Babes Ride Out

Motorcycle Safety

Reduce the Risk of Breaking Down | A Quick Checklist Brought to You by Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorney

Sponsors, SafetyAshmore Ellis

Motorcycle maintenance is incredibly important and a responsibility that each rider should take seriously. Making sure your machine is up to par reduces risk and we all know enough risk is involved in riding as is. We spoke with Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys to get a few tips on how to check your moto before you hit the road to Babes Ride Out 6.

Photo by @twofoursixer / Geoff Kwolchuk

Photo by @twofoursixer / Geoff Kwolchuk

When is the best time to go over your bike? We recommend taking it for a spin fully packed as if you’d be on your way to Babes Ride Out. A quick inspection after you hop off the bike can help you fix situations early so you aren’t stranded with issues. Let’s get started!

Tire Inspection is key and checking pressure, for nails/bolts that may have penetrated your tires, and wear) are super important to note when examining your bike after the tires cool. Always make sure your tires are up to par (before and after your ride) and if you are in doubt, take it in! It’s not worth your life.

Clean your bike: Wiping down everything helps you notice and erosion, loose parts, stripped bolts, leaks, etc. Touch everything (obviously when pipes / engine are cool).

Are your controls dialed? Look for missing bolts/nuts, frayed & kinks, and make sure your handle bars can be easily moved with no binding. There should be no excess play in your throttle, make sure that bad boy snaps back into place.

Do your lights work? Test them! Brake, signals, headlight. These are crucial and should be kept cleaned. Check your battery while you are at it to ensure it’s charged properly and the terminals are clean, battery bolted down tight, etc.

Make sure your brake fluid, oil, final drive, transmission, coolant, and fuel levels are dialed in.

Check your luggage and the components that connect it to the bike / frame. Is your sissy bar loose? Are you packed sky high above the bar? Move your items around, shake the hell of out them to see if they still stay in place. Not having your gear tied down is a huge risk not only to yourself but to those riding behind you.

Ok so maybe you still break down even though you went through every single part of your bike. It happens! Thankfully RBMA has a rider’s network for FREE called B.A.M.

Motorcycle Roadside Assistance

BAM: Breakdown and Legal Assistance for Motorcyclists

BAM is a unique volunteer organization of bikers helping bikers. Motorcycle Attorney Russ Brown started BAM over 30 years ago to provide breakdown assistance to motorcyclists across the country. BAM’s nationwide volunteer network of roughly 2 million motorcyclists can help you in an emergency. If you experience a breakdown or mechanical problems while on the road, call 1-800-4-BIKERS, and we will search our volunteer network and send someone out to help.

Roadside Assistance for Motorcycles

BAM also provides free legal advice to members. Started by the Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys who ride, BAM is the ultimate resource for riders that we have developed and fine-tuned for over 30 years. As a result, the Los Angeles motorcycle accident attorneys at Russ Brown have developed trusted relationships with the best lawyers across the country. Over four hundred of the very best biker–friendly lawyers are ready to help you if you are involved in a motorcycle crash. BAM’s emergency ID card can speak for you if you are incapacitated in a crash: we list your emergency contact person, medical problems, and blood type. When emergency personnel call, we will supply this information and provide donors if necessary.

Get your FREE BAM Benefit card by clicking HERE to sign up! A little extra help could possibly be the best thing you ever signed up for.



The Importance of Practice by Francesca Michelle

SafetyAnya Violet

As we are gearing up for Babes Ride Out 6 we are highlighting some important topics to help you stay safe on the road. One of those topics is PRACTICE! It's easy not to think of riding a motorcycle as something that you need to practice. However, practice can mean the difference between you being as prepared as you can be for the unexpected or not. For some, its as simple as practicing holding your line on a fun twisty road or quick stops in a parking lot as you wait for a friend. Taking your riding skills to the next level will help to keep you safe on the road. We caught up with Francesca Michelle of the Eastside Moto Babes to get her thoughts on practice. Read on and enjoy!

babes ride out

The Importance of Practice

by Francesca Michelle of Eastside Moto Babes

 Back in 2016, my best friend asked me if I wanted to ride on her team in a 24 hour endurance race. The race, put on by M1GP, runs noon-noon for 24 hours straight, with a team of 6 people keeping the bike on track at all times. I was 23, had been riding for almost three years, didn’t own leathers, and had never ridden on a track before. Obviously, I said yes.

My logic was: I was a skilled, fairly fast rider on the street. I practiced a lot in parking lots and rode canyons regularly. Track couldn’t be that different; I’d probably be fine.

Cut to the day of the race. It’s around 95 degrees in the high desert. There’s 15 teams on the track, in different classes ranging from 50 cup to mod 125. We’re the only stock Grom in the 125 class and all six of us are really excited. We’re running stints an hour long, and I’m near the end of the lineup. I get on track for my first stint, and it takes me about four seconds to realize I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. My street riding skills don’t help me here. As anyone who’s ever been on a track will tell you: it’s a completely different kind of riding than on the street, and I’m getting an up-close look at it. I’m pretty much the slowest out there. I get passed, a lot. I get lapped, a lot. It’s massively frustrating. When my hour is over, I get off track, pass off the bike, and go off by myself to be grumpy.

