Myrtle Beach Bike Week has spread out over the past decade and now goes from Shallotte, NC to Georgetown, SC. People come to Myrtle Beach Bike Week to enjoy the coastline of the Grand Strand, meet old friends and make new friends. To enjoy great meals, in fantastic restaurants and the Grand Strand's nationally acclaimed coastal attractions.
This year's Bike Week Spring Rally will be held from May 12 - 21, 2017 at locations all over the Coastal Carolinas. For more information about Myrtle Beach Bike Week, visit myrtlebeachbikeweek.com.
But first, you want to make sure you arrive safely so that you can be in good shape to participate in all the fun! Here are a few "tips" to keep in mind when riding with a partner... and once you get there, a little common sense will help keep you and your prized vehicle... unharmed and out of "theft's way!"
Biking with a Passenger
Anyone who has ridden a motorcycle knows that it can be exhilarating and fun. And there are times when a biker may want to travel with a passenger. Riding with a passenger can be a great experience for both the driver and the passenger, but it is important that the proper preparations are made to ensure your safety.
The most important thing to remember when considering riding with a passenger is that both of you must be comfortable. You should be an experienced motorcyclist and comfortable with your skills and your bike before adding a passenger to the mix. If your riding companion is scared or nervous, it can make a big difference in the way they react, which can affect the bike's handling. The passenger must be able to relax and work with the driver. The passenger should also be alert and act as another set of eyes and ears out on the road. The first step in making a passenger feel comfortable is a prepared driver.
Start by making sure your bike is capable of carrying two people. You may need to adjust your suspension to accommodate the extra weight, so check your owner's manual before heading out. Be sure you have a seat that can comfortably accommodate two. In addition, talk to your passenger about what their responsibilities are out on the road. Don't assume they know.
Protective Gear - Make sure your passenger knows that they need to wear a helmet, jacket, gloves, boots and long pants if they are going to be riding with you. The proper attire can help reduce the risk of injury in the event of an accident.
Mounting - Explain to your passenger that the rider mounts first, gets the bike pointed in the right direction and has the bike completely under control before the passenger mounts. The passenger should always mount and dismount the bike from the left side by first putting a foot on the peg and then swinging the other leg over the seat. They should try to keep their weight as evenly distributed as possible.
Feet on the Pegs - Once on the bike, it's important that the passenger keep both feet on the pegs at all times, unless the driver indicates otherwise. If the rider takes their feet off the pegs, it can throw off the distribution of weight and cause the bike to tip. In some states, the law requires foot pegs for passengers, so make sure you know what the guidelines in your state are before you head out.
During the Ride...
Practice - Let your passenger know that their added weight can cause the bike to handle differently. Find a large parking lot or a straight section of road and take the time to practice braking and stopping so both you and your passenger can get used to the feel of it.
Braking - Weight distribution will change as the bike comes to a stop. The quicker the braking, the more sudden the change in weight distribution. As you come to a stop, your passenger will automatically lurch forward. To minimize the effects of the shift in weight, make sure your passenger keeps their feet on the foot pegs and holds on to the driver around the waist, at the hips or by the belt. As the driver, you should leave plenty of time for braking to avoid abrupt stops.
Leaning - Instruct your passenger to lean with the bike while turning or around corners. They should lean gently and avoid sudden movements. The passenger should hold on to the driver and move with the movement of the bike and driver. If your passenger has never ridden a cycle before, you should not take any high-speed turns until they understanding leaning and can do it properly.
Turning - When turning, it is important that the passenger move with the driver and help maintain the stability of the bike. Again, this is best accomplished by having the passenger hold on to the driver, counterbalance to keep the weight evenly distributed and avoid any abrupt movements.
Stop Often - Be sure that both you and your passenger have ample opportunity to get off the bike, stretch your legs and enjoy the scenery. It will help keep both of you alert and make he ride more enjoyable.
