Snowmobile Repair Work You Can Do Yourself

snowmobile repair work that you can DIY makes you feel like this guy

Snowmobile Repair: Keep Your Sled in Good Condition Without the Mechanic Bills

 

Not every tiny setback with your snowmobile should have you running for the phone to call your local repair shop. In fact, in the middle of winter, you have to expect that your local shop is going to have a sizable backlog of snowmobile repair work on deck. So don’t let those long wait times deter you from taking care of your sled. In the long run, maintaining your snowmobile is going to take much less time, money and effort than repairing it will.

So before you let your sled break down, take a look at this list of snowmobile repair work that you can do for yourself at home.

 

Snowmobile repair work shouldn't keep you off the trails

 

Be Prepared to Take on Snowmobile Repair Work at Home

 

Before you get the toolbox out and have to deal with a pool of oil seeping across the garage, make sure you have the right knowledge for the job! Don’t start the work without your snowmobile’s correct repair manual. It’s going to tell you everything you need to know about making adjustments and handling regular maintenance or full-on repairs.

Also, when in doubt, check out YouTube! It’s a guarantee that you’re not the first person to experience whatever problem your sled has. It’s also a pretty safe bet that someone has taken the time to record themselves making that same snowmobile repair, or adjustment, and has uploaded their tutorial to YouTube. No matter how handy a person you are, it’s always good to have some reassurance that you’re making the right moves.

 

Before embarking on snowmobile repair work, so you can hit the trails like this guy, read through your manual.

 

Fluid Levels are Important

 

One of the most obvious things to do at home is the same thing you do with your car. Maintain those fluid levels. Regularly change your snowmobile’s oil according to the manufacturer guidelines. This is going to keep your sled happy and running healthy all season long. It will also minimize any snowmobile repair work you will need to tackle down the line.

You need to think about your chaincase oil, too. This also needs to be changed in with certain frequency and is every bit as important as your engine oil. Keep your drive train happy and healthy for a long time by following those helpful manufacturer guidelines.

Again, don’t go in blind if you don’t know what you’re doing! Check out trusted resources like this great tutorial on oil changes from snowmobile.com.

 

Keep on the trails like this guy and make sure your snowmobile repair work is minimized through regular maintenance

 

Adjust the Chain Tension

 

If you’re thinking about your chaincase oil, it’s probably a good idea to think about your chain tension as well. A loose chain is going to skip and possibly even grind on your sprockets. This can cause damage which is going to leave you in need of those professional snowmobile repairs.

Get Greasy!

 

Grease is the lifeblood of your snowmobile. Get some fresh grease in all the spots that need it: rear and front suspension, the steering components, and the drivetrain are all going to need it at certain intervals. Make sure to take a look around to see what it needs.

 

Snowmobile repair work can be done with basic tools like these wrenches.

 

Perform Regular Snowmobile Maintenance

 

Certain parts of your sled are going to wear down over time, like your bolts and fasteners. You also need to think about your clutches. Make sure to take regular looks at all of these components. Your clutches need to be cleaned periodically, and sometimes even rebuilt, but you’ll never know if you’re not keeping with a schedule. This might sound like a lot of work, but you’ll be breathing a sigh of relief when you don’t have to face those bills from the snowmobile repair shop.

 

Keep it Clean!

 

This might sound like a no-brainer, but we’ve all got that friend. The person with a sled that’s always covered in salt and mud and whatever else they’re picking up. While they might be going for that “battle-scarred” look, it’s not going to look as cool when their sled turns into a pile of corroded rust. You wouldn’t let your car go all winter without a trip to the car wash, so don’t submit your sled to that kind of torture!

 

Make an Inspection Schedule for Your Snowmobile

 

Some things don’t have specific end dates. Your hyfax and carbides are vital to the performance of your sled, but you can’t just say they need to be replaced every X amount of miles. Make a schedule for yourself to routinely check out the health of your hyfax and carbides.

Inspect your lights as well. Headlights and tail lights might not be something we typically think of as needing repairs, but it’s something your snowmobile needs in order to be safe. You don’t want to be riding home at sunset and find out that one or both of your headlights are out.

 

Is your snowmobile in need of repairs or are you taking care of things at home so you can ride like this guy?

 

Lots of Snowmobile Repair Work Can Be Done By You

 

With the right knowledge, there’s no need to take your snowmobile into the shop for professional hands (and professional bills) for every little thing. Not to mention the season is only so long, and you want your sled to spend as much time on the trails, and at as many snowmobiling events, as possible.

Some repairs and maintenance are easy enough to do at home. Save yourself some cash this season and take matters into your own hands!

How Does Snowmobile Drag Racing on Asphalt Work?

icy highway where snowmobile drag racing might take place in the warmer months

Snowmobile Drag Racing on Asphalt Ensures that Sleds Don’t Have to Get Locked Away During the Summer 

 

Allow me to do my best Jay Leno impression… *AHEM* “So, uh… snowmobile drag racing… Have you seen this, have you heard about this? Snowmobile drag racing. Makes me think, maybe these people just need to buy a motorcycle.”

Taking your sled onto the asphalt for snowmobile drag racing is a trend that is gaining a lot of popularity across the country. So much so that you can find modified parts specifically for getting your snowmobile onto the drag strip. And when you hear that drag racing sleds can get up to 200 mph it’s easy to see why people like it so much.

We all know snowmobile riders have a need for speed. So it’s no wonder that people have been modifying their sleds so they can keep them running all year long, including snowmobile drag racing when snow isn’t required.

No more waiting for winter, it’s time to get to the strip!

 

these snowmobilers are racing on a winter track, but they also enjoy snowmobile drag racing on the asphalt

 

How Does Snowmobile Drag Racing Work?

 

You can just take your unmodified snowmobile and put it on the track and rip the throttle. You can also take your car and drive it into a lake. Neither one is particularly advisable. And I think we can all see how that might go a little haywire.

So what do you need to do to get your sled ready for the switch from snow to blacktop?

Well, it all starts with a little modification.

 

Snowmobile Drag Racing Mods

 

Tracks

 

The first thing you need to think about is your tracks. Asphalt tracks come in 15” tracks and 10 ⅝”, and while the smaller tracks are going to give you more speed, they require more extensive modification of your snowmobile if you’re planning on drag racing.

If this is a project you’re willing to put the time and money into, and if you are thinking about dedicating a specific sled to the asphalt, you can go with the smaller tracks.

On the other hand, if this is something you’re trying for the first time, the inexpensive route is always the best one. See how you like snowmobile drag racing as a sport in general, then think about making those bigger upgrades in the future.

The biggest difference between asphalt and snow tracks is how tight you’re going to make it. The asphalt track needs to be TIGHT. Honestly, there’s no such thing as “too tight” when you’re talking about asphalt tracks.

At high speeds, your track is going to balloon out, and if it is too loose, it’s going to start smacking the tunnel’s underside. This can happen when braking as well.

 

Rear Suspension

 

Your modifications to the rear suspension are going to be three-fold. The first step is to remove the sliders because they aren’t used in asphalt racing. Easy-peasy.

The next part is adding some wheels to prevent your rails from touching the track. There can be a lot of variability in how many wheels you need to add. It can depend on the model and track. Ultimately, you just don’t want your track touching anything when turning around the skid.

