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Motocross: The Most Physically Demanding Sport in the World?!


Go to a motocross event and you'll be awestruck at how seemingly effortlessly the riders glide through the air, nailing those 40 foot triples gracefully and continuing straight away into the bends and turns. What could be more fun than twists and jumps in the dirt?

But don't be fooled by appearances - motocross is actually the most physically demanding sport in the world!

We know this topic always gets the athletic world up in arms, with many differing opinions. So let's see if this statement holds up true.

What happens at motocross/MX race?

A typical motocross raceconsists of two or more qualifying races, or motos. Each moto lasts 30 minutes long plus an additional two laps or so. This makes each one as long as 40 minutes. The overall winner is determined from the result of both motos.

The motocross race track takes place in an open area and uses the natural terrain of the area, with man-made elements to form inclines, dirt mounts, curves, obstacles, etc. or in an arena or stadium. The length of the track can be anywhere from half a mile to 2 miles long. The track is specially designed to be challenging, forcing the riders to frequently shift gears and make alternating right and left hand turns.


The reality of motocross

If that doesn't sound challenging enough to you, imagining maneuvering the track with 40 other riders on bikes. You're riding your fastest while still being in control of the bike and making sure that you stay ahead of the riders behind you. Dirt bikes may be known for being the smallest, most agile bikes out there, but it still takes complete head-to-toe strength.

You're not just sitting on a bike twisting the throttle for 40 minutes. Every single muscle in your body is being put through the wringer. Riders are actually on their legs most of the time, balancing and maneuvering a 250 lb machine around obstacles, tight corners, uneven terrain, and high up in the air.

You're also constantly having to keep track of what gear you're riding in, when to use the clutch, when to turn the throttle, what exact moment to hit it so that you can make the turn the fastest without sliding, so you can make the jump, so you can best pass another rider, etc. etc. It's a mental workout as well as physical.

And as for those fun jumps? How about jumping with a 250 pound piece of metal, bringing it 20+ feet into the air with you, making sure you have enough speed to clear the jump (but not tooooo much), and then crashing back down to earth in a controlled manner? Not only does the bike's suspension get a workout, your body takes a beating too.


Oh! And let's also not forget all the rocks and roost flying into the air and hitting you at 50mph as a result of the churning wheels of 40 bikes on a dirt track.

And for that entire 30 minutes + 2 laps of a moto, you get no breaks. Had a small collison? You don't get to pause the race while a referee decides whose fault it is. You get no breaks for fouls, going out of bounds, waiting for others' turn, etc. etc. You don't get to slow down and catch your breath, or else you loose your place. As soon as the race starts, you don't stop for 30+ minutes until the flag is waved and you cross the finish line.

And then after that one is done and you barely catch your breath, you get to do it all over again!

Motocross is a real test of strength and endurance, both physically and mentally.

And if you screw up...

We're not denying that other sports are physically demanding too with risk for serious injuries. But if you (or a fellow rider) screw up in motocross, you get to slam into the ground from 20' up in the air, break body parts, crash or be crashed into at 50 mph by a large piece of metal machinery, or get stampeded by 30 bikes. And let's not forget that these machines plowing into you have enough moving parts to shred or burn flesh.


Motocross riders are proven to operate at a high cardiovascular intensity

We know some of you may not believe unless you get some sort of evidence, so here's a study.

This study measured the heart rates of motocross racers while they completed both of the motos (each 30 minutes + 2 laps). The results found that for both the motos, the racers were operating at 94% and 96% (respectively) of their maximum heart rate. This shows that there is an incredible cardiovascular demand for motocross. This beats out other similar duration high-demand sports such as mountain biking.

Imagine being near your maximum heart rate for nearly 40 minutes! I can't think of a single other sport that requires non-stop action for 40 minutes where you are expected to perform at 100% for every one of those seconds.


So what do you think? Is motocross the most physically demanding sport? Or do you want to make a case for another sport? Share your experiences!
By Daniel Relich

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Akra-po-what? Akrapovic Exhaust Breakdown


Do you want only the best for your machine?

How does an exhaust system befitting 100 world champion racers sound?

European manufacturing giant Akrapovic may have just what you?re looking for to satisfy your tinkering needs and desires for more power and better sound.

Akrapovic exhausts has long been a top choice in the racing circuit, known for their extremely high quality and sexy looks. For the casual rider, though, the higher price may turn people off of it. But if you've got the budget for it, this is pretty much the best money can buy. 

Why Akrapovic 

Boasting nearly three decades worth of top level performance, Akrapovic exhausts has become the go-to for multiple top racing competitions (MotoGP, MXGP, Supercross, Crosscountry Rally just to name a few), leading dozens of world champions to their wins.

Akrapovic crafts their exhaust systems using high quality engineering teams and advanced processes that have guided top-flight racing teams to worldwide success. The exhausts are formed with a hydroform process, which means that the ideal shapes are formed with pressurized water. This results in pieces that are lightweight while being structurally strong. 

Not willing to skip on quality, those same teams and technological processes are employed for their street bike exhaust builds to craft a smooth, high powered ride with impeccable sound and performance.

However, it won?t be cheap. So if money?s no issue keep reading to see what features and benefits you can expect with a new Akrapovic exhaust.

Akrapovic Exhaust Systems

Akrapovic offers different exhaust system lines for road, off-road, cruisers, and scooters. Here's what you can expect from each.

Evolution Full Systems Line


The Evolution is Akrapovic?s flagship line, and is regarded as one of the best lines of exhaust machinery available for any street bike.

Each exhaust is designed specifically for each bike model to maximize engine performance, increase power, and improve handling. The titanium headers and mid-pipes significantly reduces the weight of the bike. The exhausts in this line are true beauties with their silver, sleek styling. 

Features:

- Titanium headers and mid-pipes
- New scratch-resistant coating with the muffler outer sleeve
- 30-40% lighter than a stainless steel exhaust system
- Patented hexagonal muffler, with carbon-fiber outlet cap to match the design of each bike
Lightweight, compact and high-temperature-resistant carbon fiber muffler clamp
Titanum outlet cap, perforated inner sleeve, and inlet cap

- Joint of inlet cap is CNC machined milled, and connected by high-quality, silicon-shielded tempered springs
- High-quality, silicon-shielded stainless steel exhaust springs
- Conical shaped and hydroformed header is made of stainless steel; crossover tubes may be installed on certain models
- Line pipe may be cylindrical and made of titanium on some models (based on maximized performance)

Racing Line


With high performance riders in mind, Akrapovic's Racing line is a great balance between price and optimum performance. You can expect Akrapovic's exceptional production quality. These exhausts deliver increased engine performance combined with a pure racing sound output. A combination of racing materials, like carbon fiber for the muffler outer sleeve, give these exhaust systems a racing touch.

