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18 Motorcycle Hacks Every Biker Should Know

Added April 16, 2020
Two people riding a motorcycle in the dark and in the rain

If you're a biker, you want to focus on riding and keeping your baby safe with minimum complications or distractions. Make use of these biker life hacks to make things as easy as possible for yourself.

That way, you can focus on what matters: your ride and your bike.

1. Staying cool in the summer

When you're riding in the summer, your motorcycle jacket can get very hot, and the vents may not be doing their job as well as you want. 

Stitch some hook and loop closure in strategic places, like on the chest, and then you can pin your jacket back to get some airflow (while still enjoying the protection from the elements the jacket affords). 

2. Prevent sunburn in a pinch

Finding yourself with summer riding gloves that aren't long enough to meet your jacket sleeves? 

Pull up to a burger or fast food restaurant and ask for their cardboard fry containers. Cut them so that they're the right size to connect your gloves to your jacket. Tape them down, so they don't fly off.

Now your wrists are appropriately protected from the sun.

There is also a great product called Ventz that you clip onto your jacket sleeves so that cool air goes up into your jacket while also keeping you from getting sunburned.

3. Keeping track of screws during maintenance

Your bike has a lot of screws that hold it together. To prevent all of these miscellaneous screws from getting mixed up during maintenance, affix your screws to a labeled piece of cardboard, corkboard, etc. 

Now, you will be able to find your screws fast and get out on the road even quicker.

4. Crushed can kickstand support

Parking your bike on soft ground or an unstable surface? 

Take an aluminum can, crush it, and put your kickstand on top of it. This simple hack should keep your bike stable on any surface.

5. Latex glove liners

Waterproof, insulated gloves are great. And if you doubt it, just go for a ride without them. And if you accidentally find yourself on a trip without your gloves, then it may be a real danger considering how important having full control of your fingers is for operating your bike.

That's why you should keep a pair of latex gloves in your bike's under-seat storage along with your motorcycle insurance and registration. Sure, those gloves aren't as good as the pair you're cursing yourself for forgetting at home, but they'll make a significant difference. 

And when you're 100 miles from your abode, anything is better than nothing.

6. Duct tape visor

This is a trick that you have probably seen if you're a regular rider. 

Affix a strip of black tape an inch-wide to the top of your helmet's visor to block out the sun's rays in the early evening, particularly if you're westward bound. You'll appreciate getting a reprieve from the sun's rays--especially if all it takes is a simple tilt of the head. 

At night, or when the sun's high in the sky, you can just store the tape on the back of your helmet for easy access during future rides. 

7. Newspaper inside boots

Get your boots wet on the road in the middle of a long trip? Don't worry. You may not have the luxury of air-drying them over several days and using foot inserts that will absorb any unpleasant odors, but you got the next best thing: newspapers. 

Just grab what's black, white, and read all over, ball up some pages, and put them in your boots. To make this work even better, repeat this practice throughout the day (and even at night). By morning, your boots should be dry and good to go. 

Additionally, newspaper works as a reliable form of insulation when you are caught in a surprise bit of cold.

8. Trash bag rain gear

You might think that fashioning an ad-hoc rain jacket out of a trash bag is pushing it, but keep in mind that if you're out in the rain for too long, you can get hypothermia. And hypothermia is no joke. So, best to err on the side of a trash raincoat.

9. Magnetic directions holder

If you don't have a GPS, this is a great trick to keeping directions in front of you if you have a metal tank: magnets. Better than tape because they don't leave residue and can't be ruined by heat, magnets will keep your directions in front of you. 

You may not even need to buy magnets if you've been saving the ones that come in the mail from various businesses and charities . Or you can buy some touristy magnets at any of your favorite biking destinations.

10. Ignition switch lock reminder

For those of you who don't know, a disc lock is a padlock you put through one of the perforations on your disc brake. They're usually a bright color so that you don't try to drive away with one still on. 

For the same reason, disc locks often have a lanyard on them that hooks to your handlebar so that you don't, again, try to drive away with the lock still on. For some people, however, that lanyard isn't enough because you can't see it particularly well at night. 

Instead, rig up a device that is kept on your ignition. This will serve as a constant reminder to take out your disc lock before turning on your bike.

  • Take a hook and loop fastener and attach the fuzzy side to the ring around your ignition key. 
  • Attach a brightly colored sticker to the hook.
  • Place the sticker over the ignition key anytime you open the lock so that you can't stick the key in without removing the sticker.

No more starting to drive away with the lock still on.

11. Soft ties for tie-down point

A bungee cord or net can be very convenient, but not every bike has a convenient place to attach them. All you need is a soft tie to create a mounting point.  

If you have a cruiser with dual shocks, an excellent location for a soft tie is around the shock mount. 

If you have a sportbike, wrap your soft tie around the sub-frame. 

Nylon loops are sold in all sorts of lengths, so you'll find one that works for you.

12. Wire helmet lock

This motorcycle hack is designed to keep your mind off your helmet. 

Buy some galvanized cable from your local hardware store or favorite online retailer. Make sure it's long enough to loop through your helmet's chin bar with some extra inches. 

Order some crush sleeves as well and make loops at both ends of your cable. 

After parking your bike, loop the wire through your helmet and lock it to the helmet lock on your bike. Next, loop that over your seat latch. Voilà. That should be deterrent enough for most thieves.

13. Easy garage door opener

Who wants to fiddle through their pockets or a bag looking for their garage door opener? 

Nobody. 

Put yours in a small plastic bag and put that bag inside a pouch that slips onto your handlebars. 

Draw a dot on the outside of the pouch where the button is positioned, and then you can open your garage door easily as you approach your place.

14. Get the gas off

Want your hands to stop smelling like gasoline?

Get some hot tap water and add a mixture of dish soap and either lemon juice or actual lemon quarters. Take a handful of your formula and scrub your hands for a minute. 

No more gasoline smell.

15. Sharpie touch-up

Sometimes touch up paint is too much for a scratch. In such cases, just get a Sharpie (or another permanent marker) that matches the color of your finish to eliminate any scratches.

16. Spare gloves for the win

Caught in the rain without the right gloves (or any gloves at all)? Then swing by the store to buy some large dishwashing gloves. Put them over your non-waterproof gloves (or your bare hands). 

You can also use tight-fitting dishwashing gloves under regular gloves to guard against the cold.

17. Washing up with liquid and sugar

Got dirty hands but lack the proper cleaner? 

Make some yourself. 

Just use dish soap and sugar (or hand soap and sugar). The granules will do the trick. This also works with salt, but then you risk getting salt into places that'll get all stingy, so stick with sugar.

18. Bike cover + tarpaulin for extra protection from the elements

Want an excellent bike cover without paying the price for a great bike cover? 

Buy a big waterproof tarp, fold it in half, and lay it over your bike. On top of that, just put cheap bike cover you got off eBay, your favorite online retailer, or some brick and mortar store. 

Now your bike is safe from the elements.

Bottom line on bike hacks

Eighteen bike hacks are a lot. 

Now go out there and put them to use so that you can worry less about obstacles getting in the way of enjoying your ride and actually enjoy your ride. 

And, yes, there's even more bike hacks out there if you look hard enough, but you may be too busy riding with greater ease to conduct that search. That's okay; we gave you the goodies.