1. How to store and prep the motorcycle for the winter

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR MOTORCYCLE FOR THE OFF-SEASON

HOW TO PREPARE

YOUR MOTORCYCLE FOR THE OFF-SEASON

How to prepare your motorcycle for the off-season

It’s the time of the year for us motorcyclists to bid a temporary farewell to our not-so-interim love, their motorcycle. If you are also in this boat, here are all the points you need to check off the list to ensure secure winter storage of your bike.

Cleaning the bike

You must have had a pretty adventurous summer with your bike. It’s time to get rid of all the season’s dirt in one thorough wash. Use good soap and a sponge to reach all washable parts of your bike.

Oil change

After your last season ride, make sure to change your motorcycle’s oil if needed. Do it right before the winter storage so that when you take it out in spring, it’s ready for action.

Gas tank level

Half-filled gas tanks may lead to technical issues if kept for the long term. Such problems are often quite heavy on the pocket, so fill it up properly to be better safe than sorry.

Tire pressure

To avoid flat spots in your motorcycle’s tires, take the weight off them. An effective way of ensuring no flat areas is using a motorcycle stand. If you don’t have a motorcycle stand, try to keep the motorcycle in such a position that alleviates the weight from the back tire. For this, you should also check the tires every few weeks to avoid flat spots on your tires.

Battery

Removing the battery is a wiser decision as compared to keeping it during the storage period. Once removed, clean the electrodes, and connect the battery to a charger for the entire storage period. If your storage period is short or you don’t have a charger, you can choose not to remove the battery. However, in that case, you should charge the battery once every month by turning on your motorbike.

Exhaust pipe

Stuffing your bike’s exhaust pipes and other open sections is essential, as you don’t want rats taking up residence there. Use special muffler plugs that fit your exhaust or plastic bags for this purpose. Ensure you thoroughly remove all the stuffing at the storage season’s end.

Storage space

Safe and reliable storage space is essential. If you don’t have one right at your home, you can rent a space for the off-season. It may add to the cost, but you need safe storage space to keep your beloved bike away from thieves. People often opt for slots like a barn etc., but the storage space should not pose a potential threat to your bike.

Motorcycle cover

Lastly, when you are done with all the prepping steps, cover your motorcycle with a fitted cover that covers your model. Another protective step before storing your bike is sealing the entire metal surface with wax. It protects against rust on the metal frame of the motorcycle.

Following all these steps before storing your motorcycle means that you won’t need to worry about anything. Make sure to use the winter break and plan your next tour with the Motobit APP so you can start looking forward to having a great time with your adventure buddy right away and be ready to hit the road next season the right way!

14

READING TIP – THE PERFECT MOTORCYCLE TOUR BY OSKAR STÜBINGER

READING TIP

THE PERFECT MOTORCYCLE TOUR BY OSKAR STÜBINGER

Reading tip - The perfect motorcycle tour by Oskar Stübinger

Whether it’s a short trip, a weekend excursion, or a longer journey. The current book “The perfect motorcycle tour – Plan! Pack! Ride!” by Oskar Stübinger aims to explain all the necessary safety aspects that are important when motorcycling.

This article shows whether and how the author has succeeded.

Motorcycling safety is first and foremost

Motorcycling is a passion. So that the fun does not become too serious, the subject of safety should not be forgotten when riding a motorbike; regardless of whether you are a beginner or an old hand. Oskar Stübinger has written this book to offer support for one’s own riding technique and to avoid unnecessary mistakes.

The perfect motorcycle tour - This is what the content promises

A motorbike tour does not begin with starting the engine. Even when planning and packing, there are many safety-relevant aspects that should be taken into account. The book is logically structured, richly illustrated, and conveys everything necessary in a comprehensible form and language. After all, you want to return home in good health.

1. Travel planning and preparation: these two chapters are entirely devoted to planning and organization before the actual trip. In addition, you will receive important information such as tips on equipment and the correct loading of the bike.

2. The maxims of motorbike touring: where are the dangers when riding, how do I behave safely in traffic and how can you increase safety for yourself and other road users?

3. Riding in the Alps: “Aufi aufn Berg!” is the German-speaking motto in this chapter. Here everything revolves around driving at lofty heights. Cornering techniques, hairpin bends, special dangers in the alpine area, weather influences, and appropriate behavior as well as riding in the sun, at night, and with a pillion passenger. 

4. Riding in a group: What is important when riding in a group? This chapter provides information on safety-relevant behavior, tips, and hand signals for easy communication with each other.

5. In case of an emergency: breakdown, accident, or roll over. Bikers are not immune to critical situations. Here Oskar Stübinger talks about this unpleasant topic and at the same time motivates how to behave safely.

Tips for the perfect motorcycle tour at a glance

  • Conscientious planning and loading
  • Knowing your own performance limits
  • Correct cornering and driving behavior
  • Respectful interaction with other road users
  • Staying focused and on the road at all times
  • Wear the appropriate motorbike clothing
  • Wearing an optimal motorbike helmet
  • Having a technically sound motorbike and tires
  • Undergoing regular riding safety training

Who is Oskar Stübinger?

Oskar Stübinger, author of “The perfect motorcycle tour – Plan! Pack! Ride!” is a native of Nuremberg, Germany. As an enthusiastic motorcyclist, he offers guided tours throughout Europe as a tour guide. The special thing about his tours is the combination of touring and practical riding training.

How can I plan a great tour in only a few steps?

That’s super easy! With the Motobit APP you can not only create great tours that will take your breath away, but it also helps you to ride more safely by warning you of fixed dangers such as dangerous bends, damaged roads, and much more, as well as of bends that are taken a little too recklessly. The curve assistant as we call it can be key, especially if you are exploring new and unknown areas.

So make sure you not only plan your next tour ahead but also that Motobit is installed and active on your smartphone before setting off on your next tour. If you have not installed Motobit already, get it now for free!

Conclusion

The book “The perfect motorcycle tour – Plan! Pack! Ride!” is aimed specifically at beginners. But “old hands” will also find a lot of useful input in it. The content describes in detail trip planning as well as proper packing, important safety aspects during the tour (hazard recognition, alpine tours, group riding) and helpful support in case of breakdowns or accidents.

With his book, the author has managed to write a detailed compendium about motorcycling. It is easy to read, very informative and richly illustrated. Again and again, he addresses the topic of safety and thus raises awareness for conscious motorcycling. So that you arrive home healthy again after the tour. A motorbike book that should not be missing from any bookshelf.

Reference

The perfect motorcycle tour – Plan! Pack! Ride!
Oskar Stübinger
ISBN: 978-3-96664-001-5
EUR 20,60

 

Many thanks to Micha from @michaslifestyle for this blog post!

13

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO START RIDING A MOTORCYCLE

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST

TO START RIDING A MOTORCYCLE?

How much does it cost to start riding a motorcycle?

Riding a motorcycle is a passion for many and a dream for some of us. Many people might even want to get into motorcycling but are pulled back by thinking about the costs involved from getting a license to buying and maintaining a motorcycle. If you are one of such people, and are looking to start motorcycle riding and want to know what would be the cost to start riding, you came to the right place.

