Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

The information presented here applies to most all motorcycles in general.
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Jolsen
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Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby Jolsen » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:07 am

10. Crushed Can Side Stand Support
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The foot of most side stands is pretty small, and when you lean 500-plus pounds onto it, the pressure can rise to a surprisingly high level. Now, make the surface that you’ve placed that foot on something soft, like hot asphalt or loose dirt or sand, and you’ve created a prime environment for returning to your bike to find it lying on its side. Most of us would not be too happy about this. If you remember your high school physics class, you know that the same weight distributed over a larger area will lower the pressure delivered from your bike to the ground. Various companies have used this a a great marketing tool by giving away logo-emblazoned squares of plastic at riding events.

But if you’re not at a riding event to grab this piece of swag, it’s time to get creative. A crushed aluminum can will do the trick quite nicely. Center your side stand on it, enjoy your time off the bike, comfortable with the knowledge that it’ll remain upright on its stand instead of sinking into the earth while you’re gone. Even simpler, a wide and flat rock will often suffice. Other creative items that achieve the same purpose which we’ve seen in our travels are: a wallet, a plastic water bottle, and even a helmet (which wore a “This helmet worn under protest” sticker and certainly belonged to someone who doesn’t care that they’re ruining the helmet’s ability to absorb an impact).


9. Latex Glove Liners
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Riding a motorcycle with cold hands sucks. Then there’s the whole thing about needing them to actually function so that you can operate the controls. The two most common ways to get trapped out on the road with cold hands is having the temperature suddenly drop or to be caught in unexpected rain – both of which can easily happen while your insulated or waterproof gloves are all cozy in their closet at home. Well, if you’re smart, you’ve slipped a pair of latex gloves in your bike’s underseat storage. While you might think that the thin layer of latex won’t be very helpful, the amount they improve an uncomfortable situation can’t be understated. No, they won’t turn your vented gloves into winter gear, but they do vastly reduce the suckage of a surprise cold/wet snap when you’re 100 miles from home.


8. Duct Tape Visor
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This is probably one of the oldest tricks in the book – particularly for people whose commute from work is westward – but it still bears mentioning. Placing an inch-wide strip of tape across the top of a helmet’s visor will help to block out those painful rays of the sun in the early evening. Yes, it does restrict your vision a tad, but being able to tilt your head down slightly and get the sun temporarily out of your eyes is priceless. When the sun is high in the sky, you can store the tape on the back of your helmet.


7. Newspaper Inside Boots
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You don’t need to encounter serious rain to get your boots good and wet on the inside. When you’re at home, you can just let them air out over a couple days or use one of those cool boot inserts that dries and de-funks the lining. However, when you’re out on the road for a few days, you probably don’t have the time or the space for that kind of luxury. Well, most gas stations have newspapers of some kind – be they free or for sale. Newsprint is remarkably absorbent and can be used to dry out your boots overnight. Just cram as many balled-up pieces of paper into the boot as you can. To be extra sure that the boots get dried as much as possible, change the papers a couple times, like after dinner and when you wake up in the middle of the night to pee. With a little effort, you can slip your dogs into comfy, dry boots in the morning. Newspapers can also be used as an insulating jacket liner when cold weather unexpectedly strikes.


6. Trash Bag Rain Gear
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One way to separate real riders from the posers is through their ability to ride in bad weather. The more years you ride, the more you’ll collect rain gear and waterproof suits. Still, even the most experienced riders can get caught out without the proper gear and many miles left to travel. Since losing core temperature can land you in hypothermia-world, you’ll want to find a way to keep yourself at least partially dry.

Carrying a plastic trash bag under your seat takes up almost no room and will be worth its weight in gold should you find yourself out on the road on a cold and rainy evening. You’ll need to make head and arm holes before you can use it. (Your mom told you not to put plastic bags over your head, right?) Don’t be silly and throw it on over your gear; the bag will shred in minutes. Instead, put your plastic bag vest on under your jacket. Your gear will get wet, but you’ll be dry. Similar to the latex gloves mentioned previously, this technique also works for times when you’re wearing vented summer gear and the temperature suddenly drops.


5. Magnetic Directions Holder
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If you’re still using tried-and-true method of taping directions to your tank, you’ll be familiar with the frustration of getting directions when you’re away from home and don’t have any tape. Or worse, you put a small roll under your seat and the heat from the sun turned it into a gooey mess. Well, here’s a trick for those with a metal tank: Take some of those flat magnets you get in junk mail and put them in a ziplock bag and store them on your bike for future use. The next time you need to attach some directions to your tank, the magnets will be waiting.