The Racing line is identical to the Evolution line, apart from the stainless steel headers and midpipes (titanium in the Racing line). 

Features:

Stainless steel headers and mid-pipes
- Carbon fiber or titanium outer sleeve canister
- Hexagonal muffer, with carbon-fiber outlet cap to match the design of each bike
Titanum outlet cap, perforated inner sleeve, and inlet cap
- Joint of inlet cap is CNC machined milled, and connected by high-quality, silicon-shielded tempered springs
- Lightweight, compact and high-temperature-resistant carbon fiber muffler clamp
- High-quality, silicon-shielded stainless steel exhaust springs
- Conical shaped and hydroformed header is made of stainless steel; crossover tubes may be installed on certain models
- Line pipe may be cylindrical and made of titanium on some models (based on maximized performance)
- Carbon fiber bracket in cases where the position of the exhaust system needs to be changed and the stock bracket is no longer usable

Slip-Ons


While Akrapovic is the gold standard for competitions, their exhaust systems are less popular with the everyday riders (usually due to their higher price). But the company is making strides to close the gap with their slip-on exhaust line.

Based on the design on the Evolution and Racing lines, Akrapovic slip-on exhausts offer street motorcyclists a much more affordable price point to enhance their riding experience with all the same performance and sound that are expected of all Akrapovic products.

These slip-on exhausts are easily installed for that immediate performance enhancement. And plus, you'll get a sexier look with these stylishly designed exhausts! The "noise" is unmistakably Akrapovic. 

Features:

- Hexagonal mufflers feature a carbon fiber outlet cap to match the design of each bike
- High-quality, silicon-shielded stainless steel exhaust springs
- Lightweight, compact and high-temperature-resistant carbon fiber muffler clamp
- Link pipe may be cylindrical and made of titanium on some models (based on maximized performance)
- Carbon fiber heat shield included, if necessary
- Approved by the technical standards board for each specific type of motorcycle, which is indicated by a stamp of approval on the muffler.

You can shop for Akrapovic exhausts here: http://www.solomotoparts.com/Akrapovic-Motorcycle-Exhausts/. Be sure to select your specific bike model! 

And if you're interesting in other awesome upgrades to your bike, check out our most popular performance parts & accessories.

*all photos courtesy of Akrapovic
By Daniel Relich

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Go the Distance! The Best Touring Motorcycles 2016


Before we get into this post, I have a confession to make. There was a time when I didn't understand touring bikes. I was a sportbike guy all the way. And touring bikes? Well, they're large and awkward and how can they beat the horsepower of my beloved R6? 

But then one day, a few years back, my friends (who worked for a BMW dealership) invited me for a trip up the California coast. I borrowed my buddy's R1200RT for the trip, and holy crap, I was hooked. Maybe I'm older and can appreciate a sturdy, reliable bike like a tourer now, or maybe I'm craving adventures beyond the racetrack, but I'm been drooling for a touring bike ever since.

Unfortunately, it's still just a dream for now (these bikes are expensive!). But in the meantime, I've gathered up our favorite touring bikes this year. 

Here we go!

Long Range Touring Bikes

Touring bikes are built for covering the miles. Yes, they're big and awkward, but they're also sturdy and reliable. I also appreciate how comfortable they are, even when you've been riding for hours. And all the luxury features they come with are a huge plus.

Triumph Trophy SE ABS


Boasting a 1215cc inline 3-cylinder engine, the Triumph Trophy offers comfort and performance in a luxury package. It's surprisingly agile for a bike of its class, handling well like a small, more typically maneuverable motorcycle.

On the technical end, the Trophy is the most advanced of Triumph bikes. The Trophy SE is upgraded with an electronic suspension with three damping settings (sport, normal, or comfort), a Bluetooth audio system, and a 12v power socket. Other luxury features include an electronically adjustable windscreen, adjustable seat height, and tire pressure monitoring.

MSRP: Starting from $19,500

Honda Gold Wing


The Honda Gold Wing has ranked among the best touring motorcycles for over 4 decades! It's the standard in long-distance riding comfort. Though not the most technically superior model, dependability has garnered the Honda Gold Wing the distinction of being called "unrivaled" and "revitalized" with a focus on accommodations.

For 2016, the Honda Gold Wing comes in 4 performance packages depending on what special features you want. MSRP starts from $23,999 for the lowest tier model, the Gold Wing Audio Comfort. The features are impressive with this one, including heated grips and foot warmer, surround sound, and cruise control.  The highest tier package - the Gold Wing Airbag (at a whopping $30,599) - is the ultimate in luxury touring with navigation, audio system, anti-lock brakes, and the first motorcycle airbag!

BMW K1600 GT/GTL



The K1600GT is BMW's premier touring motorcycle featuring a 1649cc inline 6-cylinder engine. This is an exceptional engine that delivers smooth acceleration throughout the RPM range

The new version is now more compact; in fact, it's the most compact 6-cylinder inline production bike. The emphasis has been put on shedding weight - the bike even has a magnesium front panel carrier and aluminum rear frame.

The K1600GT is slightlier more sportier in feel compared to the GTL. The GTL has a lower seat height and more of an upright riding position, while the GT is more aggressive. 

MSRP starting at $21,995.

Sport Touring

Looking for more speed? Sport touring is a relatively niche market. It combines the performance and high speeds of a sportbike and the long distance comfort of a touring bike. 

BMW R1200RT


The BMW R1200RT is a legendary bike that defined this segment. This is the bike where I got my introduction to touring, and it set the standard quite high! 

The 2016 version conveniently handles easier than predecessors and has an added focus on comfort for long hauls. Riders will get more the superior technology they expect with a semi-active electronic suspension, ASC traction control system, rain/road weather options, on board computer pro, and heated grips.

MSRP starting at $18,145.

Yamaha FJR1300



This 15 year vet has seen a few major upgrades and improvements in 2016. For starters, there are now two separate editions of the Yamaha FJR1300 available to buyers.

The FJR1300A (MSRP from $16,390) features a traditional suspension with hard/soft levers to adjust the amount of shock and maintain comfort for any potential luggage or passengers that may be accompanying you. And the FJR1300ES (MSRP $17,990) sports a more advanced electronic suspension that allows you to adjust it yourself at will. It allows a choice of hard, standard, or even soft for the amount of shock/comfort you'd like to maintain. 