Although you will need money to start riding a motorcycle, you don’t need to put all your life savings into it. The exact costs vary owing to a few factors like your location. This guide will give you a clearer picture of how much money you’ll need to invest for one of the best decisions of your life.

Cost to get a license​

To get a driving license you need to meet certain minimum age requirements. However, in some European countries, these limits may be higher or lower or there may be some additional requirements. There are no upper age limits for holding a driving license. Starting from the age of 16 you can apply for the class of AM (mopeds)light motorcycles (A1), and quadricycles (B1), whereas at 18 years of age you can switch to more powerful (standard) motorcycles in the so-called A2 class and start riding motorcycles that are limited to a power of up to 23kW (48HP) with a minimum experience of 2 years in A1. Finally, you can join the “big boys club” and start riding heavy motorcycles in the A category from age 21.

Within the UK a CBT (compulsory basic training) test enables you to ride a moped or scooter with L plates on. The best part about this is, that you can get this done in one day and it usually costs between £99-£140. In short, you don’t have to get a full license to start riding. If you want to ride your scooter with a passenger, you might need to qualify further. To get the full A license, the prices change between European countries and also showed quite an increase over the last decades. In Germany, it was quite common to pay around 1500€ around the year 2000, while now you need to face costs of around 2000 to 3250 €. Note, that these numbers only apply in case you pass your test on the first attempt. If you also make your driver’s license for a passenger car at a later stage (starting at 21 years of age) you can get better deals when you apply for both licenses at the same time.

Cost to purchase a motorbike​

If you are buying a motorcycle for the first time, we suggest you go for a used bike than a new one. There are many advantages like lower buying costs and less to no regrets about minor scratches to the bike. We all know that second-hand bikes come in cheap and can go a long way too. They’ve once been someone’s first love and still want to give all the love they have. New motorcycles can easily cost between 5000 € to 30000 € while a good condition used motorcycle will cost you around 2500 €.

Cost to get your bike insured​

The type of insurance your bike needs basically depends on the type of bike you own, the engine displacement of the bike that correlates to power to some extent, and the place where you live. For young and first-time motorbike riders, the insurance cost can be a serious topic of discussion. After the motorcycle purchasing cost, taking a look at insurance might be the next big thing on your list. If you own a bike with excessive bodywork and luggage, it is recommended to get a comprehensive insurance plan to cover the costs of those rather expensive repairs in case something bad happens like getting kicked over.

Frankly, the cost of insurance can hover around the 400 to 800 € mark for a year. Another way to look at this is by breaking the cost down into monthly payments.

Cost for protective gear​

One thing is for sure you need protective gear if you want to start riding a motorcycle. They are truly essential as they can save your life. You can get good quality protective gear for a few hundred Euros and as high as thousands of Euros without finding satisfaction. It depends on what you are looking for. Some people want everything to be ‘cheap and best’ while others want to spend heavily in search of ‘the Best’.

Like many things, also motorcycle riding gear comes in both these forms so it is for you to decide which way you want to go. What you can also do is try a third option of trying what you like and then do some research online. Most of the time, the expensive items can be found much cheaper in retail dealerships or online at the end of the riding season.

Other costs

  • Road tax may apply for highways, tolls or certain mountain passes with varying costs depending on your location and the plan.
  • Fuel costs may be something a lot of us do not pay attention to initially, but it is a very important cost considering it is a recurring cost. Just like the purchasing cost of a motorcycle might be a one-time cost and insurance maybe once a year, fuel costs are continuous costs that showed quite an increase over the last years and are depending on how much you ride your bike. There is no fixed fuel cost, but you can certainly figure out a budget window for your fuel costs by breaking down your average fuel consumption and how many kilometers or miles you want to ride.
  • Your overall cost to start riding a motorcycle will be around 4000 € to 5000 €, with a second-hand motorcycle included. These costs are very reasonable if you just want to start riding a motorcycle. Once you get accustomed to it, you can always upgrade. It is noted that bike costs tend to go down instead of going up once you start riding regularly. This is mainly because you don’t have to pay too many costs after a while. All you will be spending are the running and maintenance costs of the motorcycle. The insurance costs will also go down eventually after a certain point if there are no major incidents.

There is a completely different way to go about the whole ‘starting to ride a motorcycle business and the costs involved with it, which is by getting a used dirt bike that will cost you half the cost of any other motorcycle. They are cheaper and offer a different spectrum of fun. You can learn and enjoy off-roading and this experience will not just be cost-friendly, but one to savor for a lifetime. Something you can share with your grandkids with pride in the future. You will need good quality off-road riding gear though and bring along some physical fitness.

The final verdict will be that you go economical by picking your motorcycle as a mean of transport instead of a car wherever you can and save up to get a good motorcycle for yourself at a later stage.

If you are uncertain about picking a motorcycle or a car and the cost question keeps popping up in your mind, then do not worry! A motorcycle is a better option any time of the day, any day of the week, any week of the month, and any month of the year. It is cool, the costs are comparatively cheaper and the sense of freedom and enjoyment that you get while riding a motorcycle is just incomparable with anything else!

I'm on a budget but want to have fun on my motorcycle while being safe. But how?

Actually, there is a great way to do so! Motobit helps you to ride more safely by warning you of fixed dangers such as dangerous bends, damaged roads, and much more, as well as bends that are taken a little too recklessly. The curve assistant as we call it can be key, especially if you are exploring new and unknown areas. It’s easy: More safety = more fun!

So make sure you not only maintain your motorcycle properly, but also that Motobit is installed and active on your smartphone before setting off on your next tour. If you have not installed Motobit already, get it now for free!

12

HOW TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE FOR THE FIRST TIME

HOW TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE

FOR THE FIRST TIME

How to ride a motorcycle for the first time

Alright then! You’ve decided you want to take your motorcycle out for a spin. Hold on for a second though. This might not be as easy or as difficult as it seems. Motorcycling is all about hitting that sweet spot between control and balance!

If you hit that sweet spot right, you can enjoy a smooth and long ride on a motorcycle. For those of you who do need some advice on how to take that bike for a ride for your first time, here are some tips that will surely help you out.

Get the Gear

Before you jump on that bike, the most important point for any rider, be it a professional, a beginner, or even a first-timer, is to have proper safety gear. For those who are beginning to learn motorcycle riding, it becomes even more important to have protective gear which includes a helmet, gloves, and boots at least. Remember, you are not riding a bicycle. It is a big boy you are thinking of riding and that is why you need big boy gear.

If you get the chance, it is recommended that you get a high-quality jacket with protectors too. All this equipment combined assures a great deal of safety. You don’t need to go for high-end products in the gear department at the beginning. Basic priced items could also fit the bill which could go a long way in adding safety.

Inspect the motorcycle​

At this point when you are learning to ride your motorcycle for the first time, everything will be a bit new for you. The riding comes afterward. First comes the motorbike itself! Have you checked it yet? How is the condition? If you haven’t checked it, that should be one of your top priorities before you even think of starting it. A painter checks all the colors, brushes, and canvases first before he paints a single stroke. A musician checks and tunes his instruments first before entering a show.