4. Ignition Switch Lock Reminder
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We’ve all seen those neon orange “Remove Before Flight” ribbons that people attach to their disc locks. Well, in the dark, you can’t see them. If you just so happen to be preoccupied with your thoughts at night, you could accidentally ride off with the lock still attached. We all know (some of us better than others) how much that hurts. So, make it impossible to put the key in the ignition without encountering a reminder to remove the lock. Attach the fuzzy side of hook and loop fastener to the ring around your ignition key and put the hook side to the back of a brightly colored sticker. When you open the lock, place the sticker over the ignition switch, and you won’t be able to put the key in without moving the sticker. Store the sticker on the lock itself with a little more hook and loop.


3. Soft Ties for Tie-Down Point
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For some reason, there are bikes that don’t have a convenient place to attach a bungie cord/net. In these instances, consider using a soft tie to create a mounting point. You can wrap them around the shock mount on cruisers with dual shocks. Another good place is wrapping them around the sub-frame on sporty bikes. Look around, and you can find these nylon loops in varying lengths to suit your bike bondage needs.


2. Wire Helmet Lock
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OK, so this hack requires a little capital investment. Nothing major, but you will have to spend a little money. Go to your local hardware store and buy a piece of galvanized cable that is long enough to loop through your helmet’s chin bar with a few inches to spare. Buy crush sleeves and form loops at both ends of the cable. When you get ready to leave your bike parked, simply loop the wire through the helmet and lock it to that impossible-to-use helmet lock on your bike or loop it over the latch for your seat. This isn’t fool-proof, but it will keep the honest people honest.


1. Coat Hanger Cruise Control
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Have you ever had a really long freeway ride ahead of you and wished you had cruise control like the cool sport-touring bikes? Well, by simply scavenging a piece of clutter from your closet, you can create a friction lock for your throttle. Cut the long side off of a wire coat hanger and bend it in half over your throttle grip. Take a pair of locking pliers and clamp the two pieces together about a half inch over the brake lever. Now, twist the wire with the pliers, safety wire-style, until the coat hanger creates enough friction with the grip to overcome the throttle-return spring and hold it in place against the brake lever. Once you’re certain there is enough friction, trim the wire to length and file off the sharp edges. If this sounds a little too permanent for your tastes, wrap the coat hanger around the throttle 1.5 turns and use a rubber band to hold the wires together. When you no longer need it, just unwind the wire.
VS1400 Wiring Diagram INFOWARS

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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby YoDude » Sun Oct 19, 2014 4:33 am

Not bad. I like the laytex gloves and the trash bag ideas.

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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby old time rider » Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:33 pm

On the cruise control.If you have owned a Harley or old Honda with the fricton wheel you can operate these.The o-ring I used for years and cheap and easy to make.Get the ones that fit your needs.A cheap big o-ring kit from the tent sales or places like H.F..You can carry a extra with you.Keep the small ring from old key flobs etc and thread them in the o-ring to pull it up and out of the space between the grip and housing.
What I tried and like far better is the little plastic locks at bottom of a jacket and lots of other stuff with a draw string.I like rubber locking strips that go in storm windows when you are rescreening them.They usually split in half often when taking the old out.Thats what I like.In half is right size.Thread it through the lock as you hold it open.Good thing is unlike the o-ring you can put them on on/off bikes with hand guards with out taking the guard apart at end of handlebar.Have used them for years now and like lots better than o-ring ones.Still have the same one on my Vstrom after allmost 34,000 and a Alaska trip.If getting a bike far from home and riding home a simple rubber band or two wraped a few times between housing and grip will work.Just push back every time you want speed reduced like on the old friction wheel type.Raw hide or any thing that will hold it at same place will work for a while.

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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby Suzuki Johnny » Tue Dec 30, 2014 6:49 am

You've got a pair of real old comfortable motorcycle boots that don't hurt your feet and they are really nice walking ........ but them suckers are starting to leak on those rainy rides.. :bonk: :bonk: ..
Well get you a can of "Sno Seal" beeswax and rub it into that old leather real good and voila.....Water proof riding boots.... :thumbup: just make sure to wipe the excess off before putting them on.
Been using the stuff for years now..it's the best beeswax I can find anywhere..
All my riding wear are leather hiking boots, makes for easier walking at the stops and I can wear them all day long without any blisters of any kind :thumbup:
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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby old time rider » Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:49 pm

If you do not have proper rain gear or boots that leak this may help.Icarry a dry pair of socks inside two regular sliced bread sacks.If boots become water soaked and feet wet pull over out of the rain.Take off wet boots and socks.Dry feet and put on dry socks then bread sack over each foot and back into wet boot.If cold feet will stay dry now and warm.

