By Attorney Edgar Snyder
Summer officially has come to an end, and for many motorcyclists this means their favorite riding season begins. If you're planning on riding during the fall, follow these suggestions to make sure your bike is ready to safely handle the changes of the season.
Check the Mechanics
After the summer riding season, your bike may need a tune-up. Check that all parts are functioning correctly and that you have good tread and air pressure in your tires. Make sure your fluid levels are good and that all controls are working properly.
Wear Proper Clothing
Fall weather can be unpredictable. It can be frigid in the morning and reach the mid-70s or 80s in the afternoon, depending on where you live. Dressing in layers is probably the best way to adjust to the changing temperatures.
Cotton should never be worn as a base layer. Use thermal underwear or something with a synthetic blend as your base layer. Comfortable riding attire should be worn on the top layer. Don't wear a hoodie, but rather a zip-up sweatshirt or shirt.
Leather attire is perfect for the fall. Leather motorcycle jackets or chaps can protect you from the wind and keep you more comfortable while riding. They usually also have removable liners.
You can wear riding boots with synthetic liners and wool socks. This combination will let your feet breathe in case they get warm.
It’s a good idea to wear a pair of synthetic glove liners underneath your leather biker gloves and pack fingerless leather gloves in a storage compartment. You'll be able to switch in the afternoon when you get too warm.
A raw, chilling rain can cause hypothermia quickly, especially if you're not wearing the best riding attire. Always pack your rain gear, just in case.
Switch to a Half- or Full-Visor Helmet
Cold air can be harsh on your eyes, so switch to a Department of Transportation-approved helmet.
Watch for Riding Hazards
Fallen leaves can be very slippery and cause accidents, and many deer are more active during autumn – especially during dawn and dusk. Keep your eyes out for any riding hazard so you have time to react.
Following these guidelines can help you make the most of the fall riding season. For more information, visit our Motorcycle Safety Resource Center.
Attorney Edgar Snyder has over 45 years of experience helping injury victims. He founded Edgar Snyder & Associates, a Pennsylvania law firm that has represented hundreds of motorcyclists. Learn more at EdgarSnyder.com.