Likewise, you need to check the condition of your motorcycle before you start it up and ride it for the very first time. Inspect to see if all the basics are okay. Check the condition of the tires and pressure. Change the oil before riding when your bike was in the shed for too long. Even if your motorcycle already has oil, you might not know how old that is and if it is too old, that could pose a problem. Check all the lights, as for a rider, headlights and turn signals play a huge role in a smooth and safe ride. Check the cables as well making sure that the brakes and throttle are working smoothly without getting stuck.

If you’ve decided to ride a motorcycle for the first time, you probably already have a new or used motorcycle. Maybe you are looking to get a new or used one now. When you go to get a motorcycle, it is quite standard to do a walk-around or a test ride. A walk-around would do well if you already know a little bit about the specific bike you’re about to buy and its flaws, but if you do a test ride, it will be best to check the condition of the motorcycle yourself first before you put your hands around it.

Starting it up​

You probably learned motorcycle riding in a driving school or with your friend or relative in a more private environment. That is how a lot of riders start. The most recommended way of learning after getting your license is to take a proper motorcycle training course. It helps you learn everything in a step-by-step way, with full protective gear, ensuring better safety.

No matter which way you’ve learned it, the time has come for you to start and ride it. Here is a small step-by-step guide to starting and riding a motorcycle:

  1. Inset the key to the ignition and rotate it to the on position to turn the motorcycle on.
  2. Turn on the choke and also the fuel petcock in some bikes.
  3. Make sure the bike is in neutral and set the killswitch.
  4. Squeeze and hold the clutch while you press the ignition button. With old bikes having a Kickstarter, pull it out and push it down swiftly to generate a kick enough to start the engine
  5. In both ways, once your engine fires, congratulations, you’ve started your motorcycle successfully.
  6. Once the engine is up and running, slowly push down the choke if there is one and you are good to go.

Once you are riding it and you want to stop, let go of the throttle to turn it off and pull the clutch lever in. Squeeze the rear and front brake simultaneously and gradually with a focus on the front while you’re pulling the clutch. This will slowly activate the brakes and bring the motorcycle to a smooth stop.

Controls are the key​

Balancing a motorcycle is probably the most important aspect of riding a motorcycle. Balance is actually the biggest difference between riding a motorcycle and a car. A car is already balanced on the road while being still or even moving as it stands as it moves on four wheels. A motorcycle on the other hand is sleek and has two wheels, making it difficult to stand still with balance. Riding it means balancing it at all times on 2 wheels, which may be quite a challenge for new riders.

However, it is not so difficult once you get used to it. Surprisingly, getting used to it has more to do with controls than balancing. You never learn to balance it. You learn to control it and the balance comes along. Remember when you started learning to ride your bicycle? How you always wanted to stay aware to hit the brakes and paddles at the correct time and maintain balance while doing so. Riding a motorcycle is similar, the only difference it can go a lot faster and very quickly. This is also one of the reasons why people who’ve had bicycle riding experience learn motorcycle riding easily and quickly.

Learn the controls quickly and thoroughly​

Every motorcycle manufacturer has its own set of controls. Still, few controls are commonly found on all types of motorcycles. The controls of most bikes include:

  • Throttle, located on the ride side of the handlebar to speed up and down your bike.
  • The front brake, located in front of the handle, activates the front brake, generally but not necessarily used in an emergency braking situation.
  • The clutch lever located on the left side of the handlebar plays a pivotal role in controlling the motorcycle.
  • Rear brake, is located near the right foot to activate the rear brake.
  • Shift Lever, located near the left foot to shift gears.

Please note: Some older motorbikes have mirror-inverted gear and rear brake arrangements.

Getting familiarized with these 5 basic controls is essential in learning to ride a motorcycle. There are other controls as well like the buttons and the dashboard which you can and should get to know. Learning and practicing is the best way to go, and the road ahead should not be too difficult.

You cannot learn to ride a motorcycle after reading about it on the internet alone. (Touché!) However, if you’re already learning it, practicing it, and want to ride it independently for the first time, the above tips will come in handy. Once you have learned how to ride it successfully, keep practicing and improving!

Are there any additional tips?

For sure! Motobit supports you to ride more safely by warning you of fixed dangers such as dangerous bends, damaged roads, and much more, as well as bends that are taken a little too recklessly. The curve assistant as we call it can be key, especially if you are exploring new and unknown areas.

So make sure not only to take extra care when you begin to start riding a motorcyle, but also that Motobit is installed and active on your smartphone before setting off on your next tour. If you have not installed Motobit already, get it now for free!

11

HOW TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE WITH A PASSENGER

HOW TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE

WITH A PASSENGER

How to ride a motorcycle with a passenger

For those of us who don’t want to ride or are more interested in just sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the ride, the passenger or pillion seat is the best place to be. Those of us who want to ride a motorcycle and share the fun and enjoyment with the passenger while doing so might prefer the front seat. Riding with a passenger is not the same as riding solo. When you are riding solo, all you need to focus is mainly on balance and control. If you are riding with a passenger, the weight on the bike changes and it causes the center of gravity to change. This in turn makes you change the way you handle your bike. All of a sudden, you are needed to exhibit different skills you know about motorcycle riding.

Here are a few pointers you can take to make sure a smooth and safe ride for you and the passenger. Not to forget, when you are riding with someone, they are putting their life in your hands.

Gear up as a team

Your pillion rider should use the protective gear of a similar quality as you. If they are not wearing a helmet, jacket, or any protective gear, and god forbid you to get into an accident; you might walk away without a scratch while your passenger might have to pay a heavy price just to sit behind you on a motorcycle. When you think about all the adventurers when riding together, you need to think about the risks and safety together too.

Start with a small briefing​

It is always recommended to have a briefing with your bike partner. If it is the very first time you are taking a ride with a passenger, it would be great for you if your riding companion is an experienced motorcyclist. Knowing that the pillion knows a thing or two about riding safely with a passenger behind, will certainly give your confidence a boost. Moreover, during the initial part of the ride when you are still learning your way to ride with a pillion, they can anticipate the way you ride and support you better than an inexperienced pillion rider.

Hand signals or taps are better than calling out if you want to communicate while riding. There will be instances when they want you to pull over for different reasons. Having 2 variations of hand signals is more than enough to start with. One could be to get down and the other to slow down. A Helmet-to-helmet intercom system is another great way to communicate when riding, especially on longer tours.

If the passenger is not a rider themselves, you should brief the passenger to keep their feet on the footpegs or floorboards at all times instead of hanging them in the air, touching the ground, or touching anywhere else on the motorcycle. Brief them about sitting close to you and hanging on to you by the waist tightly as it would make it easier for you to steer the motorcycle. Once you get a bit of experience you can have the pillion hold on to seat grips if available. Such a briefing significantly eradicates the chances of an accident or injury.

Master the turns​

When you start learning to ride a motorcycle, ‘the last hurdle’ as you would call it is the turning. With a passenger sitting behind you, turning becomes even more difficult. To safely navigate and control your motorcycle while turning you can consider adding a few skills to your skillset and a few more pointers for your passenger.