The last step is to limit your suspension by strapping it down. This is going to do a couple of important things for your snowmobile drag racing. It’s going to prevent your front end from coming up on acceleration.  It’s also going to make all of your accelerating momentum push you forward rather than up, thus increasing your ability to get moving.

 

this strip of asphalt would be excellent for snowmobile drag racing

 

Front Suspension and Skis

 

Are you ready for a little break from all the hard work? After-market skis are generally bolt-in for your snowmobile. No problems there.

Your front suspension is going to be modified just like your rear suspension. Just get that track to sit as flat as you can get it on the ground. Also, take some time to check your ski alignment. You want it pretty straight, and to be aligned parallel with the track. This is going to keep you moving straight as you’re taking off the line.

The NHRA, which actually governs snowmobile drag racing as well, requires snowmobile dragsters to have one inch of suspension travel.

 

Clutch and Gearing

 

Here’s where modifying your snowmobile takes a little more thinking. There is no real guideline for how you should adjust your clutch and gearing – it’s all pretty much based on what you’re comfortable with and how you feel your sled will run best.

One thing we can tell you is this: it’s not top performance that wins the race, it’s consistency.

 

Safety

 

This is always going to be your most important factor in racing, or just riding your snowmobile. If you don’t have a safety tether on your snowmobile, you’re definitely going to want to install one.

Always check on your brakes and brake pads. We’ve spent all this time thinking about going fast, so now we also need to think about what happens when the race is over.

If your sled is modified, be sure that you are in compliance with NHRA regulations. If your machine is going to be able to do a run in under 10 seconds, you’re also going to need a professional license. Beating 10 seconds might sound laughable, but it’s completely possible with the right sled and mods.

 

snowmobile drag racing on asphalt versus a motorcyclist

 

Time to Get your Snowmobile Drag Racing on the Asphalt

 

Once you’ve made the necessary mods, you can find tracks all over the country. Prepping your snowmobile for asphalt tracks can be a really fun project, and even more fun once you’re racing.

No longer are the snowmobilers quarantined to only having fun in the winter time! Get your Ski-Doo or Polaris into the garage and start modifying it this spring.

That way you can be out there in the summer heat making your opponent sweat extra hard!

What Do Motorcycle Video Games Get Wrong About Riders?

motorcycle video games aren't like this real life rider

Why Motorcycle Video Games Can’t Hold a Candle to the Real Deal

Every kid who owns an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation probably has a motorcycle video game. Even the older folks who remember spending summer afternoons in the arcades remember the Sega Manx TT Super Bike game. Leaning in and out of those curved tracks holds a special place in many peoples’ hearts.

But there’s nothing like actually swinging your leg over a bike and taking off down the highway. Motorcycle video games aren’t like the real deal. 

 

you cannot replicate riding a bike like this one when you're playing a motorcycle video game

 

A big reason why there’s nothing quite like it is that motorcycle video games still haven’t gotten it right. As far as technology and game developers’ ideas have come, they still can’t quite get the exact feeling for riding a real-life bike. So what are motorcycle video games and virtual reality missing when it comes to the real-time thrill of hitting the open road on two wheels?

Where Grand Theft Auto Falls Short as a Motorcycle Video Game

Just like with your favorite movies and tv shows, it’s hard to get all of the details right in a motorcycle video game. One reason why this happens is to make creating content a little bit easier by skipping some of the finer details. For example, when a lawyer watches Law and Order, they’re going to notice those details. The same can be said when a real gearhead plays a motorcycle video game. There are some parts of the experience that just don’t translate perfectly.

 

Would you rather be this rider in real life or play a motorcycle video game?

 

Countersteering

 

One of the more nuanced parts of riding is the concept of countersteering. For the non-riders out there, countersteering is how a rider turns their bike at higher speeds. It is the process of using your body weight to lean and steer the bike rather than turning your handlebars as you would at low speeds in order to change direction.

This is a more sophisticated use of physics and body language than many motorcycle video games are able to incorporate into their controls. It makes sense that this is something often left out.

Also, we need to consider that the majority of people in the world are not riders. Their perspective on steering comes from steering a car. The idea of countersteering just seems counterintuitive to most people. So, unfortunately, one of the subtle challenges and rewards of riding a bike rather than driving are left out of motorcycle video games.

For anyone unfamiliar with the concept, here’s a really simple youtube video that perfectly explains it.

 

Riders like this guy need to keep their heads straight and that nuance is left out of motorcycle video games

 

Keeping Your Head Straight

 

In addition to countersteering, another thing that people tend to notice about motorcycle video games is how the camera shifts when your character leans into a turn. You will always see the camera angle lean sideways into the turn along with the bike, which is something you would never do in real life.

Motorcycle video games seem to think that you’re just sitting stiff as a board on top of your bike. But what they aren’t taking into account is that this would completely throw off your balance. If your whole body is off-center, it’s really going to throw off your balance. When riding a real bike, you always keep your head pointing straight up to keep your sense of balance and direction.

 

when you're riding a bike like this racer, you have to consider many factors that motorcycle video games do not account for

 

Wheelies and Stoppies

 

This is one of the flashier parts of riding a bike, and it’s no wonder that most motorcycle video games that feature your favorite two-wheeled monster want to include it. Again, this is another thing that may seem so simple, but it’s actually really complex. There are so many small movements and corrections that your body and bike need to perform to make these moves work.

It’s definitely not as simple as just tilting your joystick back or holding your front brake in the game. But unless they make a game console you can straddle at home, it’s probably hard to make the concept come to life.

 

Riders like this guy need to be aware of actions that can lead to accidents, and this is not taken seriously in motorcycle video games

 

Accidents

 

Motorcycle accidents are no laughing matter, but it looks pretty ridiculous when you see the ragdoll motorcycle video game characters go spilling over their handlebars. Video games seem to believe that any minor bump or hop is going to send you 10 feet straight up in the air. In reality, a rider knows that they’ve got a much better grip on their bike.

You’re not going to go spilling into a ditch just from driving over a pebble. I’m not sure where the game developers got this one from, but it seems like they could’ve saved some time.

 

 

From PC to 600cc

 

In the days of yesteryear, it seems like movies like Easy Rider and Cool Hand Luke are the kinds of things that made kids want to get their motorcycle license. These days, that outlaw motorcycle image has begun to fade away from the public eye.

But what’s replacing the Cool Hand Luke’s of yesterday are the motorcycle video games of today. Virtual reality may not have hit the nail perfectly on the head, but as technology continues to develop faster than you can blink, we’re getting closer to a realistic virtual ride every day. We’re excited to see where virtual reality motorcycle experiences will take would be riders in the future.

 

motorcycle video games cannot replicate the real deal of poppin' a wheelie like this guy is doing

 

Prescription Snowmobile Goggles: the Pros and Cons

Should you invest in prescription snowmobile goggles or not?

Should You Invest in a New Pair of Prescription Snowmobile Goggles, or Stick with Your Traditional Pair?

When you’re out riding your snowmobile, or even skiing or snowboarding this season, part of doing it safely is making sure your vision correction game is still on point.

If you don’t already know, prescription snowmobile goggles are available to help the vision impaired riders out there who want an all in one solution on the trails. Now if you haven’t used prescription goggles in the past, you’ve probably got some questions and concerns. So before you go out to buy a set of prescription goggles, let’s talk about some of the benefits and also the drawbacks.

