Autumn motorcycle tips

Just because summer is over doesn't mean you have to stop riding your motorcycle. But if you're going to ride in autumn, make sure you're doing so safely.

Here are tips to prepare for riding your motorcycle in autumn:

Dress appropriately
In many U.S. regions, autumn temperatures can fluctuate greatly over the course of a single day. Morning might start out in the 30s but by mid-afternoon, it could be over 70. Counter these weather changes by dressing in layers.

Leather jackets are perfect for autumn bike riding. In summer, it's often too hot, but in the fall, a leather jacket is a great piece of protection from the wind and dropping temperature. If you buy one that has a removable lining, then you can even wear it if the weather gets warm again.

Also bring multiple pairs of gloves with you if you use your bike to commute. A thick pair could be ideal on a cold morning, but on your ride home, if the temperature has picked up, you might want something lighter or fingerless.

Look out for riding hazards
Leaves, twigs and other debris from trees often fall into streets during this time of year. While your bike can withstand running over a single leaf, road debris should generally be avoided. Hidden under some leaves could be something sharp that could give your bike a flat tire or potentially cause a road accident.

Have rain gear
Keep rain gear stashed on your bike if possible. The rain paired with chilly weather could cause hypothermia, or at the very least impair your riding ability. According to a 10-year study by the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, 11 percent of all vehicle accidents are caused by rain. Make sure you're prepared in every way you can be for it.

Check on your motorcycle insurance
Use this time to look at your motorcycle insurance, especially if you only purchased seasonal insurance for summer as you want to make sure this gets extended. If you don't have seasonal insurance, then you may have the opportunity to switch to that now so you can be covered for the remainder of autumn, but pay a much lower premium during the winter, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

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