For instance, when you turn left, an inexperienced pillion would tend to lean towards the right due to the nature of gravity. This makes it difficult for you to corner the bike safely. Instructing the pillion to keep their eyes on the back of your helmet might certainly help to keep both your bodies in line while cornering. The pillion can even keep looking over your shoulder to know which way you are going to turn and adjust accordingly.

Brake like a pro​

When you know how to stop a bike while riding solo is great, but when riding with a passenger, it is not that simple. With the extra weight on top, the motorcycle might need a little more distance, time, and effort to brake. Immediate braking is not recommended if you’re a beginner. When stopping the bike, you should immediately put your foot down to find balance for your stationery motorcycle.

Some pillion riders might want to do the same by nature, as they might tend to find supportive balance too. You can make this clear with the pillion that they don’t need to put their feet down unless they want to get off the bike, and that too after letting you know. The reason for this is that it could disturb the balance of the motorcycle immediately, and if you are about the start the motorbike again just after stopping, the pillions grounded foot can cause a lot of misbalance if not pulled back up at the right time.

Make sure there is clear communication when pulling over, as well as getting on or off the bike. There should be no sudden movements from you or the pillion whatsoever.

Important tips to remember

Some important tips to remember while riding with a passenger:

  • Avoid going fast and leaning too much on angles.
  • Developing comprehensive cornering skills first may be very useful to ensure safety and comfort for both you and the passenger.
  • Brief your pillion and define a clear communication strategy.
  • Make sure the passenger is following all the safety procedures and instructions.
  • Strong wind can affect your riding, so be prepared to encounter any weather conditions.
  • Do not make any sudden movements and ask the pillion as well. Sudden movements can disrupt your balance and cause safety concerns.

All in all, keep it slow, simple, and safe. Having said that, enjoy the fun of riding together and share the experience with as many people as possible and let them become a part of motorcycling as well. Ride safe!

What else can support me to increase my motorcycle safety?

Motobit can support you to ride more safely by warning you of fixed dangers such as dangerous bends, damaged roads, and much more, as well as bends that are taken a little too recklessly. The curve assistant as we call it can be key, especially if you are exploring new and unknown areas.

So make sure you not only take care when riding with a friend but also that Motobit is installed and active on your smartphone before setting off on your next tour. If you have not installed Motobit already, get it now for free!

10

AM I TOO OLD TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE?

AM I TOO OLD

TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE?

AM I TOO OLD TO RIDE A MOTORCYCLE?

Am I too old to ride a motorcycle? Have you been asking yourself this question? No worries! No rider in this world hasn’t at some point asked himself some tough questions like these. Even though the questions seem to be tough, the answers don’t need to be!

In this guide, we will cover important questions concerning the old-age factor when it comes to motorcycle riding. These questions have clouded a lot of riders’ minds when they reach a certain age.

What is the last age to ride a motorcycle?

To be honest, there is no specific last age to retire as a motorcycle rider. People in their 70’s, 80’s, and even 90’s ride without any problems. The only difference is that they don’t ride to compete, but just to have some fun and go from point A to point B. The only thing which can probably stop someone from riding in old age is if they have any physical disability of any sort. We have even seen physically disabled people go out for a ride as motorcycles don’t require a lot of effort from the body.

However, it is highly advisable to seek safety before fun. Consult a doctor if you have any problems physically or mentally.

Is there a different range of motorcycles for older people?

Yes. If you are a motorcycle rider and have been for some time, you might know that there is a bike for everyone. One bike-fits-all has never been a thing and will never be. The weight handling, controls, and balance of each bike suit a certain type of rider. Be it a woman rider, a male rider, a first-time rider, a beginner, an experienced, a commuter, or an older rider, there is a different type of motorcycle for every type of rider.

Adults and especially adults above the age of 60 often do not need to go fast. They have probably lived the young years of their lives they wanted, and if they are still riding at this age, it is better to just sit back, hit the throttle but not that hard, and enjoy the soft breeze hitting their faces. There can be physical and mental problems that can hinder their sense of control over the motorcycle. That is the reason some motorcycles suit them better than most bikes. These motorcycles are light, and easy to balance and control, and also the controls are not that complicated, ensuring a safe and simple ride for older motorcyclists. We also recommend that these motorcyclists better ride motorcycles with engine displacement in the range of 100cc to 500cc or a lower center of gravity.

Recommended motorcycles for elderly bike riders are for instance:

  • Honda CBF600
  • Suzuki SV650
  • Kawasaki Versys 650 LT
  • Yamaha Tracer 900 GT
  • BMW F650, F800

What are the dangers of riding a motorcycle an old age?

Common sense applies here! Older people are more susceptible to injuries and accidents and in case they do get into one, they will take a relatively longer time than a younger rider to recover. This is because people above 60 have weaker bones, and poorer vision and they are more vulnerable to physical disabilities. So, yes there are several dangers concerned if you are aged and riding. But that doesn’t mean you should not do it. There are different types of adults. Some are even stronger than others when it comes to vision, strength, and endurance.

At the end of the day, it depends on how you feel about yourself and how confident you are about riding that motorcycle.

Can an old age rider race or go wherever they like?

You can participate in a race at any age between 50-90 but only if you have a good amount of experience to back you up. If you don’t have racing or motorcycle riding experience and still want to participate, you can go for a race with a speed limit. The reason we say you should not qualify for a proper race if you aren’t an experience holder is that you will have to go fast and that is not at all recommended at your age. Lastly, you need to wear complete safety gear first before taking on any race or ride.

Generally speaking: An adult riders should never go wherever they like. Period. They might want to go to the mountains, dunes, snowy places, and rocky or muddy places, but all these places are a huge no-no for adult riders. As mentioned before, aged riders do not have the reflexes as young riders. The above-mentioned places are great to ride motorcycles but only for young motorcyclists who can be in full control riding on such tough and uneven terrains. For older riders, places like paved roads, grasslands, forests, and parks are the go-to places for a lovely ride.

What is the importance of safety for adults and how to ride safely?

The above questions and answers have mostly covered the many safety aspects an older rider must follow. If you are aging and still want to ride, there is no harm in it. But we would suggest you get high-quality safety gear which you should wear at all times while riding. It is worth pointing out, that you should pick only gear that truly fits you to have the needed flexibility to control your motorcycle at all times. Driving slowly goes without saying at your age.

Taking a safety course will be a great help as it may eradicate any common mistake you might make.

Am I too old to ride a motorcycle? What can support me?

So, to answer the big question, no person is too old to ride a motorcycle, given that he believes in himself and his riding. Also, if you are following all the safety protocols, there is no need to hang up those riding boots just yet! Make sure you ride in stable places and also invest some time in exercising to keep you fit and ready for a ride at any time. If you feel unsure about exploring new and unfamiliar roads, it is very helpful to plan the route first.

