How to Ride Safe This Summer: Your Harley-Davidson® Bike
Posted by Lisa DiFalco on
Riding on a hot day can lead to serious consequences for both you and your bike, if you do not adequately prepare. It is necessary to take extra precautions to avoid issues with your bike when out and about at the peak of the summer season.
Understand more about how to enjoy a long summer ride without adverse effects to your bike today.
Can Hot Weather Stress Your Ride?
Summer temperatures can put extra stress on a bike needing maintenance, with environmental factors possibly increasing the risk of a serious accident. It is best to check over the tread of tires and the condition of wheels. During hot days, high temperatures can heat up the asphalt and increase chances of a blowout. Under-inflated tires have more surface area that will be in contact with the road. Tires in good condition that are properly inflated are less likely to be negatively impacted by the high temperatures of the road. Be aware of this potential hazard and stay clear of vehicles which may need to have their tires replaced or are under-inflated. In addition, top off coolants and fluids, and replace degraded fluids before heading out. Ensure that any leaks have also been addressed, as this can also interfere with the optimal performance of the systems in your bike.
Some may want to take Sarah Williamson’s advice, a Harley-Davidson enthusiast with over 40 years of riding experience, when it comes to bike maintenance and preparing a bike for a long ride. As well as keeping spare parts handy, Williamson shared:
“Get all of your maintenance done before the trip. Change all of the necessary fluids. Is everything tight? Do a ‘once over’ and check all nuts and bolts. Check electrical connections. What are the most common parts known to fail on your bike? This is particularly important when riding older bikes. About ten years ago I rode a 25 year old bike coast to coast and back again. After researching the bike, I had a small box of spare parts, mostly electronic, and sure enough, my bike broke down 3 or 4 times during the trip and I had the spare part handy. I was also fortunate to be riding with a mechanic.”
Are you riding to Sturgis or planning to take part in a parade? Take into account whether or not your ride will be idling for longer than normal, any planned construction along your route during that time, and any factors that may force your bike to work harder when it is hot out. Some may find that their ride is more prone to acting up in such situations. We always recommend knowing your ride and her unique needs in order to ride safe.
What Are Some Summer Traffic Considerations?
Remember that there are more motorists on the road during this time. Give yourself plenty of time to react to prevent an accident. New riders should be aware of potential blind spots and indicate changing movements to drivers, such as flashing a break light when preparing to slow down or prior to stopping. Riding in the part of the lane providing the highest level of visibility is helpful for all motorcyclists who are riding in traffic. It may be necessary to ride extra defensively when driving to popular destinations on major highways. It is also beneficial to know the conditions of the road, as potholes and uneven surfaces are often an issue during the summer.
Being proactive and taking into account multiple factors that can impact your ride during the summer can help riders reduce their risk of injury. It is also important to check out the condition of any rented Harley-Davidson before heading out. Don’t simply take their word for it. Use your handy plug-and-play diagnostic tool on your own ride or a rented one to check for trouble codes and review system health before taking her out.
Share your best practices for keeping your bike in peak condition for summer rides. Comment below, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @DiagnosticaNews.
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- Tags: Diagnostic Tool for Harley, Harley-Davidson biker tips, maintenance, Motorscan smartphone diagnostic tool, Plug and play device, safe riding tips, summer riding safety tips, summer temperatures and your bike