Prepare for cooler motorcycle rides in autumn

As the cooler weather marches toward North Carolina, motorcyclists need to ensure they are ready to ride. Now is the best time to check your safety gear to ensure it is all in order for the upcoming season.

Check your helmet. If you notice any cracks or defects in it, you should replace it right away. This is the only thing that is protecting your head if you go careening off your motorcycle. The last thing you need is for a defect to cause it to split if you hit your head.

You have to make sure that you are ready to layer your clothes. One thing that some bikers forget about is their hands. These control your brake, steering and clutch. When you are going 50 mph, the temperature drops by about 20 degrees. This is a huge difference that can lead to your hands getting very cold. Wearing motorcycle gloves helps you keep ahold of the handlebars comfortably regardless of the temperatures you are facing.

Make sure that the rest of you is covered, too. A baklava can help protect your neck, which is exposed between your jacket and helmet. Motorcycle pants protect your legs from the cold and road rash better than blue jeans. Body armor can also help keep you warm and safe.

Finally, wear sturdy shoes. Motorcycle boots help protect your feet and ankles from the stresses of riding. They will also protect the bottoms of your feet from the cold pavement and from chilling rain.

You also have to continue to follow proper safety rules and procedures when you ride this autumn. If you are struck by another driver, be ready to seek medical care. It is a good idea to have your medical insurance card and driver's license in your pocket just in case you need it quickly.

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