What are your favourite motorcycling hacks?

Maccas gauntlets hacks

Motorcycling hacks are those inventive things you do to avoid or remedy problems and make your riding life a little easier.

Necessity is the mother of invention and when you are out riding and you suddenly need something you didn’t bring, necessity can make you improvise with some strange things.

For example, I didn’t realise that my jacket sleeves didn’t meet my short summer gloves until the sun had climbed high in the sky on a long trip. I knew I’d end up with badly burnt wrists if I didn’t do something about it.

So I called into McDonald’s and picked up two cardboard chip packets – no chips. I offered to pay, but they gave them to me for free. Thanks Maccas!

I cut them down, slipped my gloved hands through and voila! They became temporary gauntlets that protected my wrists from the sun. (See photo at the top on the page.)

Riding hack number one!

So we’ve put together 10 more motorcycling hacks and tips that should help you. Some you can do on the run and others require you to take some provisions with you.

We’d also like to hear from you about your hacks and tips.

MOTORCYCLE HACKS

  1. Always carry cable ties, gaffe tape, microfibre cloth and wet ones. You never know what will come loose or need cleaning or fixing on your bike, luggage or your riding gear. These can all fit in your jacket pockets. Small cable ties are fine because you can link them for bigger jobs.
  2. If you park on wet grass, gravel, mud or soft sand where your side stand might dig in and your bike eventually topple over, go and get a can of soft drink, drink it, then crush it under your foot. The result makes a great “foot” for your stand so you don’t get that sinking feeling! You can also use a jar lid or buy a specialised parking “puck” and carry it with you.
  3. Motorcycle jackets can be very hot and the vents don’t always suck in as much air as you need. One of my friends overcame this by stitching velcro in strategic places such as on the chest so he can pin back the jacket and allow the air to flow in.
  4. If you’re caught in the rain, you can buy large dishwashing gloves at any supermarket to put over the top of your gloves. You can also use tight-fitting dishwashing gloves under your gloves as a temporary barrier against the cold.
  5. Use electrical tape as a sun visor. Place a thin strip across the top of your visor, or at the bottom of the visor if you ride with the visor open, such as on a bike with a big windscreen.
  6. Carry big garbage bag liners and small ziplock sandwich bags. Garbage bags will not only protect luggage from getting wet, but if you poke your head and arms through it and then put your jacket over the top, it will stop your body getting wet and/or cold. Even some “waterproof” jackets can let water into their pockets so ziplock sandwich bags will protect your phone and wallet.

    gab=rbage bag wet liner - hacks
    gab=rbage bag wet liner
  7. After riding in the wet, stuff your motorcycle boots with dry newspaper (remember newspapers?) and it will soak up the moisture. It may take a couple of days and you should replace the newspaper when it gets wet.
  8. Put your garage door remote in a small plastic bag and put it inside a nice pouch which you can place on your handlebars. Mine fits neatly on the triple clamp of my Bonneville. Place a dot on the outside where the button is located and then you can open the garage door as you ride up your street.
  9. Carry a carabiner in your pocket to attach your helmet to your bike. Some bikes have a helmet lock, but some don’t. You can also get carabiners that have locks on them.
  10. If your chain needs lubrication and you’re in a town with no motorcycle shop, g0 to a supermarket and buy spray cooking oil to use as an affordable, temporary alternative to designer chain lubes. It can also be used to lube stubborn jacket zips.

Now, tell us about your motorcycling hacks by leaving a comment in the box below.

15 Comments

  1. These hacks for motorcycle are very wow. I like the 5th hack – a motorcycle helmet can resist the sun’s light by electrical tape. How can you make it? It’s a very good idea, so simple!

  2. Out of petrol? You’ve walked to the nearest garage and they lend you a container. You get to the nearest petrol station and put 5 litres in it. You walk back to your bike to discover the pouring the petrol from the container is going to make a right mess. Where’s your funnel when you need it? By the roadside, in the form of an empty milk carton. Tear the bottom corner out and Oila! Back on the road…

  3. No rainex? Cut a potato in half, rub all over your visor and let it dry. Buff off the whit film and now water will bead and run off. Potatoes contain silicone which will also fill scratches.