The Motobit App can help you find out if there are any challenging curves or obstacles along your route. For the best possible support, Motobit Sentinel will inform you if there is a road hazard on the route ahead. So make sure you always have both Curve Assist and Hazard Notification enabled in the Motobit App, so you can be alerted via your Sentinel or headset to what you should be paying extra attention to.

Last but not least: Invest in a motorbike that suits you and your riding style, and you’ll be able to enjoy your hobby well into old age!

7

NEED FOR SPEED – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SPEED LIMITS FOR MOTORCYCLES

NEED FOR SPEED

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SPEED LIMITS FOR MOTORCYCLES

Need for speed - All you need to know about speed limits for motorcycles

Many of us already know this situation: Everything is ready for the perfect road trip – the bike is packed, the route checked the tank full and the excitement is building up. But when you arrive in the next country at the latest, you often have to ask yourself what maximum speed limit actually applies on the current section of the road or what fine you have to expect if you exceed it. The long-awaited adventure can quickly become a financial debacle, especially if you are traveling on a motorcycle and indulging in your thoughts when you see the new and often impressive surroundings. The annoying thing about it is: Even if you own a navigation device that shows the permitted maximum speed, it does not mean that this value also applies. Although it is extremely rare for a country to change its own requirements, there are numerous additional bids that must be observed – bids that differ significantly from country to country. So always keep yourself informed about the current conditions and never blindly trust your navigation system. Everything you need to know for the perfect road trip in Europe can be found here.

Need for speed... Or not?

Admittedly, it is a great asset to discover the most beautiful streets and landscapes in the seat of a motorcycle. So that it stays that way and you are not unnecessarily prevented from doing so by a sudden encounter with the police, you should familiarize yourself sufficiently with the applicable regulations in advance.

Most countries regulate or divide the maximum permissible driving speed based on the section of the route (highway/expressway, country road, and local area) on which you are. So far so good. Most European countries levy their own toll or highway fees and the models can vary widely.

In Italy, for example, the toll system or highway toll is mostly based on the distance actually traveled. There are also motorway sections for which a certain lump sum has to be paid. And that can often be expensive. Anyone who drives without a Telepass (automatic system for collecting entries and exits) must take a ticket when entering the motorway, keep it carefully and present it again when calculating the road toll, to pay the amount due by credit card, ViaCard, or cash to settle. It is different from the Telepass toll box: the barrier at the toll station opens automatically, both when entering and exiting. This means that Telepass users drive through the toll station non-stop, often on specially reserved lanes that lead past the traffic jams in the other lanes. This is often much faster. While Italy does not offer a flat rate and the price is calculated, among other things, from an annual equipment rental (toll box) and the effective use, numerous European countries offer a lump sum over a certain period of time. You can often choose between daily, weekly or annual use. The amounts that are collected by the countries are calculated on the available road kilometers, sometimes very different. The following European countries levy a toll or motorway fee:

  • Czech Republic
  • Austria
  • France
  • Switzerland
  • Slovenia
  • Hungary
  • Slovakia
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Belgium
  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • The Netherlands

Often you have to rely on the motorway or expressways if you want to get from A to B as quickly as possible – and not infrequently at the expense of driving pleasure. But now back to the streets that are also interesting for us motorcyclists.

Other countries, other rules?

In short: Yes. A factor that significantly reduces a motorcycle rider’s driving experience is of course the weather. In addition, sudden rain, for example, is a constant companion and additional risk factor for an extensive and possibly cross-border tour. However, it is often overlooked that the permissible maximum speeds in the event of rain differ significantly from the regular limit in some countries. For example, the permitted limit on French and Italian motorways is significantly reduced – namely from 130 kph to 110 kph. Speed ​​limits are also often the case in underpasses and tunnels: Austria, for example, reduces this to 100 kph, a regulation that is not found in Italy with a few exceptions. Even in good weather, it has recently become law (since July 1, 2018) in France that the speed on country roads does not exceed 80 kph. The vehicle may only be moved at 90 kph on a two-lane country road with a fixed separation such as a guardrail. Who can possibly be aware of that? Also to be noted is the fact that young drivers with less than 3 years of driving experience in France, Italy, and Croatia sometimes have to adjust their speed considerably. In Italy, a maximum speed of 100 kph on motorways and 90 kph on expressways applies in the first three years after obtaining a license on motorways. Young drivers take note: In Croatia, young drivers up to the age of 24 are only allowed to drive 120 kph on motorways, 100 kph on expressways, and 80 kph out of town. Not bad either. Also, note the applicable regulations if you are traveling with a sidecar or motorcycle trailer. In Germany, for example, the latter may only be moved on the motorway at 60 kph. A summary of the permissible maximum speeds (as of 2019) on the different road sections in Europe can be found here:
Country Motor-way Speed-way Extra urban
Belgium 120 kph 120 kph 90 kph
Denmark 130 kph 80 kph 80 kph
France 130 kph 110 kph 80 kph
Great Britain 112 kph 112 kph 96 kph
Italy 130 kph 110 kph 90 kph
Ireland 120 kph 100 kph 80 kph
Croatia 130 kph 110 kph 90 kph
Luxem-burg 130 kph 90 kph
Nether-lands 130 kph 100 kph 80 kph
Norway 100 kph 100 kph 80 kph
Austria 130 kph 100 kph 100 kph
Poland 140 kph 100 kph 90 kph
Portugal 120 kph 100 kph 100 kph
Sweden See signage See signage See signage
Switzer-land 120 kph 100 kph 80 kph
Slovakia 130 kph 90 kph
Slovenia 130 kph 110 kph 90 kph
Spain 120 kph 100 kph 90 kph
Czech Republic 130 kph 110 kph 90 kph
Hungary 130 kph 110 kph 90 kph

What costs do I have to take into account in the travel expenses?

In addition to the classic travel costs such as those for fuel, meals, and accommodation, as well as the tolls already paid for the use of the motorway, the toll payment decisions made for pass roads or the directional sections also need to be considered. In most cases, access has to be paid on-site, but there is also the possibility to see it in advance in the form of a digital route, as is the case in Austria. The number plate of your bike is usually received at a designated terminal when passing through. Find out in advance about the applicable tariff provisions. When visiting or driving over a pass and a welcome change from the otherwise rather dreary kilometer eating on the highway – all the more under optimal conditions.

What are the consequences of speeding?

Even if it can often go fast on a motorcycle in particular: keep an eye on the choice of driving speed, because the penalties for exceeding the applicable speed limits can differ drastically in the various European countries and can sometimes lead to the confiscation of your own vehicle. You should always keep an eye on the speedometer needle, no matter which country you are traveling in.

You have to dig deep into your pocket, for example, in northern Europe, such as Norway, or in car-loving Sweden if you exceed the top speed by 20 kph. Here fines are threatened from € 375 or € 250. Exceeding is also very expensive in Italy (from € 170), in Switzerland (from € 155) and in Great Britain (from € 115). In countries like Lithuania, you can get away relatively cheaply from around € 12 and in Latvia from € 20.

As already mentioned, there are differences in expressways, motorways, and towns, the speed limit in Europe is largely the same within cities and municipalities. As in Austria, a speed limit of 50 kph applies here in most countries in Europe and applies to all vehicle classes in Europe.

If you get caught too much at 20 or more than 50 kph, you can expect the following fines:

Country

Until 20 kph

Above 50 kph

Belgium

From 100 Euro

From 300 Euro

Bosnia and Herzegowina

From 50 Euro

From 200 Euro

Bulgaria

From 25 Euro

From 120 Euro

Denmark

From 135 Euro

From 300 Euro

Germany

Till 35 Euro

From 240 Euro

Estland

Till 120 Euro

Till 800 Euro

Finnland

200 Euro

From 14 daily rates

France

From 135 Euro

1.500 Euro

Greece

100 Euro

350 Euro

Great Britain

From 115 Euro

Till 2850 Euro

Ireland

From 80 Euro

From 80 Euro

Island

From 120 Euro

From 400 Euro

Italy

From 170 Euro

From 530 Euro

Croatia

From 65 Euro

From 400 Euro

Lettland

From 20 Euro

From 240 Euro

Lithuania

From 12 Euro

From 450 Euro

Luxemburg

From 50 Euro

From 145 Euro

Malta

From 70 Euro

From 70 Euro

Macedonia

From 20 Euro

From 300 Euro

Montenegro

From 40 Euro

From 100 Euro

Netherlands

From 165 Euro

From 660 Euro

Norway

From 375 Euro

From 900 Euro

Austria

From 30 Euro

Till 2.180 Euro

Poland

From 25 Euro

From 120 Euro

Portugal

From 60 Euro

From 120 Euro

Romania

From 60 Euro

From 280 Euro

Sweden

From 250 Euro

From 420 Euro

Switzerland

From 155 Euro

From 60 daily rates

Serbia

From 25 Euro

From 50 Euro

Slovakia

From 35 Euro

From 350 Euro

Slovenia

From 80 Euro

From 500 Euro

Spain

From 100 Euro

From 600 Euro

Czech Republic

From 40 Euro

From 195 Euro

Turkey

From 50 Euro

From 100 Euro

Hungary

Till 95 Euro

From 195 Euro

Cyprus

From 35 Euro

From 85 Euro

What else do I have to carry with me?

Many are of the opinion as motorcyclists that it is enough to carry the same items as a bandage abroad as well as domestically, but that’s far from it. Here you can find out why you should keep a little more space in your luggage:

  • Bandages

Motorcyclists must have bandages on board in Albania, Montenegro, Austria, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Hungary. In Latvia only if the motorcycle has a sidecar.

  • Obigation to carry bandages

France, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Hungary.

  • Obligation to wear a vest

In Belgium, Bosnia / Herzegovina, Bulgaria, France, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, you have to wear a safety vest when getting off your motorcycle in the event of a breakdown or accident. In Finland, the obligation to carry also applies to passengers, but there is no obligation to carry one.

  • Warning triangle

In Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, and Malta, a warning triangle is mandatory basic equipment for all motorcyclists. In Hungary, this only has to be on board a motorcycle with a sidecar.

  • Replacement lamps

Replacement lamps must be carried in France and Croatia if the motorcycle does not have xenon or LED lights.

  • Green insurance card

It is compulsory to take it with you in Albania, Bosnia / Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro (a validity for Montenegro must be listed on the card), Romania, and Ukraine.

  • Duty to wear gloves

Hard to believe: Only in France do motorcyclists and co-drivers have to wear gloves with a CE standard and the corresponding CE mark, as is also known from helmets.

Does Motobit also work abroad?

Of course, Motobit works all over Europe.

With Motobit, you get warnings about danger zones and how to approach each bend, which can be especially useful on roads you don’t know.

Plus, with more than 30,000 speed cameras across Europe, you can avoid a hefty fine.

So if you’re going on a trip abroad, don’t forget to take Motobit and Sentinel with you.

5

THE MOTORCYCLE HELMET – A LITTLE FAQ

THE MOTORCYCLE HELMET

A LITTLE FAQ

The motorcycle helmet - A little FAQ

A helmet is the main safety equipment when it comes to protective gear for motorcycling. Not only will it protect your head and reduce injuries, but also improves your riding experience; it stops wind, keeps you dry, and deflects bugs, dirt, and other outer possible intruders. This item is your most important piece of equipment, so choose wisely.

Unfortunately, it is not very easy to quickly find the perfect fitting helmet, because it’s more than choosing size and color. With a lot of different brands and systems, it’s very hard to see through – especially with an enormous selection that is available online. This is an important point since you definitely need to try your helmet first and seek advice in a shop, NEVER rely on your friend’s opinion on what’s good or what’s in line with the trend. Choosing the right helmet is about YOU only.

What makes a good helmet?

Firstly, it is important to know what a helmet actually consists of and how it’s built – basically, every helmet consists of four main components: the outer shell, the impact absorbing liner, the comfort padding, and the retention system better known as the strap.

While the outer shell mostly uses fiber-reinforced composites or thermoplastics to disperse the impact energy, the impact liner absorbs the shock using a densely layered cushion. As the name already implies that you should feel comfortable with the comfort padding, whereas the retention system is responsible to keep the helmet on your head in case of a crash. A fiberglass shell is the go-to for strength and it’s lightweight too. Carbon fiber is also very lightweight and a popular choice for racers.

What to look for?

Another very important thing to look for is to ensure you’re buying a certified helmet that complies with the safety standards and regulations. In Europe, all motorcycle helmets should meet the minimum safety requirements for the European standard ECE22.05 which covers both the helmet and the visor. ECE stands for Economic Community of Europe, 22 for the number of regulations for testing, and 05 gives information about the year of amendment, which was in the year 2005. So make sure it’s 100% street-legal.

Which model should I consider buying?

They give you the most direct answer: One that fits you best. This advice is crucial because even the safest helmet on the market won’t be able to protect you if it is too loose or too tight. For this reason, you should always try it before you buy it.

How to take measures?

The key or most significant measure to take is the circumference of your head from the forehead since this is the important measure that manufacturers base their sizing on. This basic measure gives you a first shot at how the helmet may suit your head, but there’s more than that since most helmets can be characterized as generally having a neutral, oval, or round-shaped (internal) profile. While the basic (outer) size of the helmet follows the already mentioned scheme sizes, the internal fit can be modified by changing the cheek pads or crown liners of some helmets.

How do I know the helmet fits?​

Well, besides being comfortable as a first step your cheeks should always remain in contact with the helmet as you turn your head from side to side. Secondly, these pads should push on your cheeks, but not so much that you bite down on them. Another very important fact is that the helmet should under no circumstance push too much on the front or the top of your head. This is often neglected, but may become very painful during a long trip and can even cause headaches.

Which helmet is best for me?

When trying a helmet that is factory new it should fit tightly, to begin with, because the padding will compress over time making it fit just a little loser. However, it should never be too constrictive or give you a claustrophobic feeling. Comfort and safety are equally important which means that any protection that a helmet could offer is of no value if it is too uncomfortable to wear.