Kawasaki Versys 650 LT


The Kawasaki Versys 650 has gotten a lot of backlash in the past for its rather... ahem, interesting... design. But the redesign nicely showcases the classic Kawasaki styling. And looking past that, this insanely affordable bike has a lot to offer.

Kawasaki took care to make advancements in Versys 650's rear power & increased ergonomic stability for riders. The new version has a higher windscreen, lower footpegs for comfort, and a wider tank. Its 649cc parallel twin engine is fun and torque in the low-mid RPM range and the small size makes the bike a nimble little machine.

At only a MSRP starting price of $8,899, this makes a great versatile bike for long weekend rides or daily commutes. 

Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Touring


The Ducati Multistrada 1200S revolutionized the moto world by offering a bike that performs as well on the track as it does covering long-distances. 

The 2016 version is powered by the brand new Ducati Testastretta DVT (desmodromic valve timing) engine (a first on both the intake and exhaust camshaft), which allows the engine to deliver optimized performance. 

Some say it is like having multiple motorcycles in one package since it can switch between 4 riding modes automatically (maybe this argument will justify that $20,095 price tag for you!). This beauty also comes with semi-active suspension for self-adjusting, traction control, ABS cornering, and wheelie control.

Which of these touring bikes do you have your eyes on?

*all photos courtesy of manufacturers

By Daniel Relich

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Different Riding Segments, Explained


In our vast motorcycling landscape, there are many different types (or segments) or riding. You may have come across many terms and wonder what exactly they mean.

We're here to clear it up for you.

Street/Standard


This is the most diverse bike category and have the largest variety of body styles. Basically, they're exactly what they sound like: they're for riding on the street.

Standard bikes are commonly known as "naked" bikes, or bikes without a fairing. Fairings are those plastic body elements that cover the engine and frame. They help to make a bike more aerodynamic, which is absolutely needed for sport bikes. However, street bikes have less of a need to be so aerodynamic so a naked style is quite popular.

These bikes are ideal commuter bikes (or even if you use a bike as your main mode of transport!). They're a good balance of performance, handling, and comfort. The more upright seating position is comfier and allows you to be more aware of your surroundings.

Cruisers


Ah, the iconic Americana style. Cruisers bring up images of that untamed and carefree rebel lifestyle.
 
Cruisers rose to power in the 1930's - 60's in the U.S., and even the modern cruisers of today retain that old-school styling (which let's face is, is most of their appeal). These bikes are characterized by a low riding position, larger V-twin engines, raked-out front forks, and in some cases, tons of chrome accents.

Performance wise, they're heavy clunky ol' things and are not known for being the most technical or efficient. They are hard to handle and tiring at high speeds. The riding position is also not the most comfortable as you're in a leaned-back low position with your hands and feet stretched way out. But hey, it's all about that lifestyle.

Keep in mind: these days, there are a lot of other manufacturers making cruisers imitating the classic American style (often called metric cruisers). You will find great value in those, and often better performance, reliability, and comfort.

Sport

the SoloMoto trackbike (a Yamaha R6) tearing it up on the track
You've probably heard of bikes being referred to as "crotch rockets". This term is reserved for the sportbike (or race replica bikes), which are built for performance and high speeds. Sportbikes have powerful engines in a lightweight frame with full fairings for maximum aerodynamics. They're also the ultimate bike eye-candy with their incredibly sleek and sexy design.

Sportbikes are ideal if your main goal is to take it to the track. That's where their true power shines. These bikes are meant to go fast, and like most riders will tell you - it's no fun to ride a fast bike slow. 

Keep in mind: Sportbikes (even the smaller ones) are FAST! - and so they are not ideal to learn to ride on. It usually takes a lot of time to improve your skill. They also don't make ideal commuter bikes, because the riding position (tucked forward, higher foot pegs, longer reach to handlebars) is designed for aerodynamics, not for ergonomic comfort.

Off-road/MX



Or, better known as the dirt bike. These bikes are a whole different breed. They're made for jumping over dirt hills, rolling over gravel trails, and slugging through mud paths. Because of the rough terrain off-roaders encounter, the bikes are designed to be very lightweight and nimble with a high seat and high center of gravity

Keep in mind: Dirt bikes are not street-legal as they have no horns, turn signals, mirrors, or headlights. They're designed for... well... tearing up the dirt. If you like the idea of getting dirty and having some fun off the street, but want more versatility, then read on:

Dual Sport


If you do want a street legal dirt bike, you'd want to look into a dual-sport bike. This is one of the fastest growing bike segments, and for a good reason. These bikes offer the best of both worlds: the lightness and versatility to ride off-road, while still being comfortable and safe enough to ride on the street. 

They're basically dirt bikes but with mirrors, lights, speedometers, and license plates so they're legal to ride on the street. And like dirt bikes, they have smaller engines, lightweight frames, and higher center of gravitySome are more dirt-oriented, and some more street-oriented, so pick one that sounds like the type of riding you're more realistically likely to do.

Dual sport bikes make a good option for beginners because of their less powerful engines and maneuverability. Keep in mind that they are taller bikes, so make sure you are able to plant both feet firmly on the ground. 

Touring


Touring bikes are designed for comfort during long distance travel. They're practically like mini cars on two wheels! They're the largest bikes (and the heaviest) because they have to be capable of enduring many, many long hours - and even days - on the road, while being loaded up with a lot of equipment (and even a passenger).

They usually have large windshields for protection against all sorts of weather, large storage compartments for everything you need to survive on the road for days, large fuel tanks to cover the miles in between fill-ups, full fairings for aerodynamics, and an upright comfortable riding position. They usually come with a range of luxury features as well, including heated grips, heated seats, or stereo systems.

The touring segment can be broken down further into adventure touring and sport touring. Adventure touring (more below) combines off-road capabilities with long distance. And sport touring - a super niche market - offers that powerful sportbike performance combined with long distances.

Keep in mind: Touring bikes are among the most expensive bikes because of the luxury features they offer and their durability. But because of how reliable they are, used tourers can be a great buy provided that the previous owner took care of it and did all the regular maintenance. 

Adventure


These bikes are hard to categorize. It's what it sounds like - a bike that can take you on an adventure. Think an around-the-world motorcycle trip, perhaps on mountain paths and dessert trails. You can think of adventure bikes are a cross between touring and off-road: built for covering the miles with the capability to go off-road.

Because of the ability to go the distance, they have heavier frames and large tanks like a touring bike, with luxury features. And because of being able to go off-road, they have a higher seat height too. They're almost like taller touring bikes. 

Keep in mind: Adventure bikes are very expensive (BMW's classic R1200GS starts at over $16k). And second: riding a big and heavy bike off-road is not the easiest to handle. Before sinking money into an adventure bike, think: will you really take it far and off the beaten path? If you're more likely to have adventures closer to home, a lightweight dual-sport will serve your needs. 

