We're getting close enough to the fall season in the Twin Ports, so I figured I'd share some thoughts with riding a motorcycle during that time of year.  I've had some close calls because of the changing of the season conditions and while I'm no expert rider, here's some thoughts from me on how to keep yourself a little safer.

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Check your motorcycle lights

Don't just check them, upgrade them if you don't have LEDs.  It's a shame that in this day and age with how inexpensive LED lighting is that many new bikes off the showroom floor still have old incandescent bulbs instead of what they should have.  I get it's a ploy to make you upgrade but the manufacturers who claim to preach safety should be ashamed.  It's not too expensive to at a minimum upgrade your blinkers and brake lights to LEDs.  Your visibility will be greatly increased and that's important when our daylight hours start to diminish.

Layer those motorcycle clothes

Temps fluctuate a lot in the fall, it might be chilly in the morning, crazy hot by 2:00PM, and then cool again when that sun drops.  Be mindful as well at how much of a factor humidity plays with how cold or hot you are, and especially how the wind can play a factor closer to Lake Superior.  You might not need the heavy jacket if you take off at Noon, but by early evening you may just wish you had it.  So don't forget to at least bring some options.

Watch out for leaves on the roads

It's nice to get some riding in when the leaves are changing but that also means they can be dropping.  Leaves can be a slipping hazard, and also potentially hide other road hazards.  Take your time around them, especially in the corners and when it's damp or wet out.  Also consider them when you're coming to a stop, I've put my boots down on them before and slipped a bit and that uneasy feeling isn't fun.  It's going to be even less fun if you dump your bike because of them.

Take your time while fall riding

Much like in the spring when things are still thawing out, fall riding can present slip hazards in the form of ice.  Keep that in mind for early morning rides in particular.  I've had wet areas of the road in the past that ended up being more ice than water and have caused me to almost lose control of the bike.

Consider the condition of your motorcycle tires

A lot of people only run one set of tires on their bike, not changing them out for the seasons like many of us do with cars.  Along those lines many wait until the end of the riding season to replace tires that might be getting to the end of their reasonable run time.  That makes since as tires are expensive and we want to get the most out of them, but less tread and heavy tire wear can be really dangerous.  That's especially the case when it gets colder out and you might have the other hazards mentioned above like leaves and even ice.

That's a few of my thoughts on fall riding and of course I could add more but these are the ones that I consider the most.  What would you add to the list?

Signs Of Fall In The Northland

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