 

snowboarder using prescription goggles while shredding powder

 

Reasons to Stick to Your Non-Prescription Snowmobile Goggles

We won’t pretend that prescription snowmobile goggle lenses or goggle inserts are for everybody. First off, let’s talk about some of the reasons people don’t like prescription goggles.

 

snowmobile rider wearing a pair of prescription snowmobile goggles on a trail

 

Prescription Snowmobile Goggles Can Be Costly

 

Cost is by far the most obvious barrier to buying a set of prescription snowmobile goggles. There’s already such a high cost associated with riding –  from maintaining your snowmobile to getting the right gear to travel expenses to snowmobiling events – that you might not want to deal with something that could be considered superfluous.

Not everybody has the extra cash to buy a new pair of prescription snowmobile goggles in addition to all of the other expenses that come with the sport. In fact, this especially rings true when you’ve already got a pair of glasses or contact lenses that you use every day to correct your vision.

It might not be something you can fit into your budget. It also might not be something you want to fit into your budget. That is totally legitimate!

 

Prescription Snowmobile Goggles Don’t Fit Your Style

 

This might sound like a silly reason to some people, but at the end of the day, we get it. Some people just don’t like how prescription goggles look. Or maybe you just like the look of the goggles you already have. Perhaps you have some sentimental attachment to them. All of these are valid reasons to stick with the ones you have that work for your needs.

When it’s you and your wits out there in the elements, battling the cold and the tough terrain, you might end up feeling like you’ve got a lucky pair of goggles.

Whatever the reason may be, it’s yours. Check out one man’s solution to not wanting to buy a set of prescription goggles.

 

Prescription Snowmobile Goggles Create More Headaches Than They’re Worth

 

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution. Just wear your contacts and don’t worry about investing in prescription snowmobile goggles. When you’re wearing your contacts you don’t need to worry about being uncomfortable. You’re used to them and happy with how your current goggles fit and protect your eyes.

When people ask the question, “Should I get prescription glasses?”, more often than not you’re going to see a lot of people advocating for just wearing a pair of contacts.

 

Two snowmobile riders using regular goggles as opposed to prescription snowmobile goggles

 

Reasons to Make the Switch to Prescription Snowmobile Goggles

For as many people as there are out there who think contacts are the best solution, there are just as many people who find using contact lenses irritating. Some people have naturally dry eyes, and some people just don’t like touching their eyes! These are also valid reasons to want to try out prescription snowmobile lenses, so let’s see what people have to say in favor of making the switch.

 

Prescription Snowmobile Goggles Offer Comfort

 

One of the biggest reasons people invest in prescription snowmobile goggles is that regular goggles simply are not designed to have your glasses fit under them comfortably.

If you saw the youtube video we linked above, you know that you can customize your goggles. That being said, if you have a really nice pair of goggles, you probably don’t want to go cutting into them.

You might not do it right, and in the end, your glasses are still prone to moving and slipping around inside your goggles. This can just be more trouble than it’s worth.

 

snowmobile rider who isn't using prescription snowmobile goggles

 

Prescription Snowmobile Goggles are Designed for Riders

 

In addition to being made to fit perfectly, prescription snowmobile goggles are also designed specifically for the conditions you’re going to be riding in. We all know that going from our cozy spot by the fire out into the elements is going to make your glasses fog up.

This happens because of the difference in temperature from your warm skin and the cold lenses. The closer your glasses are to your face, the more they’re going to fog up. And if your glasses are pressed tightly to your face by your goggles, it’s going to happen more frequently. And we don’t need to tell you why riding blind, or impaired, is a bad idea!

 

snowboarded kneeling at the top of a lift

 

Save the Wear and Tear on your Every Day Goggles

 

We all know that spills and accidents happen to even the most experienced rider. But if you’re twenty miles from home and you break your glasses, you’re going to be up a creek with a paddle. You wouldn’t wear your good glasses to play basketball, so why risk them when you’re out riding the trails?

Prescription snowmobile lenses are made to withstand the rough and tough winter rides. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has broken a pair of glasses doing far less than going out for an all-day run with friends and family. Don’t be that person with the duct tape on your glasses bc you took a spill and they broke under your goggles.

 

guy riding a snowmobile wearing prescription snowmobile goggles

So What’s The Verdict on Prescription Snowmobile Goggles?

 

Well, there are plenty of reasons to sway you one way or the other on this debate. Cost, comfort, and style are just the tip of the iceberg. But if you have the means, it’s probably worth checking out if prescription snowmobile goggles are right for you. For plenty of people who have made the switch, it’s been a revolution in the way they ride!

Everything You Need to Know About General Motorcycle Insurance

general motorcycle insurance is important for all riders like this person cruising at sunset

Keys, Wallet, Helmet, and General Motorcycle Insurance

So you’ve got your new bike and you’re itching to get it out on the open road. You’ve got your gloves, your helmet, a nice pair of boots, and chaps to match. You’ve got everything you need to keep your ride safe, or so you think. But do you have general motorcycle insurance?

 

rider in flip flops who clearly needs general motorcycle insurance at minimum because this is not at all safe

 

Why Do I Need General Motorcycle Insurance?

Well, the first reason is that 47 states require you to have motorcycle insurance. Having insurance for your motorcycle means not only protecting your bike, but protecting yourself, and everyone else you share the road with.

Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require general motorcycle insurance, it’s better to have it than to be wishing you did!

Insurance is also going to protect your home and your assets if you’re at fault in an accident. Insurance can help pay for bodily injuries and any associated medical bills. Insurance is also going to cover any property damages you might be at fault for.

Whether you’ve damaged someone’s car, their house, or property in some way – or even a telephone pole – having insurance will keep you protected and out of the poor house.

 

without general motorcycle insurance you could be liable for huge medical bills if you break your leg like the person here did

 

How Much is General Motorcycle Insurance Going to Cost Me?

Costs for general motorcycle insurance vary by state and the type of motorcycle you own, but it’s probably less expensive than you think.

According to an article on Value Penguin, the average cost of motorcycle insurance in the US is only $519 annually. Now, of course, there are a lot of factors that can make this average fluctuate, for instance:

  • Value: The higher the value of your bike, the higher it’s going to cost to insure. This includes factors like custom parts that can be difficult or costly to replace.
  • Safety: The more safety features your bike has, the lower your rate is going to be.
  • Crash Rate: Some styles of bikes are just statistically involved in more crashes (yep, we’re looking at you sport bikes), and are going to cost you more to insure.
  • Theft Rate: We all love our flashy bikes, but they’re also more likely to be stolen. If an insurance company is more likely to pay out for a comprehensive claim, you can bet it’s going to cost a few more dollars.

 

if you have a flashy bike that is known for high theft, like this Suzuki, you may have to pay more for general motorcycle insurance

 

Some Other Factors To Consider Regarding General Motorcycle Insurance

Other than the type of bike you’re riding, another factor to consider is motorcycle riders themselves.

The age of a rider is something a motorcycle insurance company will consider when offering you a quote. The older a rider is and the more experience they have will certainly yield a lower price. Not to mention having a clean riding (and driving) record. So if you want to see those motorcycle insurance rates go down, make sure you’re always riding safely.

Another way to make your general motorcycle insurance rates lower is by insuring more than just your bike. Include a second bike on your insurance policy, or maybe a car, or your house. There are even some companies that will cover your life insurance policy as well as your general motorcycle insurance. A multi-policy insurance package will always save you money and will most likely include bundle discounts.