What segment do you ride in the most? Tell us! 
By Daniel Relich

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The Best Cruisers For Your Money


There is nothing that screams "American style" more than a cruiser.  

When compared to the more recent sport and adventure options, cruisers don't have the most advanced technical prowess or speed efficiency. However, there is nothing more classic or stylish than an American cruiser.

Or is there?

Over the years, many Japanese motorcycle manufacturers have managed to duplicate and emulate the aesthetic and performance of American cruisers.

Let's take a look at some and their differences.

American Cruisers

Big. Loud. Untamed.

That is how you'll hear enthusiasts describe the American born brands of cruisers.

In many cases, they are more reliable than the more recent and souped-up sport bike models. But, long term, they are often less reliable than Japanese manufactured cruiser motorcycles.

Listed below are some affordable, quality, American cruisers:

Harley-Davidson

Is there a more iconic name for cruisers than Harley-Davidson? 

Founded in 1903, Harley-Davidson has managed to last through two World Wars, multiple economic downturns, multiple ownership transfers, and lots of stiff competition.

Though not the first company on the block, Harley-Davidson's explosion in production came about through their assistance with the U.S. military in WWI & WWII. Patriotism goes a long way towards building loyalty! Harley rose to become one of the most dominant and most recognizable motorcycle brands worldwide.

Harley's are not typically known for being the most budget friendly bikes. When you buy a Harley, you're not buying to save money. You're buying into a lifestyle. However, we have a few recommendations for the best Harley's for the money:


Harley-Davidson Street 500 - $6,849
This street style Harley is designed for maximum urban agility and has a sleek, minimalist black-out styling. It's been upgraded with new front and rear brake systems, new brake and clutch levers, and a more ergonomically place rear brake petal position. At around 7 grand, it's a steal for a piece of that Harley name.


Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 - $8,849
Harley's Sportster bikes have become icons since their introduction in 1957, with their powerful, classic styling. The new Sportster Iron 883 has an all new suspension, wheels, rolled leather seat, and blacked-out wheel spokes, brake rotor, and muffler.


Harley-Davidson Sportster Seventy Two - $11,099
While the price doesn't exactly put this in the "budget" category, we like the Seventy Two for it's truly classic 70's styling, with all the latest modern technology, of course.

Indian

Another classic American cruiser, Indian, saw a major boom on their sales in the early 1900's, but success took a major downturn after WWII. Only recently was the Indian name revived when Polaris Industries purchased Indian Motorcycles in 2011.  

Though not currently as popular with the mainstream as Harley, the Indian brand has earned their reputation through building high quality cruisers. The new generation of bikes keep true to Indian's traditional styling, while equipped with modern performance technology. 


Indian Scout Sixty - $8,999
The Scout Sixty is Indian's most budget-friendly cruiser (for a brand commonly thought of as rather expensive). It's designed after the favorite Indian Scout with a lot of the same features, but at a more affordable price. The bike is the same size, but the engine is downsized to 61 CI of displacement (instead of 69). It's less powerful, but you can't beat the significantly lower price!

Japanese Cruisers (Metric Cruisers)

Interested in a cruiser with all the benefits and at a fraction of the cost of an American build?

If you want the cruiser style but aren't too concerned with owning that classic Harley brand, cruisers made by the big Japanese bike manufacturers will do the trick. They're just fine for the average person looking for a fun, cheap, and reliable ride. Though you may have to sacrifice some of the volume, you're neighbors will appreciate it.

Since Japanese cruisers (often known as metric cruisers) are foreign made, they've angered many cruiser purists.

In America, cruisers - and motorcycles in general - tend to be status symbols or social identity markers for riding enthusiasts.

But in many countries where cars aren't very economically feasible (cost, gas prices, etc) motorcycles have become a primary mode of personal transportation. After decades of advancements in design and performance, most people won't notice any real differences. And maybe even advantages. 

Japanese bikes have always been known for their superior quality, and this is certainly true with the cruisers they produce too.  Their cruisers usually run more efficiently, offer a cooler running motor, longer lasting engine, and require less maintenance over their lifetime. Some even argue that they're more comfortable

Not to mention they're much better for your wallets. Because of all the advantages, Japanese cruisers got so popular at one point in the 70s and 80s that they almost killed the Harley-Davidson brand! It was swift action from President Reagan that hiked up tax legislation for motorcycle imports, that managed to save Harley-Davidson from going bankrupt.

Here are a few of our favorite Japanese cruisers for your money:  



Honda Rebel - $4,190
Because of its low price point and super ease of riding, the Honda Rebel has been a popular choice as a beginner bike. Its size is small (234cc V twin engine) but still delivers plenty of power for a fun ride. It also gets amazing fuel economy. It's hard to beat this bike for the under $5k category.


Suzuki Boulevard S40 - $5,499
This is a great price. for the power you get. The Boulevard S40's 625cc single cylinder engine delivers surprisingly high torque and is agile on the road. The styling is a timeless retro design, with Suzuki technology.


Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom - $6,990
This is another bike that packs a punch for the relatively low price. It's the lightest of Yamaha's Star lineup, which means great handling. We especially love the super old-school style with tons of chrome accents.



Kawasaki Vulcan S ABS - $7,399 
This bike offers a great balance of price and performance. The Vulcan has a beautiful cruiser styling combined with that renowned Kawasaki sportbike power and handling. It's lighter than other cruisers in its class, which means increased agility. The seat position is also ergonomically designed for comfort.

Which of these cruisers caught your eye? Are you a die-hard American cruiser fan or would you consider a Japanese one? Will the availability of aftermarket parts sway your decision?

*photos courtesy of manufacturers
By Daniel Relich

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Crashing 101: What happens When you Go Down?


Riding is thrilling, but you've also got to be aware of the cold, hard truth: it can turn just as dangerous. With all the freedom bikes give riders, they require an equal amount of alertness and responsibility to remain safe and secure.

We've all had our fair share of crashes. I doubt you'll be able to find one rider who can say they've never been crashed. Some even say that a crash is inevitable.

So prepare yourself for what could happen. What should you do when you go down? Is there a proper way to handle it to ensure survival or prevent serious injury? 

Common Causes and Types of Crashes

Unfortunately as the rider, not only do you have to mind your own riding, you have to watch out for other vehicles and assume that they don't see you. It's always your responsibility to be aware of traffic around you, to make yourself more visible, or to put yourself out of harm's way.

