As we ride into the fall, hypothermia is an important consideration to be aware of. Hypothermia is the loss of body heat leading to impaired concentration, loss of judgment, loss of sensation and function of extremities due to decreased blood flow and loss of coordination.
All heat loss is by convection, evaporation, radiation and conduction. Convection is loss of heat through airflow- the faster you ride the more you lose. Evaporation can be controlled by staying dry. Radiation occurs when your skin is warmer than your clothes and worse if you have a fever. Conduction happens when you're in contact with a colder surface. Multiple layers of clothing especially polypropylene assist with this. Your body generates heat by shivering. You can also generate heat by using your big muscles. Stop the bike, do some squats or walk briskly.
You can import heat with a heated vest, heated grips and generate heat with snacks and hot drinks.
Keep warm and safe. Happy riding.
November 2009 Winterizing your bike
Welcome to Peggy’s Pointers for November. Well it’s that time of year where we sadly think about storing our bikes for the winter (except for that lucky few). If done well, we can be out riding in the spring and not grinding our teeth waiting for a service appointment.
With thanks to Pro Cycle for their excellent tips, here are some pointers for winter storage.
1. LOCATION. Chose a place that is dry and out of harm’s way. When possible, choose a location out of direct sunlight as the ultraviolet light can fade paint and plastic parts. Cover the bike with a specially designed bike cover to avoid moisture trapping, rust and mildew.
2. CHANGE THE OIL. Byproducts of combustion produce acids in the oil that harm inner metal surfaces. Warm the engine to its normal operating temperature as the oil drains faster and more completely. Do a filter change at the same time. Pro Cycle, Canada Tire and probably most retailers of these products will dispose of your old oil.
3. ADD FUEL STABILIZER AND DRAIN CARBURETORS. Fill the tank with fresh fuel to the bottom of the filler neck. This provides enough room for expansion in warmer temperatures. Add stabilizer to prevent gumming up the fuel jets and run the engine to cycle through your lines. Shut off the fuel petcock and drain the carburetors and the fuel lines. Note- Some BMW models can’t use Stabilizer containing alcohol.
4. LUBRICATE THE CYLINDER. Remove the spark plug(s) and pour a tablespoon of clean engine oil into each cylinder. Be sure to switch off the fuel before cranking the engine as this may refill your drained carbs. Also ground the ignition leads to prevent sparking. Turn the engine over several times to spread the oil and then reinstall the plugs.
5. BATTERY STORAGE. If stored for a prolonged period in a cold environment, remove the battery. A convention battery may need its cells topped up with distilled water and to be charged. Charge the battery every 2 weeks using a charger that has an output of 10% of the battery ampere hourly rating. If a higher charge is applied the battery may overheat. Also many motorcycle retailers have battery tenders that provide charging as needed.
6. SERVICE ALL FLUIDS. If the brake or clutch fluids haven’t been changed in the last 2 years or 18000kms do it now. These fluids absorb moisture and can cause corrosion. If your motorcycle is liquid cooled, the coolant requires changing every 2 years or 24000 km.
7. FINAL PREPARATION. Give your bike a good cleaning and dry it thoroughly. If your bike is chain driven apply a quality chain lube. Spray a light oil, such as WD40 into the muffler ends and drain holes and give the painted surfaces and non-coated aluminum parts a good wax coat.
Check the air pressures of your tires. If the bike has a center stand, use it and put a block under the engine to raise the front wheel off the ground. If not, maximize your load pressure to help prevent flat spotting.
Now you can cover your bike and happily look forward to an early spring.
Welcome to Peggy’s Pointers for December.
At this time of year I like to gift, or just enjoy reading, motorcycle books.
Here is a list of some excellent books that will help you ride more safely.
1) “ Riding in the Zone”- Advanced Techniques for Skilful Motorcycling- Ken Condon- White Horse Press.
2) “ Twist of the Wrist”- (I &II)- The Motorcycle Road racers Handbook - For road racing and cornering skills- Keith Code- Amazon.com
3) “ Proficient Motorcycling and More Proficient Motorcycling- the Ultimate Guides to Riding Well”- training exercises and tips for preparing street riders for any situation. David Hough- Chapters Indigo. I also like his “ Street Strategies”- shortened version of situations and tips - read it every spring.
4) “ Staying Safe- The Art and Science of Riding Really Well” -Peter Tamblyn - White Horse Press.
5) “The MSF’S Guide to Motorcycling Excellence”-skills, knowledge and strategies for riding right-Amazon.com
6) “Ride Hard, Ride Smart”-Ultimate Street Strategies for Advanced Riders Pat Hahn- Amazon.com.
7) “Smooth Riding the Pridmore Way” -Reg Pridmore- Whitehorse Press.
8) “Total Control”- Lee Parks- Amazon.com. Smooth Riding and Total Control have an emphasis on good riding techniques.
And from distant shores-
9) “The Secret Skills of Motorcycle Riding- Parts I&II- Allan Kirk - New Zealand Motorcycle Safety Consultants- MegaRider.com.
10) “Motorcycle Roadcraft”- the Police Riders Handbook (from the UK) - Philip Coyne- The National Extension College Paperback - The Stationery Office Books, Norwich, England.
If your interests are more to videos/DVD’S, consider Jerry “Motorman” Palladino’s Ride Like A Pro 3 & Ride Like A Pro for Ladies.
And for some very enjoyable reading, I’ve recently read “Lois on the Loose”. It follows Lois Pryce’s adventures as she travels from Alaska to the tip of South America. Available from Amazon.com/ca. Can’t wait for her next book- “Red Tape and White Knuckles”, currently available from Amazon.co.UK.
Anyway, everyone have a wonderful holiday season. Ride safe.