  4. A small improvement on your electrical tape on visor. Use 2 inch wide black masking tape. To select the location, put your helmet on in front of a mirror, angle your head as if riding, use a marker pen to draw a couple of lines where your eyebrows are. All visor above that is superfluous and just collects unwanted glare. Bottom edge of tape should cover those 2 lines. Trim tape to top & sides of visor. The view now is just like wearing a baseball cap – vision is unimpeded and it’s simple to block the sun’s disk and still have a clear view of the road

  5. While this article is about using non-motorcycling items when riding, here is something the other way round. During cyclones I wear my riding trousers and steel capped work boots. I hang my riding jacket over the back of my chair and place my helmet and gloves alongside me. If the roof should start to peel off or the building start to break up I can quickly slip on my riding gear. It won’t prevent all possible injuries (which is the same in a motorcycle crash) but when 300km/h winds are hurling heavy and sharp items (including broken glass) it is much safer than wearing ordinary clothes. Owning this gear is another advantage of being a motorcyclist.

  6. I saw the note about the garage door opener and thought people might like my approach to this issue. I bought a second garage door opener and a waterproof switch off ebay cheap. I fitted the switch on the handle bar near the mirror and ran the wires into the rear opening of my head light, after soldering the switch wires to the remote [make sure you do this with the wires through the headlight so it all fits back properly] I used some double sided tape to hold the remote inside and at the rear of the headlight where there is lots of room when you move the wires around a bit. I now have a hidden remote aways on the bike and never have to remove my hand from the handlebars when I am approaching home to activate the garage door.

  7. NO WAY. Food oils are NOT suitable replacements for machine oils. Spray cooking oil will destroy your chain quick. All petrol stations carry various machine oils in a range of container sizes, such as WD-40/RP7, engine oil, or lubricating oil (e.g. machine oil) which can be used on the chain in a pinch. It’ll fling off quick, so use sparingly and re-apply often, but it’ll work to save your chain. Many fuel stations even have proper chain lube.

  8. Hardware stores and chemists sell thin white cotton gloves for a few dollars, which are perfect glove liners for cold days. They are easily stored in the pockets of your jacket and much more comfortable than rubber gloves.

    Every biker needs to carry a bandanna. It has a number of uses but the main ones I use mine for are as a soft cloth to wipe a visor clean, and on a hot day soak it in water and tie it around your neck. As soon as you start moving the water starts evaporating and it will give 30-45 minutes of delicious cooling before it dries out and needs a re-wetting. It also makes a good head cover when you stop in the sun if you don’t have a hat.

  9. On a cold day, when you stop, stuff your gloves on a warm part of the engine (not the exhaust), putting them back on is ahhhhhhhhh!

  10. women’s panty hose works great as emergency thermal underwear and is cheap
    with a couple of safety provisions
    Do not get caught putting them on in the toilets at the local truck stop.
    Do not have an accident
    If you start thinking “pricilla queen of the desert ” was the greatest film
    ever made ,Stop use immediately .

  11. I do similar with the sleeves and gloves but my issue is my thick winter gloves won’t go easily over the cuffs of my jacket do on each sleeve I have wide black elastic which compresses the cuffs allowing me to yank gloves over sleeves and in summer I leave them there cause bugs don’t get very far with the cuffs tight against wrists.
    I also sewed a long loop of wide tape to the inside of both gloves..easy to get first one on but with thick gloves it harder to pull second one on so I just shove a finger through the loop and yank glove on.
    I have a pair of surgical disposable gloves stuffed under seat …under thinner gloves in the wet or if the weather turns cold they block wind and water

  12. Supermarket bags or other bags small enough to fit your foot.

    Put them over your socks before putting your boots on and your feet will stay dry.

    Also put them over your boots and you can put your wet weather gear on without taking your boots off.

  13. Plastic shopping bags are good for making galoshes slip over your boots easy so you don’t rip them
    you can also tuck one into your waist and hang it down between your legs so the water that builds up between the tank and your body doesn’t soak into your crotch.
    also when ever you go on any kind of trip take a roll of toilet paper or raid macca’s for napkins as you never know when you’ll need to go and there won’t be any bog roll.

  14. candle stub and lighter to help with lighting a fire if stranded on the side of the road awaiting repairs in cool weather . Use a newspaper across your chest etc for extra insulation . Choc bits and nuts in zip lock bags for energy on long rides .

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