There’s nothing like hitting the open road for a long, relaxing ride. But what if you find yourself 30 miles from home and you get an alert about an impending hurricane or tropical storm? Since hurricane season runs from June through November, there’s a chance you could encounter dangerous conditions on the road. You may also simply want to secure your motorcycle to protect it from storms. Every rider should know how to handle themselves and their bike when the weather takes a turn. Get a plan in place ahead of time with Cycle Trader’s six tips for preparing your motorcycle for a hurricane.
1. Understand and Track the Weather
Before you leave home, check the forecast on TV, online, or over the radio so you can be prepared. The first step to being able to follow weather alerts is understanding what they mean.
- Advisory – Advisories are most often used for less severe weather, like wind.
- Watch – A hurricane is possible. Watches typically span over a large area for a long period of time.
- Warning – Hurricane conditions are imminent. Warnings cover a smaller, more precise area for a definite period of time. High Wind Warnings are issued for wind speeds of 40 mph or more for an hour or more, or wind gusts of 56 mph or more for any duration.
It’s helpful to have a weather app on your phone to receive up-to-the-minute updates on weather conditions. Dark Sky, one of our seven top apps for motorcycle riders, is a great source for accurate weather data.
2. Secure and Store Your Motorcycle
If you know a storm is coming, keep your motorcycle protected from wind and rain by storing it inside a garage or shed. Make sure the structure is sturdy enough to withstand high winds. If you can’t store your motorcycle indoors, position it close to a strong structure. Brick walls or buildings can act as a shield against strong winds. Whether you store your bike indoors or outdoors, it never hurts to cover it with a tarp or rain-resistant cover. Use a motorcycle lift or lift table to raise your bike in case of flooding.
3. Check Your Motorcycle Insurance
Ahead of hurricane season, double check that the insurance policy on your motorcycle is up to date and covers the effects of hurricanes, such as water and wind damage. Take photos and videos before and after the storm so you’ll have a record to show your insurance agent if there is any damage.
4. Get the Right Gear
If you do have to ride when a hurricane is approaching, make sure you have the best gear to keep you safe on the road. A waterproof rainsuit, boots, and gloves can help keep you warm and dry in heavy rain. Equip your helmet with an anti-fog visor or breath guard to maintain clear visibility as you ride in humid conditions. Make sure your gear has reflective strips so others on the road can see you in reduced visibility.
5. If You Get Caught Riding in a Storm
If you’re on the road and get caught in a storm without time to prepare, carefully drive to the nearest exit, find a large, sturdy building to park your bike, and seek shelter inside. Tune into a local weather forecast, or utilize a mobile weather app, to track the storm conditions and determine when it will be safe to get back on the road. Need more suggestions? Cycle Trader has additional tips for riding in the rain.
6. Getting Back on the Road after a Storm
When it is safe, NEVER attempt to drive through high standing water or flash floods. Leave plenty of space between yourself and other drivers and vehicles on the road. Make smooth throttle adjustments in small increments, use less lean angle, and ride in the driest part of the lane following a storm.
Conclusion: Safety should always be a priority when traveling on your motorcycle, but even more so during hurricane season. These tips can help prepare your bike for a hurricane, whether you encounter a storm on the road or are simply securing your motorcycle until the storm passes.
If you’re searching for your next motorcycle, browse the for-sale units available nationwide at CycleTrader.com.