Useful Motorcycle Riding Tips for Exploring WNC


Motorcycle Riding Intro

Custom paint job on a Yamaha R1
  • We have a saying in the motorcycle community, "There are those who have gone down, and those who will go down." Keep this in mind, and remember, "Shiny side up!"
     
  • First and foremost it is very important that you wear proper gear when going out to ride. In North Carolina “brain buckets,” a.k.a helmets are required! All must be D.O.T approved and AshevilleNow recommends full faced, and Snell approved. A skull cap a.k.a Harley yarmulkes may be cool but they offer little in the way of actually protection from environmental concerns or in case of an accident.
     
  • Gloves, a padded riding jacket, and boots are the essentials when it comes to basic safety gear. All other gear is dependant upon your type of riding and the time of year. Unless you are a seasoned rider stuck in your ways we recommend seriously considering the basics. The author and friends have been saved many times by these simple articles of gear.
     
  • Respect is important when it comes to riding a motorcycle. This means respecting the laws of the place you live, respecting other motorists, respecting the environment, and respecting anyone else using the roads. When passing other motorists use common sense and NEVER assume others see you.
Riding two up at a biker rally
  • If you are a slower rider, don't hog the road. If your fellow cyclists wish to go faster than you, it is a good practice, when there is safe clearance, to wave them past. Conversely, if you are a faster rider, don’t blow by slower riders and drive recklessly (endangering others is not cool).
     
  • Remember, that while speeding on the Parkway can be exhilarating, it is Federal property, and therefore infractions can be more severe. Use extra caution or realize that you may be taking one for the team.
     
  • Temperatures in the mountains tend to be 10 to 20 degrees colder than in town. This is also the case in the early morning and in the evenings. Be sure to bring extra layers in case you hit a cold spot.
     
  • Gas up, gear up, and bring food and water. Many areas in WNC are remote. If you plan an all day adventure, you’ll want to be prepared. The roads here around Asheville are more exhausting due to elevation change and the fact that there is hardly a straight road in all of WNC.
     
  • When riding for hours you need to be extra alert. Make frequent stops to refresh yourself and also to check the condition of your riding partners.
Motorcycle camping at Lake Santeelah
  • Looking through corners may not be a new concept, but here in the mountains it is extra important. Looking directly in front of the bike is a very common mistake for inexperienced and experienced riders alike. If you don't look through the corners then you can't possible know what is coming up and have ample time to react.
     
  • In the mountains we use our gears to control our speed. Many times one will find they are entering a corner too fast. In this case it is important to gear down, and ride out the corner, instead of jamming on the brakes. In most cases, if you relax and ride out the corner, you will be fine. I have found on many occasions that the bike is capable of taking a deeper turn than I think is possible.
     
  • Besides great curvy roads, we have lots of gravel, sand, and salt covering our beautiful roads. These treacherous dangers can and will be where you least expect them. In other words, Western North Carolina isn't to be ridden like you are on a track. Please, use common sense!

Motorcycle Riding Intro

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Motorcycle Riding in Asheville and Western North Carolina