Quality Motorcycle Tires can give us trouble-free miles

There is an old saying among riders, “keep the rubber side down”. Although there are many factors that help us do that, tires are a critical component of a motorcycle.

Manufacturers spend a lot of time and science figuring out which tires to put on each of their models. Although we can sometimes “upgrade” the quality of tire, the size has effects on handling and so it is best to adhere to the manufacturers recommended size.

Once we ensure that our tires have good tread, it is very important to ensure that you are running the correct tire pressure. Pressure being off as little as 5psi, low or high, can affect the handling of a motorcycle. Riding on tires with incorrect pressures can also cause the tires to wear out more quickly.

As with cars, there is writing on the side of the tire which typically reads “Max pressure 42psi”. However, the recommended pressure may vary so checking the owner’s manual specifications is best. There is usually also a sticker on the swingarm or chain guard that gives the correct pressures to run. Often the stickers, or owner’s manual, will indicate a different pressure to use when carrying a passenger or cargo.

Much like new sunglasses and windshields, new tires give us a short lived warm and fuzzy feeling. But if well maintained, motorcycle tires can give us many thousands of trouble-free miles on the road.


Coach Dale

Positives & Negatives Of Modular Helmets

I love my modular helmet! After I purchased my first one in 2013 I will never go back to a regular full face. Granted, there are some positives and negatives to this type of helmet:


1: Provides the same protection from elements as a full-face while giving the convenience of a ¾ face. You can talk to fellow riders easier, drink a bottle of water, scratch your face, open it when sneezing, and go into gas stations or other places that normally require you to remove your helmet.

2: Easier to clean the screen!

3: If you are claustrophobic but still want the face protection these might be the ticket. Mainly because you have to open the helmet to put it on or take it off.


1: They are not as “safe” as full-face helmets. The chin and jawbone are high impact areas, there is no guarantee that a modular will not “flip up” during a crash exposing those areas.

2: Snell refuses to test modular helmets due to the non-solid chin bar, therefore we do not have Snell ratings on different brands.

3: They tend to be a little heavier, but I do not notice this so much.

There are many other reasons to love or hate a modular helmet, but I LOVE mine!! Next time you are shopping give one a try ;)

Coach Sarah

Reducing Fatalities in Utah

No one likes to talk about fatalities. Nowadays it feels as though everyone you talk to has been, or knows someone who has been, affected by a motorcycle fatality. Our mission here at Utah Rider Education is to help reduce fatalities and crashes with education, however, with numbers that seem to go up each year I wondered- What is the State doing to help reduce our local fatality numbers?

That would be Marques Varela’s department as Vulnerable Roadway Users Program Manager for the Utah Department of Public Safety. As a rider himself he understands the need to spread awareness and reduce the fatality numbers. Marques has been riding on two wheels since an early age. He grew up riding BMX and racing cars, then in 2003 he purchased his first bike, an R6, and took our Basic Rider Course. Since his Basic Course he has also taken a couple Experienced Rider Courses to stay up to date with his riding skills.

I am mainly a commuter when it comes to riding. I feel this helps me become more aware and keep up on my skills as a rider.”

What does the Vulnerable Roadway Users Program Manager do? Marques is in charge of reducing fatalities in Motorcycles, Bicycles, and Pedestrians. Working with many levels of government and local businesses to create awareness and spread the word about Rider Education.

One day I’m working with NHTSA and the next with local PD’s or Rider Groups. I truly enjoy how broad the job is and how many people I get to work with. It allows me to get different perspectives and new ideas.”

Having gained an appreciation for the legislative process, Marques feels that with a lot of hot button topics we need to become active as a community to help the current regulations. He wishes people were more involved, local representatives need to be aware of local opinions. In his current position there is not much he can do to push legislation, only provide info on safety data and statistics to help them make informed decisions.

Think globally but act locally.”

This year he is working on lawn signs and billboards to give drivers the perspective of motorcyclists. Hoping to get drivers to relate to or have empathy for us. Also, videos will be posted online to show everyday people riding bikes. He will be sponsoring some local events such as the Ride to light up Eureka, See Me Save Me, and a Safety Night at RMR.

Reducing fatalities starts with the rider. Get educated! Be a good example and a responsible rider by giving yourself time and space, managing your own risk. Share your experience with others!”

We are thankful that people like Marques are working at the State level to help keep us safe! Ultimately, it’s up to us, we are responsible for our own safety. Keeping our skills sharp, constantly learning, and being realistic about the risks we take. Together we can reduce fatalities and crashes!

Are Scooters Actually Motorcycles

Like most folks, when I thought of a Scooter I imagined the flip-flop beach-bum with the classic baby blue Vespa and the cute rounded headlight riding around with no helmet, salty hair, and not one care in the world. I used to see this image and figure there was obviously no skill needed to operate such a vehicle. Anyone could ride a scooter…
Fast forward many years into my riding and Rider Coach career to the day we received a Scooter on loan to use for classes. I had still never straddled a scooter in almost a decade of riding. My brain was underwhelmed with the idea, almost disappointed as I approached this strange and not-so-cute version of my idyllic beachy Vespa.
After a few minutes I finally figured out how to start the engine. When taking off the throttle was smooth and satisfyingly peppy. As I proceeded to shift into second gear the entire machine felt as though the engine had seized and I was about to become very intimate with the instrument panel! Turns out the “clutch” was actually the brake due to the automatic transmission. On the range exercises the riding was obviously a little different, but it had its advantages. It was easy and quite pleasant to ride with the right amount of knowledge and skill.
Many students went on to have great experiences in class on that scooter. Most students looking to use a scooter were those not wanting to shift, or those who could not shift anymore. Scooters have evolved so much that I believe more and more riders will begin appreciating them for more than the automatic transmission. They have a comfortable seating position, tons more storage capacity, and many other benefits depending on the model. You can get anything from the all-terrain Ruckus, Sport-touring BMW, Three-wheeled Peugeot Metropolis, to the Super Scooter from Aprilia.
The conclusion for me is yes, scooters are motorcycles, they too deserve the friendly rider wave. But does is it ever really matter what we ride? In the end aren’t we all just Riders?

Putting your bike to bed for the winter

Many of us live where riding year-round is not feasible. Snow, ice, and below freezing temperatures is not fun or safe on a motorcycle. So, if your bike will be stored for a couple of months there are some things you should do to make next spring “riding time” instead of “fixing time”.

#1 Fuel

Fill the tank with non-ethanol fuel, if available. Add some fuel treatment to keep your fuel fresh. We recommend Startron or Lucas Ethanol treatment, both are available at local bike shops and auto parts stores. If your bike has carburetors, turn the fuel valve (petcock) off and run the bike until it is out of gas. If it is fuel injected run the bike long enough to get the treated fuel throughout the system.

#2 Tires

Check the pressure and set as necessary. If possible, store the bike on the center stand or maintenance stands. This will reduce or eliminate the load on the tires and the suspension.

#3 Battery

A battery tender will help keep the battery alive for many years of use. Studies show that it is best to hook up a tender for periods of time, such as one week on and one week off.

#4 Shiny Stuff

To keep your machine looking good, a good bath, polish, and a cover will go a long ways to keeping the paint and chrome from fading or tarnishing.

By Coach Dale