It's easy to say just don't ride like an idiot, but the truth is that most of the accidents are caused by others. Even the most cautious among us get unlucky at times. 75% of accident involve cars, with the most common causing being from cars that:

- Suddenly turn left
- Change lanes without warning
Rear-end bikers

The other 25% of accidents, though, are totally your fault and are entirely avoidable. The most common causes are:

- Taking corners/turns too fast
- Braking suddenly during high speeds
- Riding on worn down (or poor quality) tires

But in all seriousness, taking the proper riding precautions and not riding past your limit will cut down the risk of wrecks.

So, if you do find yourself about to go down, what do you do?

What to Do During the Crash

The first thing is to not panic. We know it's easier said than done. 

Especially at high speeds and on busy roads, it's important to maintain clear-headedness so you can assess the situation as quickly as you can and make a judgment call on the best course of action. You likely won't have much time to react, and bailing in the wrong direction could be deadly.

Do you lay the bike down?

One of your first instincts may be to lay the bike down, but no matter what, try to avoid doing so. The bike's weight + yours + inertia could lead to very bad results.

Think about it, if you're going 60 mph, what would happen when you and your huge metal machine is hurtling down the road at such a high speed? Serious. Disaster.

You will have absolutely no control in where you're sliding. You could go into oncoming traffic or go headfirst into an object. Your bike also becomes a threat as there's no way of controlling where it goes either.

What's the best thing to do?

Instead, the correct thing to do is to keep the bike upright for as long as possible, and slow down with your brakes. But don't over-apply the front brake or you're in danger of locking the front tire and flying over the handlebars. Not good either at 45 mph.

Try to steer your bike into the direction that will cause the least amount of damage to you (i.e. not towards oncoming traffic or a drop off). If you can't completely stop the bike, it's at least better to go into the crash at a lower speed.

What if I must slide?

Sometimes the only option is to lay the bike down and slide. In this case, we know it sounds impossible to do - but relax. Don't curl into a ball or try to force yourself to stop or into a different direction. At high speeds, that's very dangerous. There's nothing you can do about it until you stop naturally.

What to Do After the Crash

If you slid into a stop or you got thrown, the first thing is to remain calm and don't attempt to get up until you're sure that you can. Once you know you're okay to get up, move yourself out of harm's way as soon as possible. This means getting away from oncoming traffic, drop-offs, or leaking fuel.

Accident scene management

Assess the damages and check that everyone is okay. Since most accidents involve cars, you're most likely the one with the most injuries. If emergency services are needed, it will most likely be for YOU! It's probably in your best interest to get medical attention anyway because you may have internal injuries that you can't see.

Make sure you take photos of damages to your bike and other vehicles. As soon as you can safely get up, take pictures of the accident scene as it happened (before you and the other vehicle move). Also get pictures of the surrounding areas and any relevant road signs.

Exchange insurance information

Exchange insurance and contact info with the other people involved. Not all States will require that you call the local authorities if everyone is able to walk away from the accident. But it will probably be in your best interest to give the local authorities a ring. Either way, it'll be a great way to have an official record of the accident.

Contact your insurance company

As soon as you're able to, let your insurance company know about the accident. Pass along the contact information of the other people involved. They will also need to know about the damages to you and your bike. You want to make sure you're correctly compensated, so have your bike examined by a mechanic and you by a medical professional in order to get the most accurate assessment.  

Do I need a lawyer as well?

In many cases, a specialized motorcycle accident lawyer could be invaluable, especially if you are looking to seek compensation for your damages. A lawyer could help you if the other party is trying to wrongly impart blame onto you. 

Gear is the best insurance you have

Apart from how you handle yourself and the bike going into the crash, gear is extremely important in determining your survival or injury rate. A helmet could be the difference between walking away and permanent brain injury. The right riding jacket is the difference between skin on the pavement and minor scrapes.

You should be wearing at the very least:

- a helmet: DOT or SNELL certified
- leather or thick textile riding jacket with a back protector
- riding gloves with palm sliders, which will take the impact of your hand hitting the ground
- sturdy boots
- We also recommend proper riding pants, as your normal jeans will disintegrate quickly in a slide

It's better to be safe than sorry, so don't skimp on the gear. If you can't afford proper high-quality gear, then you shouldn't be riding. So dress for the worst case scenario and be prepared.

Final tips

- Since anything can happen while riding, it's a good idea to be prepared and carry a few personal details, such as emergency contact information, your blood type, and any allergies

- Inform loved ones where you'll be heading, especially if you're planning on an off-road jaunt solo. If something happens and you're incapacitated, you'll get help sooner than if you'd said nothing.

- Remember, the damages (both physical and psychological) incurred by a crash is not worth the extra speed or tricks or whatever you're trying to do. A lot of accidents - even the ones not your fault - can be prevented if you just looked further ahead more or slowed down when needed. So always be vigilant and never ride beyond your ability. Remember that as a rider, you need to do the work for both you and other drivers.

Have you been in a crash before? How did you handle it and what saved you?

By Daniel Relich

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Guide: The Best LeoVince Streetbike Exhausts


What bike enthusiast isn't quick to replace the stock exhaust? This is the often one of the first aftermarket upgrades to be performed, and is perhaps the only one that improves performance, look, and sound.

It's not the cheapest upgrade, but because of the significant impact on your bike, I think almost every bike owner will say it's well worth it.

Today, we're introducing you one of our favorite boutique brands in the aftermarket exhaust market - LeoVince! They've been in and out of popularity over the past decade but they've always been churning out a quality product. They make sexy, high performance exahusts for all kinds of bikes in a variety of attractive materials. 

Exhaust Systems Overview

For those new here, first here's a quick refresher on exhaust system basics.

A motorcycle exhaust system consists of:

- A header collecting exhaust gases from the engine
- A mid-pipe bringing fumes towards back of the bike
- A muffler allowing exhaust gases to exit, while muffling volume

Full Systems vs. Slip-ons

A full system exhaust replaces all three sections listed above. Because of this, there is significant weight shed and noticeable performance gains. It also requires a much more complicated installation procedure.

On the other hand, a slip-on exhaust is quick and easy to install as it's literally "slipped-on" in place of the stock muffler. It'll offer a bit of horsepower gain, but not as much as with a full system. You will, however, get that desirable rumbling sound.

Exhausts are bike-specific, so make sure you do compatibility research with your bike before making purchases.

This is just a quick overview, but you can read a more detailed explanation of exhausts to understand the benefits and the differences between the two.