 

stuffed doll of kermit the frog wishing he had general motorcycle insurance before his accident

 

What is Your Motorcycle Insurance Going to Cover?

So we’ve already discussed that your motorcycle insurance is going to cover medical bills and property damage, but what else can you get coverage for?

  • Accessory coverage is going to cover the cost of damages to accessories on your bike. That includes modifications, custom paint jobs, safety equipment (like your chaps or helmet) wheels, and lots of other things.
  • Roadside Assistance will keep you from paying an arm and a leg for towing, minor repairs, or even gas delivery if you break down while you’re out riding.
  • Rental Coverage is going to pay for your motorcycle rental should yours need to be taken in for repairs.
  • Trailer Coverage will protect the trailer that you use to transport your bike.
  • Trip Interruption will cover the cost of food and lodging if you break down away from home. “Away from home” can vary in distance depending on which insurance company you use, so make sure you talk to your agent to find out the details.

 

this city rider knows that general motorcycle insurance is a must have even though her state doesn't require it

 

Where Do I Sign Up for General Motorcycle Insurance?

So we covered all of the reasons why you need general motorcycle insurance. Now the next step is finding the best policy for you.

The best policy is going to mean different things for different riders. That having been said, it doesn’t mean you need to talk to every Tom, Dick, and Harry to find out which policy is right for you.

 

female motorcycle rider who made sure to find the best general motorcycle insurance policy for her needs

 

Check out this list from The Balance on the best motorcycle insurance to choose from in 2019. There is a category for almost every type of rider!

Also, check out this article from Value Penguin with quick links to get motorcycle insurance quotes from some of the top insurance companies.

So shop around, get the best policy, and remember, when you need tips, be sure to check out  TMS Parts’ awesome blog for additional tips, tricks, and inspiration.

10 Important Motorcycle Tips for Winter Riders

winter riders like this gentleman need to understand the safest ways to enjoy their bike

Top 10 Safety Tips for Winter Riders

Sometimes, your motorcycle is too much to ignore. We’re looking at you winter riders!

For some people, no matter the season, sunny or not, you just have to jump on that bike and ride! But riding in the winter is a bit trickier from the other seasons.

Suddenly, winter hits. Slow speeds, heavy set mud, and deep snow can make the motor work much harder than it might during the summer. There is also the threat of cold, slushy water crashing around your bike components and corrosive salts that can spread rust quicker than you can blink.

This winter, let us supply you with the tools and helpful tips to keep you, winter rider, and your bike in top shape.

 

a snowy road like this one might be great for a snowmobile, but not a winter rider on a bike

 

10 Ways to Keep Winter Riders Safe on the Roads

 

1 – Make Sure You Can Ride this Winter

 

Before you even begin to start swinging on your winter gear, ask yourself one question. Is riding during the winter even legal where you live or where you want to ride?

Check with local authorities about any and all laws that could keep you off the road this winter. Some states require winter traction tires that are installed within a specific set of dates. Some won’t allow you on the road at all during winter, and some won’t have any specified winter riding regulations at all. It’s best to check before you make travel plans.

 

2 – Wear the Right Motorcycle Gear for Winter

 

Riding comfortably is a smart move for any winter rider. However, wearing layers (i.e. full leg and full sleeve) is key. While riding, we sweat, even in the winter time, and having base layers can help save you from having an uncomfortable ride.

Base layers allow the skin to breathe, even with other layers over them. These pieces of gear allow the sweat to evaporate instead of turning to cold perspiration on the body. When it comes to outerwear, you’re going to want something that’s breathable and waterproof. Pair it with gloves that give you the proper grip, strong control, and safer mobility for steering.

And along with layering, it’s incredibly important that you add heated motorcycle gear and grips to your riding wardrobe to avoid frostbite when the temperature drops. There are warmer winter days, depending on where you live, but if you are in a classic winter climate – snow or no snow – you really need to invest in heated gear. Frostbite is not worth the risk.

 

3 – The Winter Rider’s Right Type of Helmet

 

We all know the drill. To ride safely, you need a helmet.

For the winter season, you want to consider helmets specifically made to combat colder elements. You want to look for a tightly-sealed helmet with a fog-free face shield to keep your vision clear from the outside temperatures. A bright reflector is another smart investment in your winter gear. This prevents any mist or condensation from collecting under your visor. Anything blocking your vision needs to be changed to be able to see clearly on some icy roads.

 

4 – Your Motorcycle is Properly Prepped and Prepared

 

Here’s the thing: motorcycles aren’t necessarily made for the winter months. This means you need to continuously make sure it’s running in tip-top shape.

Start by checking on the coolant that’s running in your radiator. Is there a proper amount of coolant? Is there enough Antifreeze to keep the bike going? What the lowest temperature the engine on your bike can stand? Can the electrical system of your bike handle the cold?

These are all things you need to ask yourself before you adventure out into the chill.

 

winter riders bikes can become covered in snow during a pit stop like these bikes are

 

5 – Keep an Eye on Your Tires

 

Remember, cold weather = cold tires. Now that should be obvious. In the winter, it’s vital to keep this in mind. When your tires get cold, it gives the bike limited traction. Riding does help increase heat in the tires, but every stop you make can quickly have them cooling down as well. When they start to cool down, remember to take it slow. Make sure you have adequate tread on your tires for winter riding, that way when are forced to slow down on the bike you still have all the control.

Another helpful tip; check your tire pressure before every ride. Extreme drops in temperature affect the tire pressure.

And we have a helpful blog you should read that talks about when to replace your motorcycle tires.

 

6 – Keep Your Eyes on the Road

 

Snow means salt, plow trucks, and black ice on the roads, so keep your eyes peeled! Salt that’s laid down for the ice can destroy the metal on your bike and ruin the traction. Avoid any crystalized appearances on the road. Motorcycles aren’t designed for winter riding, so they can quickly succumb to rust if you don’t keep your bike clean. Plow trucks can destroy roads, creating new cracks and potholes. And as for black ice? Always avoid it at all cost.

 

7 – Know when it’s Time to Go Home

 

The worst thing you can possibly do is to drive your bike through a snowstorm.

A few flurries are one thing, but being caught in a snowstorm is another. When the snow starts coming down harder, visibility reduces drastically to almost nothing. It will be harder to see the road in front of you and even harder for others to see you down the lane.

When you see that the snow has started coming down, it’s time to turn your bike around and head back home and save your ride for another day.

 

8 – Winter Riders Need to See and be Seen

 

Speaking of visibility, whether the weather gets a little rougher or the sun starts to set, make sure you’re still seen. Having on a reflector vest can help make sure that cars see you coming. Sometimes it’s not the road you have to watch out for, it’s the people around you driving that you need to keep an eye on.

 

winter riders enjoy scenery that you won't find in the summer months, but riding in the snow is something you shouldn't do

 

9 – Slow it Down

 

Part of the fun of a motorcycle is the speed; we get that. But when you’re handling ice, it’s a bit of a different story and not a combo worth trying.

Take it easy on the road.

Speed and black ice don’t mix; regardless of the road conditions, it’s crucial that you drive safely to avoid getting hurt or hurting someone else. That is something we want to avoid at all costs.