 The night session passes pretty similarly. Things start to turn around during my morning stint. The sun is rising. The Grom is running strong. I think, this is silly. It doesn’t matter if I suck at this. If I give up on it now, I’ll always suck the same amount.

I finish my session happy. My lines are cleaning up, my body position is getting better. I find people on track I can trail behind and watch how they ride. Between my first sessions and my last, I drop six seconds on my lap time. But, more importantly, it starts to be insanely fun. OK, everyone is going to pass you. Who cares! Don’t worry about being faster. Just be smooth and make yourself harder to pass.

 My team placed second in the stock class that year (completely due to my teammates, who are excellent riders and terrific people). Shortly after, I started volunteering at Socal Supermoto in Riverside and riding their TTRs whenever I could. Slowly, I got better. I practiced, and I listened, and I started to improve. I bothered Brian and Frank about everything I could think of, and every weekend at supermoto I’d pick up something else. I bought my own TTR and converted it to minimoto. The next time I raced with M1GP, it was stupidly fun and I was ten million times better than the year before. 

It’s easy to look at people who are really good at something, and beat yourself up because you’re not as good as them. It’s easy to feel like they have some kind of intrinsic ability or innate skill that you just don’t have. (To be fair--those people do exist, and it’s incredibly annoying.) But often, that’s not true. All you have is a snapshot. A girl on an MX bike railing a berm. A girl on a track bike blowing by you at unrealistic speeds. That’s insane, you think to yourself. I can’t do that. This person is just better at this than me.

 I’ve been there. I’ve thought that. But here’s what you don’t see: the hours of practice put in. The questions asked. The mentors and friends and coaches, pestered with questions. The hours--and I can’t emphasize this enough--of doing something a million times, failing at it over and over until you start getting better. Skill is practice. Practice is a habit, and a willingness to try again. All the skill you have at something comes from a willingness to be terrible at it first.

Take the classes. Ask the questions. Find someone who knows more than you, and bug them. Think you can’t do it? You can. Just get out there and do it. Get out there and suck at everything for awhile, screw up and fail a bunch of times and you will get better. You will! Failing is a part of it. Give yourself the grace to suck at something you love. It’s more fun than you think.

Options for further training:

Safety Refresher Course  Westside Motorcycle Academy www.westsidemotorcycleacademy.com  Sign up: HERE

Intermediate, advanced 1 & 2 rider courses: https://www.totalcontroltraining.net

Socal Supermoto: https://www.socalsupermoto.com

M1GP, racing and rider clinics: https://m1-grandprix.com/m1gprc/

UMRA, racing with fleet rental options: http://www.raceumra.com/faq.html

Ladies Only Track Days Are Here Thanks to Socal Supermoto School!

People, DIY Tips, REVIEWSAshmore Ellis

"Slow down and focus on the technique" is the first advice you'll hear from Socal Supermoto's Brian Murray, teacher and owner of this track experience that provides everything including the bikes, gear, pizza, and all the encouragement you can handle. I have to admit, as a first timer I was a little bit intimidated. I am not a fast rider and racing around a track with 13 other ladies I didn't know quickly turned out to be the one of the best experiences I've had on a moto to date. 

Our class!!! We had a full house at the first ladies only Socal Supermoto x Babes Ride Out track day! 

Our class!!! We had a full house at the first ladies only Socal Supermoto x Babes Ride Out track day! 

So what is it exactly? Socal Supermoto is a school that is designed to make you a better rider. The skills you learn in the class translate to any motorcycle (dirt and street). The classes are small which means you get hands on guidance everytime you are on the closed track. Classroom instruction breaks up the day and allows you to hydrate in between your track time (trust us, in full leather riding gear you need it). The school's philosophy is that proper technique not only makes you a safer/better rider, it makes riding much more enjoyable.

Babes Ride Out Supermoto

What were my biggest takeaways? The biggest take away I learned was slow is OK! I also learned how to effectively use the front braking system safely & to my advantage in turns. I can now read my turns way better and understand where to enter those turns and exit them. I also entered my first race and even though I am 100% non competitive, it somehow came out of me and I had an absolute blast chasing new friends around the track. 

This is me..... RIPPING!

This is me..... RIPPING!

How can I take the class? We are glad you asked! We are proud to announce we've teamed up with Socal Supermoto and are supporting 2 more ladies only classes for 2018.  

  • MAY 19th 2018
  • DECEMBER 1st 2018

Click HERE to sign up for this incredible experience. Spots do fill up fast so rally you girls and make a day of it. You won't regret it. 

 A little dirt never hurt! Learning about asphalt to dirt transitions. 

 A little dirt never hurt! Learning about asphalt to dirt transitions. 

*All inclusive Supermoto School includes Supermoto rental, training, trackfees, photography, t-shirt or hat, and lunch. We also have gear that we rent out for free! Just show up with your gear and water, and we'll cover the rest. We guarantee you'll have the best time you've ever had on two wheels! Need more reasons to take the class? Here ya go! 

