Motorcycle Tips and tricks: An evolving column of wisdom

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Yamaha Motorcycles Street Event - AMS


Tips and Tricks for Motorcyclists


A monthly column of selected favorites from our vast archive.


Your on-board tool kit
Some motorcycles come with tool kits. Some do not. The one’s that do, often are built with sub-par metals and don’t always last a long time. If you don’t have a tool kit, or yours is falling apart, consider building up an entire new arrangement with top grade tools. Be sure to include any tools needed for a level 1 or 2 service and general adjustments.

Accommodations along the route and during the event
If your ride to the rally means multiple days on the road, the question becomes, where do you want to stay along the way? Hotels, motels and even campgrounds have a way of filling up months in advance of your intended ride dates, so the sooner you book, the better off you’ll be with getting the kinds of accommodations you want.

Gear Storage
And speaking of gear, while some riders pack too much, others don’t bring enough. There are hundreds of packing lists on the internet for motorcyclists. Grab a half dozen, then create your own list. Next up review your gear to see where you need to fill in the gaps. Also review the durability of your existing gear. Has your stinky-sticky rain gear or tent lived its useful life? Is that sleeping bag that was not warm enough last summer going back on the road with you again? Are you finally going to carry your own tire repair kit and pump, instead of leaching on others – who may not be with you on the next ride?

Food Considerations
After decades of eating garbage, many westerners are learning to eat a more sensible diet. The sad thing is restaurants have not caught up with the current “trend.” And thus, food options along the road are not always healthy. Ditto at the rally where sub-par food trucks and caterers will be at the ready to stuff you full of biscuits and gravy, hamburgers and hot dogs, or the latest amalgamation of ‘fusion’ food you’ve never imagined. Review your dietary considerations and pack the snacks that are better for you like nuts, fruits, 75% cacao chocolate and so on. Do your homework and find out what the healthier grocers are in the rally town you’ll be visiting and map out a few simple meals in advance you can make on the go.

Weather Considerations
Most rallies are held in the summer. Now that sounds like prime riding. But some places get more wind and rain during the summer months than they do any other season of the year. How’s your rain gear looking. Are you planning to carry an evaporative cooling vest so you can handle excessive heat? Do you have a trustworthy weather app in your phone to look ahead each morning so you knew if there might be thunderstorms later along your route? What would be your plan to avoid lightning, hail or high winds?

Packing Light, Packing RightTips and Tricks is a monthly column created by our editors and readers alike. If you have a tip or trick you'd like to share, email it to If we use it, we'll send you a copy of The Sound RIDER! guide to Packing Light, Packing Right - FREE!



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