Important Tips for Summer Motorcycle Road Trips
Summer is a wonderful time for adventure and exploration, and there’s no better way to experience it than on a motorcycle road trip. However, more motorcycles on the road also mean more motorcycle accidents.
In Missouri, there were 159 motorcycle fatalities in 2021, with just over 50% of fatalities occurring between May and August. 98% of the fatalities were motorcycle riders, while 2% were pedestrians or other drivers.
To ensure a safe and enjoyable journey in the coming months, plan ahead and take the necessary precautions by familiarizing yourself with important safety tips.
Summer Motorcycle Maintenance
Summer is a popular time for motorcycle enthusiasts to explore new destinations on the open road. However, before embarking on any road trip, ensure that your motorcycle is in good working condition.
Regular maintenance is key to keeping your bike running smoothly. Before heading out on your next summer adventure, complete the following maintenance tasks:
- Top off fluids: Bike fluids deplete faster at higher temperatures, so check and top up the levels of engine oil, coolant, and brake fluids.
- Check tire pressure: To maintain safe tire pressure levels, use a tire pressure gauge to check the pressure before each ride. Overinflated tires can be dangerous and affect the motorcycle’s handling and stability, especially on hot roads.
- Check and clean air filters: Dirty air filters can restrict airflow to the engine, causing it to work harder and reduce performance. To check the air filter, remove it from the motorcycle and inspect it for dirt and debris.
- Test the battery: A weak battery can create problems starting your bike, especially in hot weather. Inspect the battery for wear or damage, such as cracks or leaks. Test the battery’s voltage with a multimeter to ensure it holds a charge.
Wear Full-Coverage Appropriate Gear
Wearing full-coverage gear even in the summer heat protects against injuries and provides a more comfortable riding experience.
While only mandatory for motorcycle riders under 26 in Missouri, wearing a helmet is essential for protecting your head in case of a crash. However, in hot weather, choosing a helmet with vents that circulate air can help keep you comfortable.
Moisture-wicking garments, like base layers and long-sleeve t-shirts, keep you dry and cool. This type of clothing is made from high-performance polyester blend fabric. It is designed to pull sweat away from the body and promote evaporation, which helps regulate body temperature.
For relief from the summer heat, many riders wear cooling vests. These vests contain special cooling crystals or gel packs that are activated by soaking in water for a few minutes. Once activated they provide several hours of cooling relief to prevent overheating.
Take Frequent Breaks and Hydrate
Taking breaks and staying hydrated is essential for staying alert and focused while riding a motorcycle, particularly during summer when temperatures can be high. Riding for long periods can be physically demanding and cause dehydration, leading to fatigue and impaired decision-making.
Plan Your Rides at the Right Time
In summer, it is essential to plan your rides during cooler times of the day, such as early in the morning or later in the evening. Also, consider traffic patterns and plan your route to avoid busy highways and congested areas during peak traffic times.
Protect Your Eyes
While riding, your eyes are exposed to wind, dust, debris, and UV radiation, which can cause discomfort, impaired vision, and even permanent damage. Look for eyewear specifically designed for motorcycle riding, with shatterproof lenses and a snug fit that prevents wind and debris from entering your eyes.
What to Do if You Get into a Motorcycle Accident
While motorcycle riding can be a thrilling and exciting experience, accidents can happen. If you’re involved in a motorcycle accident, seek legal representation from a motorcycle attorney to protect your rights and get compensation for your injuries and damages.
Cofman Townsley is a leading personal injury law firm that has helped many motorcycle accident victims in Missouri and Southern Illinois receive fair compensation for their losses. Our team of experienced attorneys can provide expert guidance and representation, helping you navigate the complex legal process. Arrange your free consultation today to discuss your accident and learn your legal options.