Category Archives: Safety Strategies

Summer Heat!

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Ultimately, the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers is their own responsibility. Nothing presented in the column supersedes, negates or relieves a motorcyclist and/or passenger from assumption of personal responsibility for their actions and safety.

It’s that time of year again. Becky and I rode back yesterday from the Riding Into History vintage bike gathering in St Augustine. On the way home, the ambient temperature readout on Becky’s new VFR1200FD told her it hit 95 degrees as we rode through the Ocala forest. Our trip home was 4 hours in the Florida heat.

Every year starting about this time and for the next 4-5 months, all of us in Flatistan (central and south Florida) face this same challenge…the heat.

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Windchill – It’s Not Just For Winter

Doug Westly | Safety Editor

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Ultimately, the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers is their own responsibility. Nothing presented in the column supersedes, negates or relieves a motorcyclist and/or passenger from assumption of personal responsibility for their actions and safety.

Yes, winter is over, unless you’re on tour in Australia or
New Zealand. So why do you need to think about windchill?
Windchill is not just for winter. It can occur in (just about) any
climate, under different weather conditions.

There are lots of definitions for windchill. For our purposes,
let’s just call it the perceived decrease in temperature
felt by the body as a result of airflow across exposed skin (although
some measurements also use a clothed body).

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The 10 Golden Rules (More or Less)

By Doug Westly | Safety Editor

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Ultimately, the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers is their own responsibility. Nothing presented in the column supersedes, negates or relieves a motorcyclist and/or passenger from assumption of personal responsibility for their actions and safety.

Continue reading The 10 Golden Rules (More or Less)

Just Say No!

Doug Westly | Safety Editor

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Ultimately, the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers is their own responsibility. Nothing presented in the column supersedes, negates or relieves a motorcyclist and/or passenger from assumption of personal responsibility for their actions and safety.

On a recent, bright, sunny Sunday morning, Becky and I met up with a group of riders for a morning breakfast ride. We were looking forward to meeting with a couple of our friends, and have a pleasant ride to a morning meal spot.

We were the first ones at the meet-up location, and as we waited the bikes started rolling in. The ride planner had told us to expect about 8 bikes or so. When the number went past 10, I started to take note of who was showing up. We recognized about half of them, and the other half were complete unknowns. This group rode higher performance sport bikes. I saw one or two with one-piece race suits but the other riders wore way less protection. Not the ATGATT (All The Gear All The Time) philosophy you would expect from riders of these motorcycles. While it is not necessary to adhere to ATGATT, it gave me pause to evaluate the group’s riding mentality.

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Winter Riding

Doug Westly | Safety EditorIMPORTANT NOTICE: Ultimately, the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers is their own responsibility. Nothing presented in the column supersedes, negates or relieves a motorcyclist and/or passenger from assumption of personal responsibility for their actions and safety.

Doug Westly | Safety Editor

“Wait a minute,” you’re thinking! How is it that a guy in Florida is going to talk to the rest of us about winter riding? Well, I do have some bona fides:

I lived in Montana for 2 ½ years, riding there all year, at least when the roads allowed. I commuted on my bike for 5 years, year round, in Washington, DC. If there wasn’t ice on the roads, I rode to and from work, 50+ miles each way, every day. I lived in Alaska for two years and managed at least 6 months of riding up there on my 1980 CB750F. Oh, and in the middle of Dec 2013 I was up at Big Bear Lake, CA, above 7,000 feet, riding past the open ski resorts. We did have to be careful in the hairpin turns, as the ones in the shadows still had ice on them! So I do know a little bit about riding when it is cold. I’ve been on two wheels at 5 degrees F (that’s before the wind chill is factored in…). Anyway, bona fides established. Let’s talk cold weather riding!

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ABS

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Ultimately, the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers is their own responsibility. Nothing presented in the column supersedes, negates or relieves a motorcyclist and/or passenger from assumption of personal responsibility for their actions and safety.

Doug Westly | Safety Editor

absJust last month I had a discussion with my nephew, who is looking to get back into motorcycling after a layoff of a couple of years from the sport. He visited us while we were at the track, getting in some laps for the day. After discussing potential bike options (he is a very experienced motorcyclist), he startled me with “So, do you think ABS is worth it?” To say I was stunned was an understatement. As a rider with probably 20 years under his belt, I had just assumed he would understand the safety factor that ABS brings to our sport. In retrospect, you know what they say about assumptions. Anyway, we had a long discussion about ABS and in the end, he was a convert.

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