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Shifted Gears

  • Hand Fatigue Prevention Tips for Motorcyclists

    As a motorcyclist, you rely on your bike and gear. But in addition to your actual motorcycle equipment, you also must depend on the performance of your body to ensure that you can ride safely and precisely.

    One of your most important tools when you're on the road is your hands. A large number of your motorcycle controls require specific hand movements to propel you forward. Unfortunately, for many motorcycle riders, this significant focus on micro hand and wrist movements can result in fatigue during a ride and potential injuries in the long term.

    Whether you just invested in your first bike or you're a lifelong motorcyclist, you can take proactive steps to prevent hand fatigue that might affect your performance. These steps can also reduce your risk of developing carpal tunnel syndrome and other common motorcyclist repetitive motion injuries.

    Habits to Implement

    While you should make changes to your equipment to protect your hands while you ride, these measures often happen in stages. You can begin to reduce your risk of hand and wrist injury immediately by adjusting your habits while you're on your bike.

    Pay attention to how you use your hands during a ride and which, if any, symptoms begin to develop the further you go. Implement the following habits to combat hand and wrist fatigue:

    • Adjust your riding posture to put your weight on your legs and feet so you avoid leaning forward onto your wrists.
    • Bend your hands backward or lace your fingers together and lift them above your head on breaks to stretch the ligaments that run the length of your arm.
    • Change hand position on the grips regularly to avoid excessive straining on the different parts of your hands and wrists.
    • Change riding position every hour or as often as is comfortable.
    • Plan for more frequent breaks during your ride.
    • Ride with cruise control and one hand off of the grips on straightaways.
    • Use a looser grip to reduce the strain on hand ligaments.
    • Use a stress ball during breaks to stretch out your hands.

    You may also want to use some of these tips in between motorcycle rides. For example, you can wear a wrist brace whenever you notice any discomfort in your wrist or forearm, and you can use a stress ball while watching TV to strengthen the muscles you use when controlling your bike.

    Motorcycle Gear to Invest In

    As a motorcyclist, you know the difference that the right gear can have on how you feel during and after a ride. While you may focus on your boots and leathers, you should also carefully consider your glove choices to give your hands a cushion and your wrists adequate support.

    When you invest in new motorcycle gloves, look for a pair designed to reduce fatigue. These gloves will have a combination of some or all of the following characteristics:

    • Gel filling
    • Palm and finger padding
    • Slip-resistant surface
    • Vibration-resistant design
    • Wrist coverage and support

    You can also choose to wear a wrist brace during your ride if one or both of your wrists don't seem to get enough support from gloves alone.

    Motorcycle Modifications to Make

    You likely invest a significant amount of time in optimizing how your bike meets your needs. In addition to perfecting your engine, exhaust system, and so on, consider upgrading your grips to improve the ergonomics of your bike.

    As you ride, think about which issues you notice that affect your hands. For example, you may notice that grip hardness seems more uncomfortable than vibration or vice versa. Using your observations, consider making the following modifications:

    • Aftermarket cruise-control attachments
    • Grip heating systems
    • Heavier bar end weights
    • Multiple foot pegs to allow for a larger variation in riding position
    • Padded grips
    • Shock-absorbing grips
    • Throttle components, like pads, a rocker, or a lock

    Work on your bike to determine which adjustments make the biggest difference to your hands and wrists. For example, many riders find that less steering head tension creates less vibration and therefore less fatigue. Other common adjustments include rotating or raising handlebars to discourage leaning and tight gripping.

    You may also want to try several different positions for your foot pegs since your position while riding can have a significant impact on the amount of pressure placed on your hands and wrists.

    Use these guidelines to protect your hands while you enjoy your next motorcycle ride and every adventure yet to come, whether you ride competitively or use your bike solely for scenic outings.

    In addition to the gear and modifications discussed above, you may want to discuss your riding habits with an equipment specialist or mechanic to determine which other adjustments can reduce the impact that motorcycling has on your hands and wrists.

    To find the high-quality motorcycle gloves or specialized parts you're looking for, browse the inventory at Bob's Cycle Supply.

  • 6 Tips to Prolong the Lifespan of Leather Motorcycle Gear

    Motorcycles and leather are a pairing as classic as peanut butter and jelly. Leather motorcycle gear can last longer and weather more scrapes than virtually any other equipment material when properly cared for.

    However, as mentioned in our previous blog, "Is a Leather or Textile Motorcycle Jacket Right for You?," leathers require regular maintenance to stay supple and strong on the road ahead. In this blog, we provide six tips to help prolong the durability and classic appearance of your leather motorcycle gear. Continue reading

  • Storing Your Snowmobile in the Off-Season? 7 Springtime Tips

    Snowmobiles can offer hours of fun and competition to riders. While in some climates snowmobilers get to use these vehicles for most of the year, individuals in four-season climates or those who only snowmobile in cold climate vacation destinations must decide what to do with their snowmobiles during the off-season. Continue reading

  • 2018 Minneapolis Supercross

    St. Paul, Minnesota – The Monster Energy AMA Supercross series returns to colossal US Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis MN on Saturday April 14th. Not only is this round 14 for the 450SX Series, as well as, the seventh round for the 250SX East Series riders, but is one of three triple crown races scheduled for the series. Continue reading

  • Repercussions to Look for After Motorcycle Accidents

    Your motorcycle can offer you freedom, speed, and precision control that's unparalleled by virtually any other type of vehicle. Unfortunately, some of the characteristics that make motorcycles so liberating can make them more likely to be involved in roadside accidents.

    For example, the lightweight, sleek design of many smaller bikes gives them incredible handling and speed capabilities, but these features may also make these motorcycles harder for car drivers to see or for motorcyclists to control in slick conditions. Continue reading

  • 12 Essential Items for Your Snowmobiling Survival Kit

    When it comes to snowmobiling, you have to be prepared for anything. One minute you're enjoying the pristine scenery and fresh powder, and the next minute you're faced with a broken-down, overturned, or stuck snowmobile. Having a survival kit can make all the difference if you're stranded due to a mechanical breakdown or an accident. Continue reading

  • The Dos and Don'ts of Motorcycling During Winter

    There are many good reasons that many people put their motorcycles in the garage during the winter months in favor of other methods of transportation. However, it is possible to safely ride your motorcycle during the winter months in many spots across the United States. If you decide to ride when the temperatures start dropping, follow these dos and don'ts.

    Continue reading

  • 7 Rules of Snowmobile Trail Etiquette for Riding in Groups

    Sure, you know how to ride your machine, how to accelerate over various types of terrain, and how to stop safely. But do you understand the rules of riding in groups and on trails where other outdoor enthusiasts share the pathways?

    There are seven rules that experienced riders may forget to teach new snowmobilers or that old riders themselves may simply forget over time. Beyond the basic personal-safety rules, there are community-oriented rules that serve to make winter sports enjoyable for the maximum number of people. Continue reading

  • How to Deal with Inclement Weather on a Motorcycle Ride

    You may plan the majority of your motorcycle trips for sunny days, but when you ride frequently you are likely to end up in a situation where you need to account for rain, snow, low visibility or other characteristics of inclement weather.

    For that reason, you should know how to deal with inclement weather while on your bike. Continue reading

  • Is a Leather or Textile Motorcycle Jacket Right for You?

    When you purchase motorcycle gear, you're shopping for more than just your signature statement look. Your gear also protects you against weather extremes, road rash and other potential hazards.

    One of the most important pieces of equipment you need when you ride is your jacket. In this blog, we compare the two most common motorcycle jacket materials: leather and textile.

    Continue reading

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