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Touring Tips for Bikers - Jones Law Group

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Touring Tips for Bikers

By: Heath C. Murphy +Personal Injury

Motorcycle Rally season is here. Myrtle Beach Bike Week begins May 8, 2015 and culminates on May 17, 2015.[1] What does that mean? It means that a couple hundred thousand Harley enthusiasts and bikers will descend upon Myrtle Beach for a week of fun, sun and riding. It also means that thousands bikers will be traveling significant distances from places like St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Tampa. It also means that it is time to get your you and your motorcycle ready for a road trip.

Get Your Motorcycle Checked Out Before You Start Your Trip

Riding a motorcycle used to be synonymous with being a mechanic. In many cases, it still does. However, there are a huge number of motorcycle riders that do not even change their own oil. For those people, take your motorcycle to your mechanic and have him give your motorcycle a thorough check up before you set out on the road. For the riders that do it themselves, here is a basic list of things to check before heading out to the Spring Rally:

1. Chassis/Wheels/Suspension
2. Fasteners: Look for anything loose, broken or missing.
3. Front forks: Check for loose steering head bearings, leaking seals, and restricted movement.
4. Swing arm: Check for play.
5. Rear shocks: Check for leaks, spring adjustment.
6. Wheels: Look for loose/broken spokes; check bearing play.
7. Tires: Check tread depth and inflation pressure.
8. Grease appropriate linkages
9. Brakes
10. Brake pads: Check wear.
11. Brake fluid: Check level and condition (low fluid may mean a leak or a worn pad). Change fluid as required.
12. Brake rotor: Look for loose or missing fasteners.
13. Brake rotor: Look for loose or missing fasteners.
14. Brake Drum: Check adjustment (drum brake)
15. Brake Drum: Check adjustment (drum brake)
16. Chain: Adjust and lubricate, or replace as required
17. Belt: Check tension, inspect for any signs of damage
18. Shaft/final drive: Check oil level; change as required.
19. Check all fluids for level, quality and leaks (coolant, oil and transmission)
20. Check cooling system including all hoses and clamps.
21. Check air filter
22. Check all mounts, hardware, clamps etc for looseness
23. Check all lights, turn signals and horn.
24. Inspect all wiring for signs of wear or loose connections.
25. Inspect battery and connections
26. Check brakes
27. Check clutch and throttle
28. Check for any vibrations or performance issues.

As you complete this checklist, always err on the side of caution. Tires that are “good enough” for around town can cause you to have a motorcycle accident on the highway. If you are going to need to get an oil change prior to returning, do it before you go. There is nothing worse than being stranded miles from the nearest exit with a motorcycle that has broken down.

Safety on the Ride

There are a few things that make a road trip different from riding your motorcycle around town. First, the weather is important. Keep an eye on the weather. There are several handy apps for your phone that can provide weather warnings and allow you to track storms. If you are caught in the rain, Gore Tex riding clothes make it bearable. Also, Rain X also makes product that can be used on helmet visors and wind shields.

Pack an Emergency Tool Kit

Even the bikers that do not consider themselves mechanics should pack an emergency travel tool kit. At a minimum you should have:

1. Fold up allen wrench – Get the kind that have all different sizes.
2. Swiss Army Knife
3. Combo screwdriver
4. Pliers
5. Adjustable wrench
6. Flashlight
7. Battery cables
8. Spare fuses and bulbs
9. Tire Repair Kit. If you are not comfortable “plugging” your own tire then a can of Fix a Flat and a pump will suffice.
10. Zip ties
11. Duct tape
12. Bug Spray
13. Your AAA membership card.

Ride Defensively and Stay Alert

When you are tired, pull over and rest. At highway speeds, you will have less time to correct and avoid trouble. Be leery of trucks as they often change lanes quickly and without warning. It is important not linger in the blind spots of cars and trucks. Make the decision to pass and complete the pass quickly. Do not follow too closely and be ever vigilant for the unexpected stops of the vehicles in front of you.

Contact an Experienced Motorcycle Lawyer at Jones Law Group

Have you or a loved one been injured in a motorcycle accident? Contact an experienced St. Petersburg motorcycle accident attorney at Jones Law Group today. When you contact our office we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney and be provided with his/her personal contact information. If you do not have transportation or you cannot drive, your attorney will travel to meet you and discuss your case with you.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by the negligence of another, you should immediately call an experienced personal injury attorney in St. Petersburg at Jones Law Group at (727) 571-1333 during regular business hours or (727) 753-8657 on weekends or after regular business hours. We will evaluate your case for free and you will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries.

Jones Law Group
5622 Central Avenue
St. Pete, FL 33707



[1] http://www.myrtlebeach.com/myrtle-beach-bike-week/

Heath Murphy

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio