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"Get Your Motor Running"

MAY 2016:

I would like to thank the Great Lakes Regional Conference, (GLRC) for this opportunity to be the safety officer for this region. Being a training officer for most of my Law Enforcement Career I know how important a safety officer is, and I approach it with the utmost seriousness. I pledge to pass on useful and prudent safety information that will benefit all motorcycle riders at every level from the beginner, intermediate, to the advanced rider.

This is my first article and I am going to stay true to the golden rule, keep it simple and begin with the basics.
It’s a new riding season which means it's time to get your motorcycle to your friendly neighborhood mechanic so that he/she can give it the once over for safe operation. Once you get the thumbs up, it’s up to you to do your daily pre-ride checks which should include an evaluation of the tires, controls, lights, oil, chassis and side stand. It's also a good idea to check shocks, (front & rear). Proper levels should be based on the owner’s manual, or manufactures suggestion. In later articles I will delve deeper into why these checks are so important, each area is an article in itself.

Even the basic operator should know about these checks right? So you're probably thinking to yourself "What bit of safety advice are you going to impart upon us Mr. Safety Officer?" My response is this, an often overlooked aspect of preparing for a new riding season has nothing to do with clutches, brakes or gears; it has do with the fitness of the rider. There are so many portions of your anatomy that are called upon when it’s time to pick-up, push, or move a motor if needed. Just as much care and attention should be emphasized on your core muscles and posterior chain which includes your hips, buttocks, upper and lower legs; as that shiny chrome you spend all day polishing.
I will talk about proper lifting techniques in future articles, so until then riders entering a fresh season of riding should start a stretching and a progressive weight training program to help get those muscles in shape.

If you belong to a gym and have access to a personal trainer, explain your fitness needs to your contact, in that you ride an 800 pound motorcycle and from time to time you may have to push, pull or lift it up on varying types of roadway surfaces and conditions. A trainer worth their mettle should be able to understand the body mechanics necessary and should be able to assist you in implementing the appropriate strength program.

If you don’t have that luxury, research any major fitness magazine and/or online resource. Look for training routines that focus on flexibility, core and leg strength. Once you find a program that suits your needs, put it to work so that when we come back and talk about pushing, pulling and lifting your motorcycle, the most important machine relating to your safety will be ready, YOU!

Until next time readers, ride Safe!
Ride with Pride…

Lee “Motorman” Smith

Last Updated: MAY 2016
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