Late spring arrival, “dangers” for motorcycle riders

If you live in a tempered climatic zone, with seasons, in Europe, northern Europe, America or Asia, then maybe it’s familiar. Yeah I am thinking of late spring, much too late spring!

And late it is, for us up in Scandinavia, this year

At the time of writing this rant it’s March 28th. Last night the night temp was down to -10C. Today a little less. It’s plenty of snow around, and although roads are, for the most part, fairly dry in the lowlands, strong sun melts the snow and ice along the road.

Late spring: Honda Transalp still in its tent

March 25th 2018: My 1994 Honda XL600v Transalp still hibernates, dryly. March 28th, no change.

Because the temps are so low, the water that spills over the road, freezes. Very quickly.

Don’t think I need to lecture any sensible, experienced person about the dangers of this. More so if you’re a motorcycle rider. Fact to the matter is, unless you have proper tires. that would definitely be spike tires, you have no business riding under such conditions.

Fatalities can happen if you’re impatient

Not long ago I read about a motorcycle accident up north in the country. Roads were dry, then they hit a icy section, produced as mentioned above, water spilling over below freezing cold pavement, and freezing to ice. And went off the road. They survived, non-lethal injuries.

Winter riding can be a lot of fun, but requires proper gear, proper wear, respect for the conditions and above all, humility. To gain experience, and in the right way. There are plenty of motorcycle riders who are about during winter in this country. Among the not so impatient sort.

1 year ago, almost to date

it was different situation. March 29th after work I’d just picked up my previous motorcycle and enjoyed riding, on dry roads. Little or no snow with temps closer to +10C than -10C.

1 year ago, soon almost to date I’ve had my present adventure bike for a year. Done around 22.000 kilometers (13.670 miles) with it, on tarmac, gravel and dirt. This April 3rd it’ll still be in winter storage, I will be dreaming about riding rather than out and about.

2016 BMW R1200GS Adventure

Test riding a 2016 BMW R1200GS Adventure (current bike). Next to it; friend’s Honda CRF1000L AfricaTwin.

Ah yes, late spring “dangers”

are not many. In fact none at all, unless spending a lot of money on motorcycle accessories (one needs/don’t need) can be seen as a danger. Definitely a side effect while suffering from a mild PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome).

During winter, actually began last year, I’ve been shopping “a few things” for my motorcycles. Mostly for the “Beemer”, the Transalp got gifts last year. More will probably come. Some of the stuff will protect bike parts and simplify cleaning, some perhaps more for looks than real function.

Some motorcycle accessories

Just a little bit of the winter’s acquisitions

In the picture,

  • Adjustable Screen Strengthening Brackets; this or similar is absolutely functional if you have a larger than OEM screen. Flopping in the wind begone!
  • Camel Toe sidestand foot: stress relieving item that will secure bike parking on soft ground. Plus it looks good!
  • BMW Frame plugs: BMW Bike have open tubes in the frame. These plugs will seal holes
  • MachineArt Mudslings front/rear: not cheap items but they will simplify cleaning and most importantly, keep dirt away from especially a very expensive electronic suspension kit in the rear (ESA)
  • Wunderlich Tank pads. Massively improve knee stability when standing upright and riding, plus protect the tank from scratches. Tip! You may find cheaper ones at Aliexpress.com. Bought them and can clearly say, they also look cheap!

From before I’ve got Wunderlich radiator guards to mount. Other stuff is underway or about to be ordered, like

  • Waterproof packing bags: Even if the BMW Panniers are “pretty” waterproof I’ve been in extreme showers where they did not hold up so well. I’ve got inner bags for the panniers, but still like extra insurance
  • Engine guard protector bumper: sometimes you might accidentally drop the bike, or even have to put down. Don’t know how good these are but if they keep the metal from scratching before cracking it’s worth the bucks.
  • Instrument visor: if these improve side-light or sun reflection on the instrument glass/surface am happy. Have the same on my GPS and it works quite well.
  • Cylinder/engine guards; found a pair on Aliexpress that look alright.
  • Frame panel guards
  • and more….

Hopefully late spring will soon be over, or else I’ll be stuck for days mounting all the stuff, when I should be out riding!

Got Aluminium panniers?

I do, never been a fan of their rather industrial looks. Some like their rugged appearance, me not so much. A few companies produces some fancy schmancy decals with lots of stuff on them like large logos, world maps etc. Much too busy for me.

I am going to settle for a black pannier wrap kit from Humvee Graphics. Many people have given these excellent reviews, a complete guide here. Additionally I plan to use safety chevrons. Black panniers after all means less traffic visibility.

Well, that’s it then, hopefully some useful tips in this rant! Happy Easter 🙂

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