While most people imagine summer as the best time for motorcycle riding, many seasoned riders actually prefer to take their long journeys during autumn. Perfect riding weather commences with the change into fall, as moderate temperatures combine with the incomparable beauty of changing leaves. However, these comfortable conditions and striking views come with a host of challenges and accident hazards. Check out the tips below to stay safe during your fall riding adventures.
Make Adjustments for Seasonal Change
Shorter days mean the sun hangs lower in the sky, creating a higher amount of distracting glare, particularly during morning and afternoon rides. Polarized goggles reduce this glare and improve visibility. Because the sun sets earlier, you will likely be riding in the dark more often. Ensure your headlights, turn signals, and brake lights are all functioning properly.
Colder air temperatures translate to colder paved surfaces as well as colder tires, a dangerous mixture resulting in less traction. As tires cool, they harden and become less pliable. This reduces their ability to effectively grip the road surface and makes stops and precise turns more difficult.
More frequent rainfall causes more mud, increasing the slickness of surfaces. Temperatures dropping low enough to create frost result in further loss of traction, so look out for icy spots along the side of the road, on highway exits, in shaded areas, and beneath bridges. Frost is particularly likely in the early morning.
Wear the Proper Gear
It is crucial for your comfort and safety to bundle up in season-appropriate riding gear. Combine several layers of thick, thermal clothing for maximum warmth, topped with leather to protect you from wind gusts. Use insulated or heated gloves and a scarf or neck gaiter to shield your lower face and neck. Always wear a helmet with a full visor, even if your state laws do not require it. Reflective trim on your gear will make sure you’re conspicuous to other motorists.
Fall weather is unpredictable, so it is always in your best interest to be prepared. Bring extra layers and pack your rain gear. Getting caught underdressed in freezing rain, sleet, or snow greatly comprises your riding ability and can quickly cause hypothermia.
Colorful leaves make for stunning views during fall rides, but they also significantly increase the possibility of an accident. Falling leaves serve as a visual hazard, especially in windy conditions, while fallen leaves create their own set of safety concerns. Piles of dry leaves can camouflage road inconsistencies, potholes, and sharp objects that can easily puncture a tire. Navigate these piles slowly and with caution.
Wet leaves are even more dangerous, whether from rain or morning dew. As they accumulate on the road, they trap moisture and oil, becoming muddy then eventually decomposing into slimy surfaces as slick as ice. Avoid braking or making sudden turns on wet leaves.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Fall is deer mating and migration season, meaning it is the peak time for deer-related accidents. Farmers Insurance estimates motorists are 67% more likely to be involved in such an accident in fall compared to summer. A collision between a motorcycle and a deer will do substantial damage to you and your bike, sometimes with deadly results. Stay vigilant, especially at dusk or dawn and in forested areas or those marked with deer crossing signs. Scan the roadsides for sudden movements and the reflections of your headlamps on their eyes.
Conduct a Safety Check Before Every Ride
Before each ride, thoroughly examine your motorcycle to ensure everything is operating properly. Check your brake pads, brake fluid, and lines for leaks. Changing temperatures affect your tire pressure, so make sure it is at the appropriate level before heading out on the road.
While the autumn season is gorgeous, it is also very dangerous for motorcyclists. Avoid accidents during the fall by following the tips listed above. If you have been in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today!