LeoVince Exhausts

LeoVince is an Italian company that dates back to 1954. Today, LeoVince has a beautiful range of special exhausts systems and end cans. LeoVince has an extensive motorcycle racing history - from the high speed circuits of road racing to the most technical and challenging off-road competitions. Because of this, its high-quality products are true "racing" products rather than just "race-inspired". LeoVince uses the best materials on their exhausts, including stainless steel, titanium, and luxurious carbon fiber.

We've narrowed the field for you. Here are our favorite LeoVince exhausts.

LeoVince Full Systems:


Features:
- Front section equipped with an erodynamic inlet during dual spring attachments
- New rear carbon tailcone with dual asymmetrical cut for the left or right versions
- Stainless steel header pipes
- Silencer attached to the frame by a carbon fiber strap with rubber anti-vibration gasket
- Either titanium or carbon fiber silencer external casing
- Carbon fiber end cap


GP Corsa: The GP Corsa is developed exclusively for the Asian and South-American market for the 250cc displacement 4-stroke motorcycles.

Features:
- Designed in "slash-cut" style derived from MotoGP
- Round silencer design to limit noise, improve engine sound, and deliver perfect flow of exhaust gas.
- Internally has high heat resistance fiberglass for longer life and reliability
- Stainless steel with a "scotch brite" surface finish; each item cleaned by hand
- Large size exhaust ducts for optimal torque/power ratio
- Available with aluminum or carbon casing
- dB-Killer is included for those who wish to reduce the silencer sound



Cobra: The Cobra is also developed exclusively for the Asian and South-American market for the 250cc displacement 4-stroke motorcycles. 

Features:
- New flowing "S" shape derived from MotoGP
- Internally has high heat resistance fiberglass for longer life and a refined sound
- Stainless steel with a "scotch brite" surface finish; each item cleaned by hand
- Large size exhaust ducts for optimal torque/power ratio
- Aluminum LeoVince logo plate
- dB-Killer is included for those who wish to reduce the silencer sound

LeoVince Slip-ons:

Factory S

Features:
- Available in two versions: stainless steel or carbon fiber
- Developed for each engine model to improve torque and power
- Carbon cap with a dual asymmetric cut for right and left versions
- Carbon fiber clamp equipped with a rubber vibration damping element
- Muffler has an aerodynamic inlet with dual spring attachments
- SS version has LeoVince logo made with laser; carbon verson has logo made with die-cut adhesive in aluminum





EVO II Factory R: The Factory line combines a sleek design with improved performance in full accordance with highway code regulations.

Features:
- Complies with European Standards
- Full titanium casing designed as a truncated cone and comes in different lengths, depending on the model
- Carbon tailcone with a dual asymmetric cut for right and left versions
- Either titanium or carbon fiber external casing
- Muffler has an aerodynamic inlet with dual spring attachments
- Stainless steel connectors
- Silencer attached by carbon fiber strap with rubber anti-vibration gasket



EVO II LV One: This newly revamped line has been redesigned for style, performance, and compliance with relevant laws. 

Features:
- Oval shaped silencer with flat upper and lower zones
- Sandblasted finish with a "titanium look"; Also available in carbon fiber casing
- Lightweight and high performance Technopolymer tailpipe
- New, more aerodynamic front silencer inlet with tapered cut
- Tailpipe available in vertical terminal (for engine side) or horizontal terminal (for under seat) versions
- Stainless steel pipe and fittings with TIG welding
- Carbon silencer fastening strap
- Geometrical development of silencer and pipework specific for each engine model


EVO II E-Approved Underbody: For those who like the hidden look in order to bring more attention to the bike itself, the Underbody "hides" the exhaust under the engine, with the gasses being directed out through an exit mouthpiece. This also distributes the weight optimally at the bike's center of gravity.

Features:
- Stainless steel internals and header construction
- Sandblasted finish with a "titanium look"
- Carbon fiber end-cap that channels exhaust gases out and provide a heat barrier between the rear tire
- dB-Killer is included for those who wish to reduce the silencer sound






EVO II GP Style: This line provides a balance of quality and price for those who want a simple modification. 

Features:
- Streamlined design derived from LeoVince's experience in motoGP
- Stainless steel silencer and connectors
- Carbon fiber bracket to secure to the frame
- Sandblasted finish with stainless steel particles
- Each silencer specifically developed for individual bike model for optimal torque and power


NERO: The latest in LeoVince's lineup, the NERO is especially designed for motorcyles and maxi scooters. The design is aggressive, yet sleek and modern.

Features:
- Stainless steel sleeve with a metallic black paint finish made from ceramic engineering
- Carbon fiber end cap with an asymmetrical and aggressive cut
- Stainless steel and TIG welded brackets
- More resistant to high temperatures
- Available in two sizes for different bike models
- LeoVince logo printed on in laser technology
- Extractable dB-Killer


You can shop our selection of LeoVince exhausts here. Which one catches you eye?

*All photos courtesy of LeoVince
By Daniel Relich

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Why You Need a Second Motorcycle


One of the questions we hear often is: "What's the best motorcycle to have?"

As you can imagine, this is a really difficult question to answer. First of all, it depends on what you want to use it for. And secondly, you may have multiple interests or your interest may change over time.

For example: I started out mostly riding on the street and over time discovered that track riding is what I'm most passionate about, which is most of what I do now. And after borrowing a buddy's touring bike for a couple of long trips, I'm really considering my own too. My sportbike is neither feasible nor able to hold up to multi-day trips that may involve off-road riding.

So for us, the only solution to the age-old question is to own many, many motorcycles. (Yeah right, we wish.)

But seriously, there are many reasons to own multiple motorcycles. We hear you though... motorcycles aren't cheap and you've got responsibilities that won't disappear just because you love the feeling of your hair flowing on the interstate.

We've laid out a few cons and pros (yes we set that order intentionally!) for you to weigh yourself.

Cons

First of all, cost is huge factor. Riding is an expensive hobby, after all. Things can really start to add up:

Bike: Obviously, new bike = more $
Insurance: Yes, you need insurance for each of your bike. And some certain types of bikes (such as supersport and dirt bikes) carry higher insurance rates. 
- Gear: You will need multiple sets of gear for multiple uses/conditions. This includes everything from protective gear (helmets, jackets, boots, etc.) to bike accessories (luggage, windshields, etc.). Your gear you use for dirt riding won't cut it on the street or track, and vice versa.

Price aside, the most difficult part of buying a new bike is settling on type. Depending on personality and preference, there are too many reasons for riding to pinpoint the ?perfect? machine for anyone.

Pros

Let's face it - having one motorcycle is cool, but two motorcycles is more awesome x2.