 

10 – Check the Weather Before you Travel

 

The easiest, safest thing you can do for yourself is to check that weather before you head out the door. Keep an eye on the weather patterns before you even step outside. It will save yourself a headache and also the chance of ruining your plans.

By keeping ahead of the weather and being smart about it, that guarantees a great ride.

 

a motorcycle outside in the snow, like this one, can strand a winter rider

 

Bring on Winter Riders!

 

Sometimes you can’t avoid the call of your machine, and we get you, winter rider.

Winter doesn’t stop that drive and why should it? We want you to enjoy that beast whenever and wherever you want to travel. Snow won’t stop you and neither will we.

Just be safe, be smart, and go for it!

 

Amazing Motorcycle Gifts for the Rider in Your Life

riders don't have to be challenging when you are shopping for motorcycle gifts like these ones

Finding the Perfect Motorcycle Gifts this Holiday Season

We get it. Finding the perfect motorcycle gifts for the rider in your life can be a very stressful endeavor. You have to find the right gift, not just any old stocking stuffer, like socks or soap. And finding one for the extreme motorcycle enthusiast in your life can present even more of a challenge.

What do you get them?!

So… that leaves you considering where to get it, how to get it, and how much it’ll cost! Ack! The dreaded price tags on the things you want!

Well, we are here to help take the guesswork out of motorcycle gifts. We can make things a bit easier for you when shopping for that perfect gift for that certain someone. Here we will share some of our favorite gift ideas for the rider in your life.

 

Motorcycle Gifts Can Vary Greatly

 

Motorcycle gifts aren’t just gear or tech. Of course, those are two very popular categories, but keep in mind that there are other things that the rider in your life needs, even if they don’t realize it. So, let’s get started with some gifts we think will be a big hit no matter the occasion.

 

Adventure Medical Kits Survive Outdoors Longer Origin Survival Kit

 

It’s never a bad thing to be prepared in case an emergency strikes. Give an awesome medical kit for outdoor survival to the adventuring motorcyclist in your life. Make sure that they have everything they could possibly need (or want) from a survival kit at their disposal. You know, just in case.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Adventure Medical Kits Survive Outdoors Longer Origin Survival Kit

 

Features include:

  • Compact waterproof case
  • Flip-up signal mirror
  • Liquid compass
  • 10-lumen LED lights
  • 100-decibel rescue whistle
  • Fire striker and four pieces of Tinder-Quik fire starter
  • Folding knife
  • 3sq.Ft. aluminum foil
  • 6ft. Stainless steel wire
  • 10ft. Nylon braided cord
  • One sewing needle and three safety pins
  • Fishing line and four fishing hooks
  • Two snap swivels
  • Two split shot lead pellets
  • And instructions with over 62 survival techniques and strategies from Buck Tilton

 

SENA Attachable Boom Microphone for 20S Communication System

 

Wouldn’t it be great to communicate hands-free during your ride? With an attachable boom microphone from SENA, you can do just this… safely!

This is one of those tech motorcycle gifts that is no hassle at all! The microphone easily attaches to the rider’s helmet and keeps communication clear.

SENA even offers a great video that shows you little tips and tricks to make sure that it stays secure inside the helmet at all times.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: SENA Attachable Boom Microphone for 20S Communication System

Features include:

  • Bluetooth capability
  • Best audio quality with foam protection
  • A leading brand that offers and guarantees quality products

 

Raptor ll Interchangeable Goggles

 

The frames in the Raptor II interchangeable goggles are shatter resistant and offer a bold design that complements the wearer. The goggles have two removable foam pieces to guarantee a secure and comfortable fit.

While on the road your eyes still need protection from the elements. Why not do it in style?

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Raptor ll Interchangeable Goggles

 

Features include:

  • Sculpted frames made of grilamid TR90
  • Clear anti-fog lenses that provide 100% UVA/UVB protection
  • Comes with carrying pouch and microfiber cleaning cloth
  • A removable/adjustable strap included
  • Accepts prescription lenses (not included)

 

MSR Malcolm Autobiography

 

For any true motorcyclist and off-road enthusiast, the autobiography of Malcolm Smith is a gift like no other.

Malcolm Smith is the famous American off-road racer. He gained fame for his accomplishments in the Baja 1000 and won gold medals in the International Six day Euro competition.

To many fans, he made his name as the star of the 1970’s movie On Any Sunday, a movie that sparked a love for motorcycles and off-road adventures in America.  

Add this to the growing collection of motorcycle memorabilia, and excellent autobiographical reads. 

 

Motorcycle Gifts: MSR Malcolm Autobiography

 

Features include:

  • An oversized, hardcover, coffee table book
  • Written with personal storytelling, rich details and many never before seen photos from Malcolm’s personal archive
  • Details over his early years, first bikes, and races in the US, Baja, Europe, and Asia. Including excerpts from his family life. All told by the world’s most legendary motorcycle and off-road racers.

 

Fly Racing Elite Insulated Water Bottle 23oz.

 

This is the next generation of a water bottle. It’s the most flexible one you can find out on the market and the only one that can guarantee a clear pure taste like no other.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Fly Racing Elite Insulated Water Bottle 23oz.

 

Features include:

  • The bottle is made with Purist tech that purifies the water before you have a sip offering you a healthier option.

 

Cortech Blitz Off-road Helmet Bag

 

Does the rider in your life have a place to stash their helmet? Is it secure? Can it offer protection? Protect the thing that protects the noggin!

This plush, synthetic fleece lined bag is the perfect gift to give on any occasion, or even just because. Gift them a carrying case for their vital piece of equipment in style.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Cortech Blitz Off-road Helmet Bag

 

Features include:

  • Heavy duty 600 Denier Carbolex
  • Full-length zipper for easy entry
  • Comfortable carrying handles
  • Fits most off-road and street helmets
  • 22 liters

 

Cortech GPS Bag with Mounting Bracket

 

Make things easier for your traveling motorcyclist with this GPS bag. Not only will it protect the device you’ve invested money in, but it offers a design that guarantees a snug fit no matter the GPS you have.

It has foam inserts that ensure the best fit possible for your device. And thanks to the sturdy adjustable mounting bracket that’s attached there’s no need to fear that it will get lost on the road.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Cortech GPS Bag with Mounting Bracket

 

Features include:

  • Dryer Tank bag
  • Map pocket in the design
  • Waterproof molded 195-gram jersey knit material for the outer shell
  • Easy access waterproof zippered main compartment with clear window for easy visibility
  • Water resistant audio ports allow the GPS to be hardwired to the motorcycle
  • Direct mount bracket will mount to most motorcycles

 

Bobster Eyewear Bugeye Goggles

 

Here are some sleek, stylish goggles that won’t break the bank. Try out these shatter resistant polycarbonate lenses that block out harmful UVA and UVB rays. These babies have adjustable straps to offer a comfortable fitted feel and look that rival other goggles. This eyewear is a “classic touring shapes that envokes a bygone era of motoring on the open highway”.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Bobster Eyewear Bugeye Goggles

 

Features include:  

  • Glare-free lenses for enhanced visibility
  • Vented black frames and adjustable straps
  • Ultra comfortable foam cushion strap
  • Open cell foam surrounding eye cups offering comfort, durability, and assists in thorough airflow

 

Bikemaster Brake Bleeder Vacuum Test Kit

 

A true motorcycle enthusiast will always want the best for their bike. They take pride in their machine and, for many, want to be a part of the whole process, start to finish. They aren’t just in it for the ride. Why not help them be a part of that?

