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Tips & Tricks

Stayin’ Safe: Hidden Valley

The view of the road ahead looks wide open at first. But look again and notice the stretch of road that is hidden from sight.

Riding a stretch of rising and falling road is fun, but also presents a special kind of challenge for the back-road motorcyclist. While the rider can often see the road stretching out into the distance, parts of the path are hidden from view by one or more low elevation hillcrests. Those shallow dips—often hardly noticeable—can be as dangerous as a ...

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Buying a New Bike That’s Been Sitting a While

Honda ST1300

Tech Q&A: Stationary ST1300 Dear Rider, My local Honda dealer has a new 2010 Honda ST1300 with 0 miles. I know Clement Salvadori has owned more than one ST and I need to know if this bike is safe to buy. Is there anything I should look for or be aware of? I’m concerned because it has been sitting for ...

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Engine Oil: A Slippery Subject

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If you want to start an endless war on any online motorcycle forum, just ask, “What’s the best oil?” and stand back. There are countless self-described experts who are happy to tell you all about the oil that lets them go 10,000 miles between changes, or the one that increases gas mileage and horsepower by 50 percent. In fact, the differences ...

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Ten Great Photography Tips for Your Next Long Ride

Motorcycle Photo Tips

Whether you’re an aspiring contributor to Rider magazine or just want to have the best possible visual memories from your motorcycle adventures, these 10 photo tips will help you make better photographs. Notice that I said “make” rather than “take” better photos. Creating good images involves more than snapping a shutter button—it’s a process that combines a working knowledge of ...

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Get It Rolling Again: 1974 Honda CB750

Kurt Winter’s shop in Chatsworth, California, is a compact space packed with a lifetime’s worth of motorcycle parts and memorabilia, primarily from older Hondas and British bikes. (Photos by the author)

Even if you enjoy repairing and maintaining older motorcycles, certain jobs can be too involved or intimidating to tackle yourself. Other times, the bike has so many little problems that it’s simply overwhelming to figure out how to deal with all of them, get parts and break out the wrenches. The latter was the case with a Honda CB750 Four ...

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Idle Threat: The Danger From Behind

This rider has left no room for escape, is in physical and mental neutral and is highly vulnerable to that distracted driver approaching from behind.

Back in the days of the legendary Hurt Report (1981), a.k.a. the Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures technical report, the incidence of rear-end collisions was vastly underrepresented. Riders simply weren’t being struck from behind back then. Then came cell phones and texting. Now, being hit from behind by a distracted driver is a growing concern for motorcyclists…and ...

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Motorcycle Tire Buying Tips (and 8 Tires to Try)

Sport-touring tires aim to deliver great mileage and handling performance for today’s high-tech sport-touring machines. The Metzeler RoadTec 01 has a tread pattern that improves grip on wet or dry surfaces, with a dual compound that offers cornering confidence and long life. The Shinko 016 Verge features an Aramid front tire for high-speed stability and strength, and a supersport-derived rear for performance. The Bridgestone Battlax T30 EVO uses new compounds to improve traction and control, especially on wet surfaces.

Some riders like to justify their hobby to non-riders by bragging that motorcycles are cheaper to ride and maintain than cars. But it doesn’t take too long to discover the flaw in that argument—tires. Unless you’re a hopeless farkle addict, tires probably represent the biggest ongoing expense of motorcycling. While the tires on your car might last 50,000 miles, the ...

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Ready or Not, Here I Come

Will the car pull out and try to pass the line of bikes? How far will the driver make it before the passing zone runs out? Which riders will he try to squeeze between when it does?

It’s easy to become complacent when riding behind other riders. There doesn’t seem to be the same sense of urgency to actively scan the road or look to the mirrors as when we ride solo. Instead, while riding in a group, eyes tend to fixate on bikes ahead, and when we slip into “follow” mode, it’s easy to settle in, ...

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A Clean Bike Is A Happy Bike

Regular cleaning and waxing is the key to protecting your investment…and maintaining a sharp-looking ride.

The first thing you need to do before you start washing your motorcycle is play it cool, “it” being the bike. Park it in the shade, or wait until the heat of the day gives way to cooler evening temps. Most cleaners and polishes are made to work best on cool surfaces; they dry out quickly when hot. Let the ...

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The Dirt on Riding Unpaved Roads

Even a large touring bike can be at home on unpaved roads when proper technique is applied.

It’s the end of the road for many. But it’s just the beginning for those who are comfortable and confident when the pavement ends and gravel or hard-packed dirt begins. Why is it we get so uptight when things get loose underfoot (or under tire, as it were)? Because things feel a little weird and unfamiliar on dirt. The motorcycle ...

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