Throttle Therapy: Motorcycle decorations need not be boo-ring

Britt Santowski is the motorcycle columnist who offers occasional advice safe riding. Santowski is a former Chief motorcycle instructor.

On my way to work the other day, I chanced to pass a motorcycle with a side car. The passenger of the side car caused me to do a double-take. What the … ?!

Indeed, it was true. The passenger was a decked-out (or, I guess, more accurately, a bare-boned) skeleton.

Which leads me to this week’s column: safely adorning your motorcycle for the Halloween season. Or any time for that matter.

While it’s not a common occurrence, when adding any adornments to your motorcycle or your gear, there are certain things you should keep in mind.

Stickers and helmets

Helmets are built to include a smooth skid factor. Which is to say, should your helmet come in contact with the pavement, it is important that your helmet slides smoothly. Should anything cause the helmet to abruptly come to a stop, that sudden jolt could ultimately lead to severe spine injury. Or worse.

If you have a sticker that you are contemplating placing on your helmet, make sure that it is approved for helmets.

This same logic applies to painting your helmet. Don’t do it unless you know that the paint is actually intended for motorcycle helmet.

Conspicuity

Do you remember the time when geeks were relentlessly tormented? Now those same geeks have the high paying jobs, and being a geek in school is the new cool. The same shift has happened with motorcycle gear. There’s delight in bright.

It probably has something to do with the greying of the bikers, along which has come the desire to live as long as one possibly can.

Backrests, fenders and tanks are places where you might see personalization going on.

Akin to getting a tattoo, though, if you’re going to add something permanent, you might ask yourself the question, “Can I live with this for as long as I own the bike?” And akin to contemplating property value, you might also ask yourself, “Will this  particular feature increase or decrease my bike’s resale value.” Of course, if you intend to be the forever-owner of said machine, that second question need not apply.

Do not even consider decorating your forks. Just saying.

LED lighting

LED lighting can be used to add intrigue to your bike. Keep in mind that blue lights are prohibited as they may be seen as intentionally (or unintentionally) imitating a police vehicle.

If you are installing decorative lighting, be sure to follow all instructions. If you find a left-over screw or an unattached wire, undo what you have done, and redo it again. If you have maxed out on patience, then either get a professional to do it, or trust that your own natural halo will provide all the additional decorative light that you need.

Things that dangle

Be very careful when putting on things that dangle. Consider worst-case scenario. If you go down, will this dangling thing catch on anything? Can it tangle you up in it? Can it get caught in movable parts (tires, steering, engine parts, etc.). If it becomes detached, does it pose a safety hazard for you? for the person travelling behind you?

If you can see the potential for danger, then rethink the dangling bits.

Things that don’t

If you are going to attach anything to your bike, attach it firmly and securely. Again, think of the damage that could be done should the item of adornment become unattached.

I feel a bit like Saturday Night Live’s Debbie-downer. But I’m not, really! The point here is not about dwelling on the negative, it’s about proper planning. If you put in the proper effort up-front, then the execution of whatever follows can be incident-free, giving you the joyful experience you so  deservingly need. Or want.

Like one article I read online said, don’t dress for the ride, dress for the slide.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A couple of clients took a break from the cold in January on opening day of the Connect Warming Centre. File photo
Courtenay council approves lease extension for Warming Centre

Courtenay council has approved a one-year lease extension and continued in-kind support… Continue reading

From left, NDP party leader John Horgan, Kus-kus-sum project manager Tim Ennis (with his daughter, Kestrel), K’omoks First Nation Chief Nicole Rempel, and Courtenay-Comox NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard pose for a photo across the estuary from the Kus-kus-sum site. Photo by Terry Farrell
B.C. VOTES 2020: Horgan promises to bridge Kus-kus-sum funding gap

NDP leader John Horgan made what could amount to a major financial… Continue reading

The three candidates vying for the Courtenay-Comox riding: Ronna-Rae Leonard (NDP) Brennan Day (Liberal) and Gillian Anderson (Green)
BC VOTES 2020 – Courtenay-Comox candidates address affordable housing

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Comox riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

The Comox Valley Hospice Society recently received a generous donation from a personal donor to help fill a fundraising gap created by COVID-19. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
Comox Valley Hospice Society receives significant donation

CVHS is facing a fundraising shortage created by the pandemic

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A screenshot from the virtual all-candidates meeting on Monday, Oct. 19 hosted by the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce. (SCREENSHOT)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Mid Island-Pacific Rim candidates weigh in on forestry, tourism, LNG

For the first time ever, Alberni Valley Chamber hosted a virtual all-candidates’ meeting

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Michael Leighton, who is wanted on 11 warrants on Vancouver Island and is a suspect in a recent break, enter and theft in Nanaimo. (Photos submitted)
RCMP looking for break-and-enter suspect with 11 warrants on the Island

Nanaimo RCMP say Michael Leighton a suspect in theft of pistol and $40,000 worth of coins

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Most Read