This is the ideal kit for any person that wants to take a hands-on experience with their machine. This kit makes bleeding your brakes a snap and finding vacuum leaks easy as pie. It’s the perfect piece of equipment to add to any motorcyclist’s garage.

 

Motorcycle Gifts: Bikemaster Brake Bleeder Vacuum Test Kit

 

Features include:

  • All metal construction body, heavy duty pump
  • High-quality  gauge with reading to -1.o bar  (-30in/hG)
  • Extra long (23.75 in.) hoses and a myriad of adapters
  • Protective rubber gauge cover for durability and impact absorption
  • Multiple use tool for motorcycles, automotive, and marine applications

 

Nelson-Rigg Compact Rain Jacket

 

Help your rider prepare for unfortunate weather conditions. Rain can strike anywhere and anytime. Expect the unexpected!

Why not gift them with a compact rain jacket to keep them dry? It comes in two colors, a nice neutral dark color or a vibrant fluorescent yellow. The latter is to make sure other drivers know you’re sharing the road. 

 

 

Features include:

  • Packs into an integrated zippered pouch for convenient storage
  • 100% waterproof Tri-Max Nylon with heat taped seams
  • Waterproof zippers and material to keep water out
  • Lightweight and relaxed fit
  • 2 side zippered pockets and 2 inside stow away open pouches
  • Concealed hood with drawstrings
  • Adjustable drawcord waist for improved fit
  • 1-year warranty

Now You’ve Seen the Variety of Motorcycle Gifts for the Rider in Your Life

 

We know something caught your eye on that list; admit it. Hopefully, you’ve found just the gift you were looking for an upcoming celebration.  Save yourself the headache of running out to the stores and fighting over the leftover scraps on the shelves.

And maybe, just maybe, you found something that might be perfect just for you. Might be time to treat yourself a little as well!

 

Motorcycle gifts wrapped for the holidays

Form + Function: Motorcycle Jackets for Everyone

riders need motorcycle jackets that are both form and function

Motorcycle Jackets Should Protect You & Look Great

No matter the time of year, if you have a motorcycle, you should have a motorcycle jacket.  It’s literally a layer of extra protection; it’s the only thing between you and the road if an accident were to occur. Motorcycle jackets are made for riders if they end up taking on the rough tumble of the terrain.  Your jacket is your road armor. 

You want to feel secure in your jacket and you need to know that it’s going to take the beating if the chips fall.

Now security and safety are the most important, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with feeling confident by rockin’ some hot motorcycle jackets. You want to exude total confidence (as well as style) in your abilities as a rider on the winding road ahead.

motorcycle jackets are your armor on your bike so you can pop wheelies like this dude

So, all you need is the right jacket to protect you and keep you looking fly.

At TMS Parts, we have motorcycle jackets for the guys and the gals, and styles for every personality. We’ve even got a great selection of some of our favorite unisex jackets that flex as the seasons get hotter or colder. Everyone can look equally as sleek and fashionable in these protective, durable, and stylish motorcycle jackets.

Our Top Picks for Stylish and Protective Motorcycle Jackets

Spidi Sport S.R.L Net Force H2Out Motorcycle Jacket

Spidi Sport S.R.L Net Force H2Out Motorcycle Jacket

This jacket is made for the hardcore touring riders out there. It should be worn by the kind of person who has two places to call home: the one with a roof and an address, and the other behind the handlebars of a sweet bike.

It’s made for comfort and protection in both warm kinds of weather and in chilling temperatures. This is because this piece of beautifully constructed wear has the versatility of a step-in-clothing system. With this jacket, you can replace the liners, giving you the ability to have just one motorcycle jacket that’s perfect for any time of year.

Benefits include:

    • Two inner liners (one waterproof and breathable, one aluminized 200g insulating layer)
      • 3 layers that can be interchangeable or worn on their own
    • CE Force tech protectors
      • It’s among one of the first jackets compatible with CE level 2 inner back protector
  • EST collar adjusts; stretch panels in the shoulder and chest; groin straps; wide volume sleeve adjustments; and the vent and reflective areas all contribute to make this a high end touring jacket

Fly Racing Butane 3 Motorcycle Jacket

Fly Racing Butane 3 Motorcycle Jacket

Now, this is a motorcycle jacket that is tailored for safety, durability, and weather resistance – and it’s super affordable! It’s made up of HYDRAGuard, which is a durable, waterproof, and breathable membrane that can handle the test of time in the rain, sleet, or shine.

It has removable CE approved armor in shoulders and elbows with comfort pads in the back. Better yet, a fully removable liner and a poly fiber textile main shell for added protection are built into this design. Safety is a crucial part of riding a bike, but how good is safety if you can’t comfortably ride your bike and enjoy the adventure?

This is one of those motorcycle jackets that are able to give you an ideal balance of safety, comfort, and style.

Benefits include:

    • New zipper tabs make adjusting vents easy to handle even with gloves on
    • High visibility reflective piping and logos for added safety
    • Full length, adjustable, zippered side gussets allowing for a truly custom fit
    • 2 large shoulder intake vents and 2 large back exhaust vents help you keep cool
    • A removable full-sleeved, quilted liner with internal cargo pockets
    • 3 step adjustable upper and lower, sleeve, volume control, helps keep your armor in the right place
    • Zippered wrist cuff enclosure with security snap
    • Dual Velcro adjustable waist straps provide a custom fit
    • 2 zippered handwarmer pockets
    • 1 internal map pocket
  • 8 in. zipper connects to pants

Spidi Sports S.R.L Ace Leather Motorcycle Jacket

Spidi Sports S.R.L Ace Leather Motorcycle Jacket

This is a classic tailoring of a leather motorcycle jacket with a retro design and strong references to the cafe racer look. Take on the T-Birds and channel that inner motorhead in this beautifully crafted jacket.

It’s made up of 0.8mm Italian-made sheep leather, giving you a motorcycle jacket with superior comfort and style like no other. Wearing this jacket will say two things to your onlookers: your bike is one hell of a beast, and its rider conquers all rides.

Benefits include:

    • EN 1621-1 Certified multi-tech protection of the shoulders
    • En 1621-1 certified force tech on elbows
    • Pocket for warrior back protector EN 1621-1 certified
    • Removable 80g hollow fiber quilted lining
    • Stop clip for attaching to pants
    • 3 external pockets
  • Velcro adjusting

Spidi Sport S.R.L Netwin All Season Motorcycle Jacket

Spidi Sport S.R.L Netwin All Season Motorcycle Jacket

The Netwin motorcycle jacket provides multiple solutions for all of the weather conditions that Mother Nature sends your way. This jacket has a Step-in-Clothing System which is a multi-layered system providing the right liner for the right weather.

This is the first touring jacket complete with a detachable, CE certified, chest protector. It is styled with an Ergofit system that features a waistline adjustment, crotch strap, belt, and sleeve adjustment so this beauty will fit you like a glove.

Benefits include:

    • H2Out 100% waterproof, breathable garment
    • Internal mesh liner
    • Ce Biomechanic protectors
    • CHest protector and warrior protector included
    • Wide reflex areas
    • Adjustable neck fastening
  • Removable, stand-alone, inner jacket

Which One of These Motorcycle Jackets Do You Want to Rock?