With two motorcycles of differing styles, you have the freedom to switch-up the kind of riding you want to do, like with an on-road/off-road combo. If you only have a street bike, you can't discover the joy of riding through roads-less-traveled and jumping dirt piles. And if you only have a dirt bike, you'll never know the thrill of racing down a track at 180mph.

With a second bike, an entirely new segment of riding will be opened up to you.

There's no such thing that you must choose a riding niche (just like no such thing that you must decide if you're a Coke or Pepsi person). We're motorcycle aficionados and if it can be done on two wheels, we want to do it all!

Popular Motorcycle Combinations

Street Motorcycle + Track Motorcycle: This could be either a standard street bike or a cruiser, paired with a sport bike that's all decked out for track use. We highly recommend that riders get the track experience at some point because it's a great environment to improve your skills without other vehicles, road obstacles, or fear of going too fast. The good news with this kind of pairing is that a lot of the gear (helmet, jacket) could be the same.

Sport Motorcycle + Touring Motorcycle: This is a great pairing if you enjoy short joyrides around town on a light, nimble speed machine and long multi-day rides on a sturdy, plush beast. You would have to buy specialized touring gear such as luggage and camping supplies. 

Sport Motorcycle + Off-road/Dual-Sport Motorcycle: A road and off-road combo is a classic for those who want the fun of riding on the street and on dirt trails or through the woods. You would need very different gear for each of these bikes as they have specific gear requirements. For example: the helmet for street riding will not fly when riding in the dirt, and neither will the leather jacket. 

So, Which Style is For You?

Now you've weighed the pros and cons, let's briefly go over the differences between each body style. Below, we give brief descriptions for each so you can see what interests you. 

Cruiser: A true classic. Make no mistake, these aren't the most technical--or efficient--motorcycles but they ooze classic American style.

Naked: With fairings + windshield removed, great gas mileage, and increased ease of handling, these slimmed beauties are great as just a normal street bike for commuting to work or the occasional joyride.

Sport: As their name says, these require lots of patience, training, and experience to handle properly. But, there's nothing cooler or more stylish once you've gotten the hang of them.

Supersport: This is the sport bike's big brother. Faster, stronger, and more powerful, these beasts will fulfill every motorcycle--fever dream--fantasy you've had.

Touring: With so much size, they're not the sexiest, but touring motorcycles will take you anywhere in the world with comfort and plenty of room for a passenger, luggage, and everything else.

Sport-Touring: Sport touring bikes offer speed while keeping everything comfortable, spacious, and secure for those long treks across the country.

Dual Sport: Dual sport motorcycles could be considered the "best of both worlds." By design they offer the flexibility and versatility to navigate traffic on the highway, and still rip up dirt trails.

Off-Road: More commonly known as dirt bikes, these babies are exactly what their name says. If you don't need pavement or asphalt, this is just the machine for you.


Adventure (ADV): Adventure motorcycles offer crossover benefits from off-road, sport, and touring bikes. Keep in mind the extra weight and size won't be easy to handle on those wooded trails.

Supermoto: Supermoto motorcycles are primarily for racing different types of tracks: road, dirt, etc. Buy one knowing it will tackle any surface you're ready to conquer.

Conclusion

One bike limits you to a certain kind of riding (unless you have a dual-sport/adventure, which is more versatile). But with a second bike, you can discover a whole new segment of riding, and with it, a whole new passion. There are many disciplines of riding and many reasons for riding, whether it's to find a more fuel-efficient commute for work, or to go on an epic cross country trip, or to feel the thrill of speeding down a track. Why not try everything?

Most importantly, we hope 'fun' makes your list of reasons for a new purchase!

Do you have more than one bike? What bikes combo do you have?
By Daniel Relich

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How To Sell Your Used Motorcycle


So you're ready to sell your motorcycle. Of course your biggest concern is getting a fair price for your beloved bike.

Successfully selling your motorcycle takes 3 things: a trustworthy seller (that's you), a fairly priced bike, and good advertisement. We've got a few tips to help you get the best price and have a safe transaction.

Verify your bike's working condition

It goes without saying that your bike is going to be hard to sell if it doesn't work properly. Check your bike's oil levels, battery, and tire pressure. Make sure the chain and sprockets work properly and that its lubed up.

In some states, you may be required to have your bike inspected by a licensed professional before selling it. An inspection will probably cost $20 - $40. Honestly, even if your state doesn't require this, you probably want to do it anyway.

It's in your best interest too to make sure your bike is running properly and everything is as it should be. It's a hassle to deal with an angry customer demanding a refund. And you never know what they did with the bike during the time it left your hands, so you probably would want to get it looked at anyway.

Where to List Your Motorcycle

Our favorite places to list a bike are Craigslist, CycleTrader, or Ebay. To increase odds of selling your motorcycle quickly, use all three.

Before setting up shop you need to:

1. Do keyword research on "selling used motorcycles"
2. Clean the motorcycle: Wax and lube that baby up - make it shiny and attractive!
3. Repair any minor damages like dents or scrapes
4. Take good photos of the motorcycle from all angles - pictures are often the first thing people see, so take them in a nice, clean background in good lighting conditions
5. Find any information like service records (if you're smart, you'd have kept all of them)
6. Know the value of your bike (more later)
7. Write a stand-out description (see next section)

Quick Reminders:
- Ebay charges low listing fees but takes a percentpage of the final sale price
- CycleTrader offers optional premium tiers

What to include in the description

List relevant history about your bike, such as mileage, accident history, major repairs done, and aftermarket upgrades. Include the inspection report if you decided to get one. Also include details like how much time is left on the warranty. It's also good if you include how the bike was used (such like "mostly for commuting to work").

A lot of sellers hide this information, so being upfront about it will make you stand out (and less questions to answer). Naturally, people will be concerned about buying a used vehicle, so ease their worries sooner.

Aftermarket upgrades - to keep or not to keep?

This can be tricky: if you've done aftermarket upgrades, it can up the value of your bike, especially if you replaced OEM parts with brand name parts. But it could also be a turn-off to a lot of people too as they can't be sure that the aftermarket upgrades were properly done, not to mention that it may not be to their style.

It's a good idea to clean the original parts and offer them to the buyer too, as part of the entire offer price. Or you may even want to reinstall the original parts and separately sell the accessories. You may be able to sell your bike faster and fetch a better price overall for the accessories.

How to price your used motorcycle

Recently, costs have lowered in the "new motorcycle" market. For a used motorcycle salesperson that means disaster if you're not positioned with a competitive pricing strategy.

As the seller, it's important to know your product's value. Research websites like Craigslist, CycleTrader, or Ebay Motors to get an idea of what others are selling theirs for. Find official estimations for your machine at Kelley Blue Book's guide via category, make, year, and model.