Which types are available?​

Mainly there are three main types of helmet categories available on the market: full-face helmetsopen-face helmets, and flip-front helmets.
A full-face helmet always gives you the highest level of safety there is. Most models are usually equipped with a movable visor to protect your eyes which makes them the most popular type.
Open-face helmets are constructed in a similar way but don’t offer face and chin protection. Since they’re easier to handle (especially with sunglasses) and are less claustrophobic, they’re more popular among scooter riders and cruisers.
Last but not least there are flip-front helmets which represent a kind of mixed type and have become more and more popular over time. They offer a high level of safety such as full-face models but also are more comfortable in case you’re about to take a little snack.

Does a new helmet need a break-in time?

Yes, all new helmets need a little break-in time. Mostly this depends on how often you ride and how long. The average rule of thumb is around 2-3 weeks when used every day.

How often should I replace my helmet?

Your helmet should be replaced every five years on average. However, after any kind of crash, you should replace your helmet immediately, no matter what since a slight deformation can already affect the helmet’s structural strength.

Which factors are also noteworthy to consider?​

There are many questions you should ask yourself, such as “Is the helmet for touring or shorter rides?”, “Which weather situation will I be exposed to?”, “Will I also ride at night?”, “Would a dark visor for sun protection be useful?”.
Sure, it’s not always easy to navigate through or answer these questions with a specific model in mind, but at least it gives you an idea of how to find your perfect fit. For example, your main priority may be a quiet and lightweight helmet in case you’re planning to do long trips or a Bluetooth connection for audio in case you’re riding in a group. Also, choose a bright color since it’s easier to be recognized in heavy traffic.
Here are some bullet points on what to consider too:

  • Weight (1.5kg is about average)
  • Noise level
  • Replaceable inner material (fit and hygiene)
  • Vents for cooling
  • Visor specs (Anti-glare, UV protection, Easy removal)

Further tips

Another great piece of advice is to get the Motobit APP. Motobit also helps you to ride more safely by warning you of fixed dangers such as dangerous bends, damaged roads, and much more, as well as of bends that are taken a little too recklessly. The curve assistant as we call it can be key, especially if you are exploring new and unknown areas.

So make sure you not only use a great and safe helmet but also that Motobit is installed and active on your smartphone before setting off on your next tour. If you have not installed Motobit already, get it now for free!

4

LIKE A SECOND SKIN – FINDING THE PERFECTLY MATCHING MOTORCYCLE GEAR

LIKE A SECOND SKIN

FINDING THE PERFECTLY MATCHING MOTORCYCLE GEAR

Like a second skin - Finding the perfectly matching motorcycle gear

When looking for a perfectly fitting protective motorcycle apparel you can choose from a lot of models using various materials ranging from more classic leather to synthetics that offer excellent protection, style, and function. In case you just started motorcycling, you might want to know what your options are in terms of types of protective clothing.

Leather may look great with your rugged cruiser or flashy with your sports model, but a well-designed synthetic may suit your long touring motorcycle better over thousands of kilometers on the open road. Moreover, the apparel should fit comfortably without being too big and fluttery, and offer all the functions you need. Pockets, both internal and external, may or may not be what you need (or even want), so choose wisely on what level of function you need to ride.

When we’re talking about clothing suitable for (actually) riding a motorcycle, we’re mainly considering topics such as safety and protection. Sure, a jacket should fit like a glove and (ideally) look good too, but you should always remember the following: “Dress for the slide, not for the ride!

What to consider​

Besides the topic of safety in mind, let’s also consider what a good piece of clothing should cover too. So, what to look for?

  • Ventilation options – Nothing worse than stewing in one’s own juice. When you’re on a long tour you may know what is meant here. Always look for potential ventilation options on the jacket (or pants) you’re about to buy. Most gear is designed to catch the wind and let it pass through while riding. This means that you can easily adjust the cooling effect on your own and on the fly.
  • Pockets & Storage – Since storage options are widely limited when riding a motorcycle, you’ll be happy about extra storage. Look for gear with pockets that have a dedicated purpose. Many models offer special pockets for mobile phones (often close to the body for easy recognition) or your purse. Sitting on a motorbike with your full trouser pockets might get uncomfortable quickly
  • Visibility – Most people who aim for a leather jacket (naturally) select a black model. Always keep in mind how your gear is performing in being visible. Sure, you won’t find a neon-colored leather jacket, but always keep in mind that it is useful to own at least one item that sticks out like a super bright helmet color.
  • Covering – If you have already experienced what it means to play catch with a bug while riding or (even worse) a bee, you know what’s meant here: Make sure you cover your collar, ankles, or wrists sufficiently. This impression on your skin will keep you busy for quite some time for sure. Also, look for solid and good storm flaps over your gear’s zippers. They might look unsuspicious when wearing but may be quite permeable while riding.
  • Protectors & armor  – Most importantly, your gear should be able to protect you in a critical situation. In Europe, it is required by law to use equipment that is marked with CE Marking standards. The US has unofficially adopted these standards, but it is not required for street use. For North America, the only time you need EC-rated apparel is on the race track. The most important for you is to look for the CE level (1 = lower protection, 2 = higher protection) when you consider buying a jacket, pants, or a suit. While many models have already padded and reinforced areas (e.g. Shoulders, knees, and waist) for basic protection, most apparels have dedicated pockets for removable protectors. Always check both the size of your pockets and protectors first since you don’t want to waste money for armor that does not fit into the designated pockets.

The jacket​

Basically, you need to decide if you’re aiming for a two-piece setup consisting of separate pieces like a jacket and pants or if you’re feeling more comfortable wearing a suit. Suits come in one and two-piece sets that offer the same level of protection, ventilation, and material selection as a combination of a jacket and pants. Essentially a suit may offer better waterproofing, whereas a two-piece setup gives you more flexibility and a better possibility to cool down if you’re taking a short break from riding. Both variants should fit comfortably without being bulky or limiting your mobility since it’s very important that you’re still able to move and remain agile when riding a motorcycle. Many models offer special stretch panels at the elbows, knees, or around the waist to improve flexibility and are using either textile/denim, leather, or hybrid materials.

The pants​

As a consequence of owning a good jacket it is important to rely on a supplementary and good piece of pants. Mostly pants are an overlooked piece of gear because many people think it’s enough to wear thick jeans. But with protection in mind, actual motorcycle riding pants are designed to give you the best possible level of safety in case of an accident as well as other features such as higher visibility (which of course is beneficial too) and important ventilation. Just like jackets, pants are complementary in the respect of material and different styles. While most textile models can be worn as a second layer over your regular pants or a set of shorts, they might also offer removable linings to add an extra layer of warmth or (if detachable) a cooler option for hot summer days. On your daily commute from or to the office, this might be your best fit.

Denim pants usually use interwoven fabric (such as Kevlar) in other materials to ensure a higher abrasive resistance. Additionally, you can also find padded sections and pockets for additional armor and protectors in many models.

With leather pants, you mostly pick the sportier style that involves abrasive knee pucks for touching the ground. If you’re riding closer to the edge (or even going to a race track) you should definitely go for this option since you’ll get maximum protection in knees, hips, and behind.