Riding with a passenger can be safe and fun if you provide these tips to your passenger, talk through their responsibilities and yours, and practice until you're both comfortable before heading out on the road. If your passenger moves in synch with the bike and the driver, maintains evenly centered weight distribution, holds on to the driver and is relaxed and comfortable, you can have a great time riding. But remember, it all starts with a prepared driver who is confident and in control.
A Little Common Sense...
While Bike Enthusiasts flock to major rallies throughout the country, be advised that so do some of the most unscrupulous types of thieves. Here are several relatively simple and inexpensive ways to help protect your motorcycle from ending up in the back of a thief's van.
According to National Insurance Crime Bureau statistics, motor vehicle thefts are on the rise, and among the vehicles being targeted are motorcycles. It's one thing to have your property stolen, but if it is something you love and have become attached to, that is a different story altogether. And only 25% to 30% of motorcycles are recovered after theft. Thieves steal motorcycles to resell the whole bike or to strip it down and sell the parts. The fact that motorcycles are small and relatively easy to move makes them particularly vulnerable to theft. Smart thieves will find a way to steal your bike if they really want it, but there are things you can do to protect your investment and make your motorcycle less appealing to a thief...you can make it bothersome for them to try to steal it.
One of these methods alone might not be enough to deter a determined thief, but using more than one - or better yet, several - of these methods just might make the difference in whether a thief stops at your house or keeps going. Keep Your Bike Out of Sight! The best bet is to keep your motorcycle in a locked garage. For some people, this might not be an option. If you have to keep your bike parked outside, start by keeping it in a well-lit area and out of direct view from the street. It should be covered with a plain cover that is free of logos or brand names. If the thief can't tell by the cover what type of motorcycle is underneath, they may be more inclined to pass it over. In addition, you should keep the cover locked to the bike with a cable lock. However, this won't prevent a thief from picking up the whole bike and taking it, cover and all. That's why it is important to use this in conjunction with other security measures.
Lock Your Bike to a Stationary Object! Even if you have your bike in a locked garage when not in use, it is a good idea to also have it locked to something immovable. One method would be to cement a steel eye to the floor to put a chain or cable through. When using a chain or cable lock, be sure to loop it through the frame or another stable part of the bike. When you're out riding and leave your bike parked outside, always use your steering lock - this is your first step of defense. In addition, you should use two or more locks of different types. If possible, park your bike where you can see it and check on it periodically.
Make Good Lock Choices! When choosing locks, it's not a good idea to spare expense. Choose good locks. Types of locks include serpentine link locks, u-locks and chains. Record key numbers and then file them off the locks if they are stamped on them. Locks attached to your bike should not touch the ground. If a lock is lying on the ground, it is easier for a thief to use a hard item to pound the lock until it breaks. Even if you keep your motorcycle in a locked garage, it's always a good idea to look around to make sure you're not providing a thief with the tools to dismantle your locks. There are usually a lot of tools in a garage and with time and determination, a thief will be able to remove the locks from your bike.
There are several new mechanical devices that can help ensure you'll find your bike where you left it. Many dealers are now selling motorcycles with alarms as a standard feature, as well as similar anti-theft devices. An alarm alone is not an effective deterrent, but in combination with other methods, a wailing alarm is liable to make a thief think twice. Even if your motorcycle isn't equipped with an alarm, you can get stickers that say that there is an alarm installed and put them on your bike. You can also purchase anti-prying devices, pick-resistant mechanisms or you can install one or more kill switches to make the motorcycle impossible to start.
And Common Sense! The best way to protect your motorcycle from theft is to use common sense. Don't leave the keys in the ignition or anywhere within close proximity to the bike. Make sure that you choose the safest places possible to park or store your bike. And don't lock your bike down to something that can easily be moved or broken and assume it's still going to be there when you come back.
Just a few "cautionary notes" before letting your hair down and enjoying the Spring rally in Myrtle Beach...there are a million and one things to do there besides play golf-just follow the hogs!