Basic negotiating tactics and payment options

When you've established the bike's market value, decide on offers you will and won't entertain in negotiations and how to get your money safely.

While negotiating, what price do you feel is fair for you and your customer? You'll probably get a lot of really lowball offers by people trying to test their luck, but hold fast to what you know your vehicle is worth.

When it comes to payment, you've got to protect yourself first. Cold, harsh cash is the only form that offers real security. But not everyone may be able to get a large sum of cash immediately. In that case, you can ask for a cash deposit for you to hold the bike and give them a certain number of days to come up with the rest.

If they want to pay by check, then deposit the check first and only after it clears, do you let the buyer come pick up the bike. Again, you can't trust that the check won't bounce and the buyer disappears off the face of the earth. If they want to pay by Paypal, same deal. Make sure the money is in your account first before giving the bike up.

But honestly, paying by cash is the best for both parties. Because just like you can't be sure that buyer's check will go through, they can't be sure either that when they're ready to pick up the bike, you disappear off the face of the earth.

Meeting with buyers

When meeting with buyers from ecommerce sites, we suggest you do so in a well lit, public place.

If the buyer ask for a test drive, make sure to have the full money in your hand first before letting him/her on your bike. It's unlikely, but you could lose your bike to someone who decides to take your bike for a permanent test drive.

Business deals are built upon trust, but it's best not to take chances. Just be quick and professional.

Title transfer

Last, but most important, make sure you have title-transfer paperwork ready for your customer when you meet.

Have you had experience selling your bike? Do you have any tips to add?

By Daniel Relich

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8 Tips for Riding with a Passenger


(We're talking about riding on the back of the bike, and don't worry, you won't get muddy)

Are you thinking about inviting a friend to ride along with you, or are you the passenger about to take your first ride on the back of a bike? Either way, there are a few important things to know before getting onto that bike.

Riding with a passenger is very different than riding alone. The extra weight could throw your balance off a bit and make control harder. And you can never be sure how your passenger will perform (though hopefully, they'll listen to you). So for one, you should be an experienced rider and be completely comfortable riding on the street with other vehicles to even consider inviting someone along. Remember: you're responsible for their life.

We don't mean to sound like a hardass, but when it comes to carrying a passenger, that's twice the amount of risk. On the other hand, it could be an incredibly fun experience and a great way to share your passion. 

So, from riding techniques to passenger safety, here are 8 tips to ensure a fun and safe ride for both you and your passenger.

1. Wear protective gear - always


You know we stress on safety, so this is first on our list - your passenger never gets on without the appropriate protective gear of their own. Period. At the very least, your passenger needs to have:

- a DOT or SNELL certified helmet
- a leather jacket (if they don't have leather, then a thicker textile jacket would do)
- riding gloves
- long pants (if they're going to be a regular passenger, then we'd really recommend proper riding pants. There are pants that look like normal jeans, so don't worry about looking un-stylish)
- sturdy shoes that cover the ankles (exhaust fumes get hot!)

2. Make sure your bike can handle a passenger

Some bikes aren't even fit for carrying a passenger. For a bike to be able to legally carry a passenger, you would need a separate seating area (or a long seat), and footpegs for the passenger. Make sure you satisfy your State's DMV requirements.

You also may need to adjust tire pressures and suspension to make sure your bike is safe to carry the extra weight, which will affect the bike's performance. It's a good idea to check your manual to see whether your bike has any weight limitations or operational recommendations.

3. Establish hand signals

You should at least have a few basic hand signals. For example:

- One tap on the should could mean "I need to readjust my seating position." 
- Two taps could be "slow down you maniac!" 
- Three frantic taps could be "please stop; I really need to get off!" 

Just make sure you have at least a few basic safe hand signals prepared, and make sure at least one of them is a clear message to stop ASAP. Always give your passenger an out if they just don't feel comfortable. 

4. Mounting the bike

We find that it's easiest for you to get on first. Only after you have both feet planted firmly on the ground and the bike upright, should you tell the passenger to mount. In general, the footpegs shouldn't be used to mount the bike, but we understand that some passengers need it. Just don't place too much weight on it for too long. 

It's always extremely important that the passenger stay away from the muffler. It gets very hot and could cause a severe burn. 

5. Tell your passenger to stay very close to you

A passenger sitting too far back will affect your bike's agility in the corners. A passenger that leans right when you're turning left is going to affect the steering of the bike.

The best thing to do is for the passenger to place their hands on your hip or wrapped around your waist (if they're more scared!) or holding onto the bike's rails behind the seat. Basically, their front is glued to your back: if you lean left, they lean left. 

This leads us to:

6. Proper riding position for the passenger

Make sure your passenger knows the proper riding position they should take before you ride. The passenger should:

- Put their arms your waist or hold onto the rails (never hold onto your shoulders or around your chest from the top of shoulders)
- Lean into corners the same as you. Look over the shoulder in the same direction of the turn.
- During braking, the passenger should either brace their hands against the tank or squeeze their thighs to keep from sliding forward. This is so they don't push you forward, which reduces you control. 
 Keep their feet glued to those footpegs at all times. Keep away from the back wheel, chain, and the mufflers - they get very hot and dangerous.
- And don't make any unnecessary movements, like adjusting the seating position, leaning when the bike is going straight, etc. This throws the balance off and could be very dangerous.

7. Be careful of necessary riding adjustments you'll have to make

The extra weight will change how your bike performs. If there's clonking of helmets, it's most likely the rider's fault because you're not changing gears smoothly enough, and causing your passenger to jerk their head forward. With the added weight, you'll also need a longer distance to brake, so keep that in mind or you'll be in trouble if you're still braking at your usual distance.

For your own safety, you probably shouldn't be too close to the vehicle ahead, but sudden hard braking is going to be especially uncomfortable when it results in your passenger unwittingly mounting you. Wait until a vehicle passes something like a tree or a lamppost and ensure it takes 3 seconds before you reach the same point. If and when you need to overtake, choose your moment wisely.

8. Ensure your passenger is insured 

And lastly, you need to check that your insurance covers you to carry a passenger. And if it doesn?t make the necessary amendments. Actually, you need to do this first before giving a ride! The passenger should have proper medical insurance at least. Otherwise, don't take that chance, no matter how good of a rider you think you are. Just don't. 

Conclusion

Riding with a passenger could be a great way to share your love for riding with another person. But just remember that it's a lot different than riding alone and you need to take into account that someone else's life is in your hands. Be thoughtful and listen to them if they feel uncomfortable in any way. Gear them up, be insured, be safe, prepare your passenger, and happy riding!


By Daniel Relich

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