Final tips​

Finding your perfect set might take some time since it involves consideration for what you plan to ride in such as the weather, the riding duration, and of course your type of motorcycle. Leather is excellent for protection, but it may become less and less comfortable throughout a long ride. Textiles offer excellent protection, visibility, and ventilation, but aren’t the perfect pants for every occasion either. You will also need to consider if you prefer wearing clothes underneath (what are your plans?), as they above need to fit comfortably in your normal riding position. They shouldn’t be too tight or expose the tops of your boots, nor be too bulky which makes riding, shifting, or stopping painful. When you’re trying on some models at a shop don’t just take a few steps and make some stretches, ask if they have a motorcycle around (many shops have it) to sit and check how it feels when actually sitting on a motorbike.

How can I make the most of motorcycling?

This is rather easy! Motobit also helps you to ride more safely by warning you of fixed dangers such as dangerous bends, damaged roads and much more, as well as of bends that are taken a little too recklessly. The curve assistant as we call it can be key, especially if you are exploring new and unknown areas.

So make sure you not only wear good safety gear, but also that Motobit is installed and active on your smartphone before setting off on your next tour. If you have not installed Motobit already, get it now for free!

9

MOTORCYCLE TIRES – A SHORT FAQ

MOTORCYCLE TIRES

A SHORT FAQ

Motorcycle tires - A short FAQ

How do I choose the best motorcycle tire?

Most importantly you should choose a tire that “fits” your bike, which means you should check the dimensions as well as both speed and load index that are suggested by your motorbike manufacturer. Don’t aim for a type of tire if your riding behavior does not match. (e.g.: sticky sport tires if you never manage to heat them up properly) Choosing the right type gives you a higher level of safety, not only performance. Also consider durability, all-weather capability, road profile (i.e.: gravel road, bitumen, etc.) as well as the luggage you carry into account.

Should I choose a radial or a cross-ply tire?

cross-ply (or bias) tire is designed in a simpler way with more sturdy sidewalls which makes them perfect for off-road riding, whereas the speed indices are lower. With radial tires, we’re looking at a different chasing that sits 90° to the rolling direction and a belt which is approx. 0° to 25° off to it. While the belt sits under the tread, it adds more stability and makes the tire capable of higher speeds which are made possible due to lower centripetal forces. Once again: Consider the intended purpose when buying.

How do I run in new tires?

You may notice that new tires act a little slippery. The reason behind this is, that during the last manufacturing process (most manufacturers do this) the new tire is run through a so-called curing process. When the tire is released from the very hot mold during manufacturing, a small amount of release agent is applied to ensure an easier removal from the mold. This thin layer that remains on the tire (and sometimes gives it a nice shiny gloss to it) is the reason why you should pay attention when riding your new tires the first time. Better safe than sorry!

Is there anything I can buy for an emergency repair?

Suffering from a punctured tire is always bad, mostly when you’re on a long tour. Fortunately, there are some tools available to keep you going. In case you’re using a tire with a tube on your bike you can get a fully equipped roadside repair kit. While for tubeless tires you can choose from the plug, cord, and canned fix-a-flat options. Although it might appear practical, the success rate with the canned fix is quite bad. Besides, your mechanic will thank you later – because it makes a mess inside. Generally, never ride too long with a fixed tire unless you have to. Carrying a repair kit is a no-brainer, especially on longer trips!

Is it safe to repair a motorcycle tire after a puncture?

Yes, for a certain amount of (riding) time it is. Sometimes it’s the only option on a tour. In case you’re wondering if you can even repair a tire twice: There’s a recommendation from the British Standards on how to proceed. Until a speed rating of J (the equivalent of 100kph), you can repair twice, whereas above J until V (until 240kph) you should consider doing so only once. If you’re riding a superbike just be safe and don’t. (above V) Always keep in mind that only the central 50% of a tire’s width can be repaired, never the sidewall. A worn tire (less than 0.8mm) is also not safe to perform a repair on.

What tire pressures should I use on my motorcycle?

The best recommendation here is to check your bike’s owner’s manual. You should always keep within this range since the bike you’re riding was designed and tested with those values. A wrong pressure might even reduce the life of your tires. If is it too low, the contact patch (area between you and the road) can be even reduced because the tire deforms by lifting the middle section away from the road. Moreover, they also easily overheat. If you over-inflate, they’ll (again) wear unevenly, show worse handling, and give you an uncomfortable ride. Check the recommendations also if you’re carrying higher loads. In case the manual is not available, check the manufacturers’ website.

What is the minimum tread depth on motorcycle tires?

In Europe, the legal minimum tread depth for a motorcycle tire is 1.6mm around the whole circumference. The different riding style compared to passenger cars leads to different wear of the profile, which has the effect that the pattern of the tread needs to be visible across three-quarters of the width too. It is always good to rely on a good “amount” of thread since it is responsible to push the water aside during a rainy day. It’s time to think about a change at around 2-3mm since a lower depth also affects your bike’s handling a lot. For checking it’s always good to have a tread-depth gauge to make sure you’re on the safe side.

Can I use unmounted tires that are a few years old?

Yes and no. It is key that the tire you want to purchase was stored properly. Which sometimes can be difficult. The reason (or mechanism) why tires can age is called outgassing. This basically happens all the time heat is absorbed or given by the compound. This effect of outgassing causes some of the chemicals that give the tire its pliability actually to turn into gasses and escape with the consequence of making the tire harder and less grippy. Make sure you store your bike (and your tires) indoors in a cool and stable climate. A worst-case scenario would be to store them in the bright sun or a hot warehouse. Always check the DOT code for the manufacturing age: A three-year-old tire that’s been properly stored can be in better shape than a one-year-old tire that hasn’t. A neat trick of making sure you get the good and fresh stuff is by choosing a dealer who turns over a big volume.

Can I run different tire sizes on my bike?

Since every tire is designed to meet a certain profile for certain handling characteristics (e.g.: specific tread patterns for certain terrains) you should always pick matched sets. At worst it can adversely affect your bike’s handling in unpredictable or even dangerous ways. We know, good tires are pricey and – especially when compared to passenger cars – you need a whole lot more of them, but it’s really not about trying to save money.

How do I maintain my tires for a long-life during off-season?

Since your tires are the only thing between you and the road you should treat them right, even more, when you don’t actively use them during the off-season. Always make a visual inspection (under well-lit conditions) and look for punctures or nails. Tires really need to go through a lot, so make sure you even check for small pieces of glass that might be trapped. When your set is already a bit older, make sure to check for cracks. Also, go for the full inspection, so let them roll and look around the whole wheel. As already mentioned, you should make sure to store your tires in a stable climate.

What else can I do?

Motobit also helps you to ride more safely by warning you of fixed dangers such as dangerous bends, damaged roads and much more, as well as of bends that are taken a little too recklessly. The curve assistant as we call it can be key, especially if you are exploring new and unknown areas.

So make sure you not only call really good motorcycle tires your own, but also that Motobit is installed and active on your smartphone before setting off on your next tour. If you have not installed Motobit already, get it now for free!