Now comes the hard part – choosing from all of the awesome motorcycle jackets here.

Which one do you think is going to be the ideal piece of outerwear for you? What’s going to keep you safe, warm, and highlight the confidence you feel when sitting behind those handlebars and taking your bike out on another adventure?

Just because these months are starting to cool down doesn’t mean your bike has to. Find the motorcycle jacket that matches you and get those adventures started!

rider wearing a black leather motorcycle jacket in San Francisco

Looking to check out our whole selection? Head on over to TMS parts to peruse our large collection of motorcycle jackets.

When to Replace Your Motorcycle Tires

Three Signs it’s Time to Change the Tires on Your Motorcycle

Thinking it might be time to change the tires on your bike? Well, if you think it should be done, that’s probably the first sign it’s time to replace your motorcycle tires.

First and foremost, checking your motorcycle tires on a regular basis is the best practice for avoiding real (and quite possibly life-threatening) issues with your tires. Look, you only have two of them, so if one goes out, well, you’re in trouble. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen. We want you to have fun, but you know you gotta do your own inspections from time to time to ride safely. 

motorcycle tires are an important part of motorcycle safety

There are many parts to having a sweet ride and one of the most important parts? Solid, well-maintained, reliable motorcycle tires. 

The performance and longevity of your tires are dependent on your riding style, of course, but also the tire technology; tire sizes, motorcycle type, and functionality all factor into how well they’ll hold up over time.

There are some red flags you should watch out for when you’re looking at the tires on your bike before hitting the road. Thankfully, we gotchu! 

Here are a few signs and helpful information directly from your handy dandy helpers at TMS Parts.

3 Signs You Need to Replace Your Motorcycle Tires

First Sign: Age

There are plenty of ways you can keep your tires in good condition over the years. Regular maintenance and checks, maintaining the correct tire pressure, staying mindful of your braking habits are all fundamental and safe habits. But you just can’t argue with age. The older your motorcycle tires get, the less reliable they are to ride on. Thankfully, there’s a rule for you to keep in mind regarding when you should invest in a new pair of tires for your ride.

It’s the 5-year rule! 

Many people may think that if their tires look like they’re in top condition, they don’t need to be replaced. But if your tires are older than five years, they need to be replaced. Any mechanic would say so.

age is a sign you should replace your motorcycle tires

Unsure of the age of your tires? No worries. There should be a four-digit code imprinted on the sidewall. 

For instance, if you bought a used bike and didn’t know how old the tires were, to begin with, go ahead and take a look at the registered trademark. For example, say the numbers are 5216. This means that tire was manufactured the 52nd week of 2016. If it’s 2018, you’ve still got time. So long as there aren’t any other signs of wear, cracking, or defects, of course. If you’re reading this in 2021, it’s time to think about replacing those motorcycle tires!

Second Sign: Tread and Wear

The first thing to look for: tread. Do you have any?

Tread depth is incredibly important, so much so, that, according to federal and state regulations, your tires are actually required to have 1/32” to 2/32” of tread depth, according to an Acme Motorcycle article.

A majority of motorcycles have TWI bars. TWI stands for tread wear indicator and refers to small rubber bars which reside within the physical tire. 

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) has a fantastic guide specifically focused on tires. Here’s some of what they have to say about those little TWIs: “When the tread is worn down to the level of the wear bars (indicating 1/32 inches of tread remaining), the wear bars become exposed, and the tire should be replaced. Some manufacturers recommend replacing the tire when there are 2/32 or 3/32 inches of tread remaining.”

Make sure your motorcycle tires don't have worn tread

Another thing they, along with many others, recommend is to use “the penny trick” when or if you’re unsure or unable to tell what the depth of your tread is. Thanks to the MIC, here’s how to use this trick: “insert a penny into a groove in the center of your tire, 2/32 of an inch is right at the top of Lincoln’s head.” Got a penny? Check the couch cushions.

Third Sign: Defects, Punctures, and Uneven Wear

Keep an eye on the wear of the tire. If it’s got a weird shape…mmm… might be time for that change!

Many factors could play a role in why your tires wear out the way they do. Uneven wear, which is most commonly located directly in the center of the tire is also something to pay attention to. Usually, it starts to make the shape of the tire look kind of like a square. Acme jumps in again to say, “…that tire is not going to feel good when you lean to the bike into a turn, and the contact patch on the “corner” of that tire will be very small.” Square shape? No good.

always check your motorcycle tires for defects, punctures, and uneven wear

Look out for scalping and cupping on the surface of the tire as well. In cases of scalping or cupping, this article explains what that looks like. Your tire, “…gets worn out along the length of the tread. This can be dangerous as it may lead to handling and stability issues. Scalping also depends a lot on a poor suspension set up. Next time you see your motorcycle tire getting scalped from the sides, invest in a new tire besides getting your suspension properly checked and serviced.”

Other times, bad shocks will over time cause a specific side or place in the tire to become wavy and worn out. Uneven tread can also appear like a bulge. Look at it this way; if your tires aren’t shaped like tires, it’s time for a change!

Dry Rot: Nothing about these two words sound right for your tires

Sidewall cracking, referred to as dry rot, is a defect that happens quite often. If you notice there are cracks located on the sidewalls of your tires, it’s time to replace them. 

Wanna know how this happens? 

Well, MIC says…science! 

Well, okay, not really. Here’s what they actually have to say: “…every time you ride, the tires go through a ‘heat cycle’ as they go from ambient to operating temperature and back down again. Each successive heat cycle slowly hardens the tire. Similarly, as tires age, chemical reactions cause the rubber to harden, even during nonuse.”

MIC also encourages you to be careful about how you’re cleaning your tires. Age and temperature play a factor, but so do some chemicals commonly used in cleaning products. So, to help keep your tires in good shape, “…use a mild soap solution and rinse off with plain water. Do not use chemical cleaners or protectants, as they may degrade the rubber and cause cracks in the sidewalls.”

Embedded Objects

Come on, folks! If there’s a screw in your tire (or anything else that isn’t an actual part of your tire stuck in there) change it! Do not risk blowing out your tire and getting hurt. 

If you see something, do something. Something like getting your bike to a mechanic or replacing your motorcycle tires yourself. (Who doesn’t love working on their bike?!)

Get yourself some new motorcycle tires!

To close, here are some tips from our MIC pals on how to maintain excellent tire conditions:

    1. Maintain proper air pressure
    1. Regularly inspect your tires
    1. Buy the right tires for your bike
    1. Have your tires professionally installed
  1. Avoid sharp objects and slick surfaces

So, wondering where you’ll find some spankin’ new motorcycle tires? 

TMS Parts has some really awesome ones for you, go ahead and browse through your options. If you have any questions, lucky for you, we also have great customer service representatives who are more than happy to help answer any questions you may have.

The Most Beautiful Autumn Rides in the USA

scenic autumn rides are just around the corner - is your motorcycle ready?

Scenic Autumn Rides are Just Around the Corner

Summertime is starting to wind down and before you can blink gorgeous autumn rides will be arriving with the weather.

Those cooler days are starting. You know the ones where the breeze is a little stronger and the sun doesn’t feel as strong? Fall is coming, but that doesn’t mean your adventures have to stop anytime soon. 

The leaves are starting to change colors in the more northern part of the country, from vibrant greens to hues to gold, red, purple, and orange. Why not get out there on the road and enjoy them for yourself? Experience the grand change of the seasons with the best view – when the stunning colors zip by you on a motorcycle ride.