10 reasons to do a Socal Supermoto Trackday via Brian Murray:

  1. It's really, really fun
  2. Speed all you want, no tickets
  3. Pit next to pros! Guys like Toni Elias, Max Biaggi, Darryl Atkins, etc can be found training at socal supermoto tracks
  4. Riding on the track is far safer than the street
  5. Become a better rider
  6. Valentino Rossi's street bike is a supermoto
  7. Back it in!
  8. Can't decide between street or dirt, ride both!
  9. That person in the cubicle next to you would never do it
  10. It's really, really fun

 

Breakdowns Are Avoidable | S&S Cycle Shows Us Exactly What to Look For with This Incredible Motorcycle Safety Checklist

DIY Tips, SponsorsAshmore Ellis

Does this look loose to you? Are my tires looking too worn out? Why is my headlight smoking!?! These are just a few of the millions of questions I've asked myself over the course of owning and maintaining a motorcycle. As we all know, breakdowns happen but 95% of these hellish roadside moments can be avoided with proper care and paying attention to your machine. Think about it, if you are riding something going 75 mph on two wheels totally exposed to every single element wouldn't you want to make sure it is 100% road worthy and safe? We urge every single rider to go over this check list created by S&S Cycle before they get on the road. Print a copy for your tool roll, this information is one of the most important pieces of knowledge we can pass on to you from S&S Cycle

When you get to Babes Ride Out 5, you will be able to stop by the S & S Cycles Garage for a full inspection, free oil (changes if you need it), have air put in your tires, and have help from a certified mechanic to make sure you and your bike are taken care of. Huge thank you to S&S Cycle for being a major part of this event and taking care of the ladies! 

Being prepared is the best possible thing you can be. Photo by @sprocketz 

Being prepared is the best possible thing you can be. Photo by @sprocketz 

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My Personal Experience Taking the Motorcycle Safety School Class (MSF Training Course)

DIY TipsAshmore Ellis

You gotta start somewhere. We always recommend starting in the dirt if you have never sat on a bike before but once you start figuring out the mechanics, what's next? I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's training course and wanted to share my personal experience with you. Proper training, knowing your limits, and a basic understanding of these machines is incredibly important. 

Signing up is easy. The MSF site will help you find places near you (using your zip code) that offer beginner training and advanced training.  Bikes and helmets are provided but if you have your own helmet, I'd recommend bringing it if you can. My class was small, about 13 people which was great and not intimidating in the least as everyone there was there to learn. We started in a classroom and had a bout 5 hours of going over safety, basic mechanics, group assignments (the worst) and finally were ready to head out to the bikes. The class I was in had low CC bikes of all kinds, all of which are banged up which takes out the fear of "what if I drop it?!". My instructors were amazing and helped me learn where my hands should go, shouldn't go, where my feet should be, how to counter steer, etc. These guys are trained to look for any bad habits forming and quickly break you from them before it's a problem. For instance, my right hand was hovering over the brake when in gear. The instructor noticed and told me what to expect if I grabbed it...my hand no longer hovered there. They pack a lot into the 10 hours of "on bike" learning and you stay under 10 mph. Before you know it, you are on your safety "obstacle test" which at the time was terrifying because I didn't want to fail or drop the bike (that is automatic failure while taking the final test only). But guess what.. people fail it all the time and that is ok! All it means is that you'll need some more time learning basic skills to ensure you won't fail when it really counts, in the street with oncoming traffic. We had 3 out of the 13 fail in my class and no one looked down on those people because of it. Infact, every single failed student was determined to come back next weekend and do the whole thing over again. I was excited to pass on my first try but even though I had this certificate in my hand that would allow me to get my moto license, I was far from ready to be turned loose on the freeways of CA. The MSF helped me learn the fundamentals of motorcycle safety and showed me what I really needed to practice in order to get road worthy.  Months went by of practicing in my neighborhood, back streets, up and down hills, etc. Over the course of a year I was riding from 10 miles from home to 100 miles into the desert solo. It took time, dedication, failure, scares, and some embarrassing moments to get me here. I am still learning every time I get on my moto and yes, I am still slow as hell and use all the hand signs when riding but that is just my style. 

So, let's break it down:

Motorcycle Safety School Benefits

  • You learn on their beat up bikes so you can't hurt them (or yourself)
  • They provide basic gear (helmets, gloves) and require you to wear boots & pants
  • You get a discount on your insurance after completing 
  • It's affordable! $180 - $275 and we hear some states are free!
  • You are learning from professionals who know what to look for and correct bad habits before they form
  • Classes are small and you'll have a lot of 1 on 1 help and guidance 
  • They offer advanced training after you pass the Basic Rider class 

Motorcycle Safety School Things to Consider

  • Passing this class does not mean you are road worthy. You will need tons of practice and continued education (trust me, I did!).
  • This class will not teach you how to ride in groups and you will not experience riding in traffic or on the street. All instruction is done on a closed course. 
  • The class is only 1 weekend and you'll be learning the rest of your life. 

If you have any questions about MSF, their training, and advanced skill classes, give them a call at (800) 446-9227 or email MSF@msf-usa.org

I started with the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) Standard, but look at all they offer!

I started with the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) Standard, but look at all they offer!