put about 30 miles on her and road her in to work this morning.

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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#12 Unread post by HYPERR » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:29 pm

Player-P wrote:
HYPERR wrote:Been riding all winter here in CT. 8)
Been riding everyday! But I ain't saying JACK, being that I'm out here in Cali...so I'll just hush :cowboy:
You better or Stories is gonna kick your a$$. :laughing:
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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#13 Unread post by Magna » Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:39 pm

Been riding at least once a month through the winter but it still feels strange every time I get on. Good advice about the parking lot. I will do that this week-end. It has been a long wet winter !!!

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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#14 Unread post by matthew5656 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:42 pm

It was a little awkward starting up the vtr last week. After driving the 4WD Silverado 1500 all winter, the ride felt dangerously low and too close to the pavement. But after a short 20 minute ride I felt all better! :D

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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#15 Unread post by centerstand65 » Tue May 21, 2019 2:49 pm

A used helmet with at least 10,000 miles of sweat already in it is as new as I ever want to go. I only buy used. I only buy from eBay. I won't buy helmets from smokers or those who spray stuff to eliminate helmet stink. I prefer well worn, natural lids where other guys sweated out the details so I don't have to.

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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#16 Unread post by DneprM750 » Mon May 27, 2019 1:38 pm

More than ready! I've done a complete revision of my Sovietosaurus Rex and bought a couple key spare parts to carry along with me and will do my first road trip of the year for professionnal reasons: the boss wants me to check most of that commercial real estate in Munich, and of course, I don't plan to go there by train or plane! I just hope the crazy speed limit-less Autobahns won't shake me too much, with the limited performances of my ride :lol:

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Re: The riding season is arriving- are you ready?

#17 Unread post by pchast » Mon May 27, 2019 9:12 pm

I've got to clear my ears and balance from a spring cold first..
I'm working at tuning the arms and hands too. A few more weeks
before i'm as ready as I should be, i think.
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