Get ready to set the fall dates on your calendars, pack your bags, check your motorcycle apps, and get that tank filled up. It’s time for some awesome autumn rides!

autumn rides on your motorcycle are amazing when the foliage is turning

Oh, the Places You Could Go – On Your Autumn Rides

Tunnel of Trees – Northern Michigan M-119

Why not experience something that seems to have a touch of magic to it?

Located in Northern Michigan, take stock of the awe-inspiring fall foliage that surrounds you on your ride. The Tunnel of Trees spans from Harbor Springs to Cross Village and truly is an amazing feat of nature. This is 20 miles of beautiful scenery that will absolutely take your breath away.

This is one of those autumn rides you have to savor. The kind of ride where you take some time to stop and smell the roses. You’ll definitely feel as though you might be heading into another realm…

Why is it called the Tunnel of Trees?

Well, it’s because the forest of evergreens and hardwood trees that surround the zig-zagging road tower overhead and narrow down toward the pavement as if you’re traveling through a tunnel. Maybe it’s leading you to Narnia? Who knows! Why not take an autumn ride and find out for yourself?

There are plenty of colorful places to stop along the way, local business ranging from shops and dives. Come to see all there is to offer for yourself!

there are scenic autumn rides on your bike and then there are adventure rides, too

The Tail of the Dragon – Bordering the States of Tennessee and North Carolina

Can you handle the dragon? Can you survive the 318 curves in 11 miles on the tail of this beast? Come to test it out yourself. This is not a scenic adventure; instead, it’s a test of skill and the road itself! This is the challenge heard around the states as many make their way to out their skills to the test. It’s just you and the road. Who will conquer who? There are no houses, no side roads, and no intersections.

All year, it hosts plenty of events, perfect for friends and family looking for a different style of road tripping. This Fall is no exception to the rule. In October, check out the annual, Attack of the Dragon, which is 11 years old and still going strong. That and many other events are coming up to celebrate the beautiful fall season. Ride that noble steed and come to slay the beast!

autumn rides on your motorcycle can be so comfortable as the weather cools

Twisted Sisters – Three Hill Country Ranch Roads 335, 336, & 337 San Antonio Texas

These sisters are truly twisted here and they are wicked! This is 100 miles of loops along three stretches of road that keep you holding onto your bike and hugging those turns even tighter. Beware one particular stretch of 15 miles, it has 65 curves alone! Only a truly skilled motorcyclist can handle these three siblings and known for the challenge they present. Do you think you can tango with these girls? Prove your worth and take on this challenge!

This stretch is a motorcyclist’s dream, as it has plenty of sites and sounds to experience along the journey. Take a break at one of the many local diners and restaurants, or maybe the Lone Star Motorcycle Museum! It has become such a popular spot that locals and tourists alike flock here and gather at multiple events throughout the year. You may even find yourself at one of them! Wind your way through the scenic and historic byway that Texas has to offer.

autumn rides can be very different depending on whether you want foliage or adventure

San Juan Mountain Skyway – Starting in Ridgway, Colorado and ending in Telluride, Colorado

Nestled in the mountains of Colorado why not take a trip and explore the San Juan National Forest?  This 12-mile route circles around a good amount of land from the park. It’s also known as the “Million Dollar Highway” and it sticks true to the word! Just pay for the gas and you’re off!

Take in the beautiful sights of the Rocky Mountains not far off in the distance, and get a taste of that rich, fresh air. This will not be a one day trip either; the amount of fun and entertainment on every corner is truly a sight to behold.

Enjoy a quick side trip into the heart of Ridgway where many a famous Wild Western Movies have been made, or head to Mesa Verde National Park to see its unique landscape.

This is absolutely one of those awesome autumn rides for any skill level. Start marking your calendar…

autumn rides across the USA are made for a variety of skill levels and interests

The Kancamagus Highway – North Conway, New Hampshire

The Kancamagus Highway has no clever marketing name, nor does it need one. This highway speaks for itself as it guides you directly through the magnificence that is the White Mountains. This is one of those autumn rides that bring you closer to the heart of nature, true quiet, and beauty.

In the fall, the colors here explode, and folks head here for the picturesque views. (They don’t call them “leaf peepers” for nothing!) These New England mountains will be washed in hues of gold, orange, and reds for 34.5 miles, the foliage isn’t limited to just the highway. What more could you possibly ask for? Let these mountains inspire you!

When you need to refuel your bike and your body, explore the local towns around these giants. Enjoy the hospitality of the kind locals and they’re sleepy, yet lively, little towns.

Perhaps they will tell you a secret about a hiking trail not far off or maybe a small pub that has the best sandwiches and beer. You may even find yourself where the Old Man of the Mountain used to be. “The Old Man” is a historic sight, where nature’s marvel surveyed the scene of New Hampshire’s mountains for years. Sadly, the Old Man returned to the earth in May 2003, but there is a memorial for him. 

Why not hop on that bike and find your way up here again? (We’re assuming you crossed Laconia Motorcycle Week of your bucket list already as one of the motorcycle rallies you HAD to go to.)

Reconnect with nature and enjoy autumn in New England at its finest. 

autumn rides in New England are amazing on a motorcycle as you take in the beauty of the mountains

Before you go out and hit those awesome autumn rides, keep these safety tips in mind…

autumn rides on your bike are a visual feast when the foliage is changing colors

We Have a Few Quick Tips to Keep You Safe During Your Autumn Rides

Fall is a different season and has a different set of things and places, and riders should heed a little caution.

While there may not be snow or an avalanche, (depending, of course, where you are…) accidents can still happen during autumn rides.

Here are a few quick tips of things to be aware of when you’re out riding:

  • Keep an eye out for dry or wet leaves: Dry leaves could potentially cover hazards such as potholes or branches on the road that you don’t want to drive your bike over and damage your wheels or worse, injure yourself. Wet leaves are also a hazard and slick up the road which may cause you to slip. Basically be aware of all the leaves on the road. 
  • Deer season is here: Deer are far more active this time of year. More collisions with deer are likely to happen, so be alert! They are fast and sometimes they will freeze in the middle of the road. Pay attention to signs alerting drivers and riders to deer crossings. 
  • Leather is your best friend: Weather during this time of year is notorious for being finicky. It may go from warm bursts to chilling winds. Leather will not only keep you warm but offers you adequate protection as well. Check out TMS’s Motorcycle Apparel for some stylish, yet warm and protective, riding gear.
  • Cold nights: We’ve gotten so used to the summer heat that sometimes we forget that night temperatures can drop rapidly. Plan accordingly, especially if you are camping. 
  • Frost and icy surfaces: When the weather drops at night things can still be frosted over in the morning. Keep an eye out for slick roads!

Are You Looking to Test Your Skills or Stop and Smell the Roses?

Now comes the time where you have to sit down and make a decision. Are you looking for a way to test nature or to be a part of it? Once you have an answer, it might make it a much easier time of deciding where you want to go. Do you want to head out toward Colorado? Or the opposite direction and up into northern New Hampshire? The choice is up to you!

Before you head on out though, be sure to stock up on all your gear, equipment, tools and accessories. You might need to gather a few more supplies before that autumn rides begin, so check out TMS Parts before you set off and get the parts and gear you need.

And remember, have FUN out there!