From the “educator”
Hopefully we are starting to see the beginnings of our ’00 riding season. So I thought I would start to get you ready for the riding miles ahead.
If you have bought yourself new tires over the winter you should be cautious in your riding style for the first 50 to 100 miles. On most new tires there is a chemical put on the rubber and until it has worn off it can be slippery. You can try and wipe off some of the product, but your choice of cleaner can be its own issue. The Dunlop seminar told us that the only cleaner they suggested was Murphy’s Soap. Also, you are going to want to check your air pressure a little more often with the new tires, as they break in and create a better seal around the rim. Air pressure in the original tires on our goldwings is 33 lbs. in the front, and 36 – 40 lbs. in the rear. 36 lbs. for up to 200 lbs added to the bike and 40 lbs. for maximum weight added to the bike, around 400 lbs. These weights are yours plus the weight of anything in your boxes and trunk. More on this air pressure subject in future reports.
After a few months of not riding, your first couple of rides should be less aggressive than you might usually ride. Why, glad you asked. The mental part of riding is a large part of your safety, and it takes a number of miles to get your brain back up to speed. I’m sure that on a few occasions you have traveled through and intersection only to realize your minds eye is still back at the light. Or maybe you have sensed that when you have been traveling at 40 mph and enter a highway increasing your speed to 65 mph that everything is moving way to fast for you to feel comfortable with. It will usually take a few minutes to get adjusted to the new speed. Well all this is usually compounded when you have been idle from riding for a while, like over the winter months. So. Take it slow and get your head in the game before you really crank on the throttle.
GWRRA in its classes teaches you about turning and there are a handful of things you are to do before you make your turn. I would like to touch a little on the “Turn your head” part of this pattern. One of the most difficult things to do on our wings is U turns and slow speed maneuvering. The technique of turning your head to face in the direction of your turn can help you make that turn more easily, with much tighter turns and with more confidence. The theory here is that when you turn your head to face the direction of where you want the bike go, the turning of your head will actually cause your shoulders to turn which will rotate your hips and pull in your outside leg, all this causing the weight transfer and control of the bike toward the turn your trying to make. Your co-rider is also suppose to do the same thing. They should look over your shoulder that is on the side of your turn. If you are turning to the right, they should look over the right shoulder, and if you are turning to the left, they should look over your left shoulder. And, if they turn their heads toward the direction of the turn, they will also help the momentum of the bike to head in that direction. This method sounds very simple and is very easy to get used to doing. You will find it works very well. Find yourself an open parking area and spend a few minutes trying it. One of the first places you will be using this technique in on the entrance ramps to the expressways. You should find navigating these to be much easier.
Lets start warming up those engines.
David and Kathy Bierman