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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby Larry TN » Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:31 pm

old time rider wrote:If you do not have proper rain gear or boots that leak this may help.Icarry a dry pair of socks inside two regular sliced bread sacks.If boots become water soaked and feet wet pull over out of the rain.Take off wet boots and socks.Dry feet and put on dry socks then bread sack over each foot and back into wet boot.If cold feet will stay dry now and warm.


Thanks. I may get caught in the rain.....again.
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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby Suzuki Johnny » Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:38 am

The trick is to purchase dependable rain gear and waterproof boots...I remember making some long distance trips without the above mentioned items..and I suffered through it mainly because I was young and still full of pi$$ and vinegar and I could take anything Mother Nature could throw at me.. [emoji106]
Now as I got older and started to realize I wasn't the tuff mother that I thought I was when I was younger I took the advice of a seasoned biker who had seen it all....He went by the name of Lefty.. that was because he had lost his left arm at the elbow in a motorcycle accident but he still rode...he had a modified Harley Super Glide that he rode everywhere..including long trips. But if you ever seen him on the road you wouldn't have noticed anything different about him....he wore long sleeve shirts all the time with a glove sewed on the end of the left arm of the shirt and he devised a method to attach that glove to the left handle bar and he looked like a normal rider with two arms ......
Anyway his advice was to purchase a good high priced rain suit that would fit over anything that you would normally wear on the bike even leathers... with adjustable straps to tighten up it up during the summer months when you wouldn't be wearing layers or a heavy leather jacket...and I did just that..Last pair I bought ((10 years ago) I paid $125 for a grey and orange H/D rain suit and never has it failed to keep me dry and we have some frog stranglers here in the deep south :eek: ..
I do wear Cabela's Gore Tex water proof hiking boots but I do coat them with beeswax to make sure they perform as they should and they've never let me down either.
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"Je peux normalement dire comment un homme intelligent est par comment stupide il me croit."
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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby 98VS1400 » Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:31 am

I'm sure there is a reasonable explanation for it, but how did Lefty clutch?

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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby Jolsen » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:13 pm

Very carefully

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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby Suzuki Johnny » Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:40 am

98VS1400 wrote:I'm sure there is a reasonable explanation for it, but how did Lefty clutch?





I did mention that he rode a modified Harley... The bike he rode didn't have functional front brakes. he relied on his back brake for all his stopping power... and his clutch was on his right handle bar.... Over the years.. ( his accident was early in life) he developed a keen sense of balance to operate a 635 pound motorcycle with just one hand....Ole Lefty could ride with the best of 'em..it was uncanny to see him maneuver in the the twisties.. [emoji106]
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"Je peux normalement dire comment un homme intelligent est par comment stupide il me croit."
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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby old time rider » Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:51 am

Wish I had the KLIM gear and heated gloves and vest on our Alaska trip.Klim is high but works so good and after a year with it never leaked and life time warranty it will not.If you ride every day and main means of travel do not wait till a old coot like me to get good gear.

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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby SuzyRidr2 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:11 pm

Lots of good stuff here. Thanks! :rock:

I might add that a metal electrical junction box cover stored in your saddle bag or tool kit will work great to increase the surface area of your side stand foot too, and won't look quite as red neck as a beer can. [emoji106]
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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby sgtcall » Sat May 14, 2016 9:23 am

I like to carry a bicycle lock cable with a combination lock. It coils up and fits in a saddle bag or you coat pocket. Run it between the risers and down the sleeve of your jacket when you want to leave a coat with your bike instead of carrying it around or to lock you helmet and jacket up to the bike. $5 for the cheap lock I've been using for years. If you have really nice gear you may want to spend a little extra on the lock.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Bell-Watchdog ... k/17619568
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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby jonnycando » Mon May 16, 2016 4:25 pm

Or keep wearing the jacket I went over the cliff in....and it still looks it....but it still works good...but nobody that sees it will want it...sling it over the seat and walk away. It's always there when I get back.

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Re: Top 10 Motorcycle Hacks

Postby 1stlttightwad » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:34 pm

On keeping feet warm when boots are soaking wet.. Remember..wool does not lose it's warming capacity EVEN when wet.. Forget the cotton. Dave


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