Should Motorcycle Riders Worry About Covid-19 for Summer Riding?
The weather is turning perfect to be out on your bike, taking in the open road and relaxing, by yourself or with your friends. As a motorcycle rider, is there something that you need to know or be aware of in protecting yourself from Covid-19?
Not being sure what to look out for I reached out to a friend, who I knew would be able to set me straight with the facts, Bill Nugent, owner of Woodstock Harley-Davidson (Route 28, Kingston, NY).
Going back and forth with Bill, via email:
BH: What should riders be aware of during this time of social distancing?
BN: First, know that everyone is under tremendous stress and anxiety during this time period. Riders need to be aware that some drivers are now hyper-focused on their destination (Walmart, Home Depot, etc) and will lack the ability to check their surroundings. Motorcyclists are operating in that surrounding. Don’t assume that you can pass safely either on the left or the right...
BH: Is there some special gear that would be helpful? Are there any precautions that riders should be taking, now, that they might not have in May 2019?
BN: I would highly recommend motorcyclists consider the current state of their riding gear, such as a helmet. What is important is that motorcyclists ride with DOT approved helmets, and that those are not older than 5 years. Helmets are one of the essential items that you don’t want to wear if it has been dropped, shows signs of excessive wear or have visible cracks on the surface.
BH: So everyone's motorcycle inspection sticker has expired, is it cool to be out riding with an expired inspection? Really?
BN: Since the NYS DMV is closed, if your inspection on your motorcycle has expired, you are not breaking the law riding with it expired. Dealers cannot order new stickers. For now, inspections are suspended. Same applies to expiring drivers licenses. Once DMV opens, you’ll be able to update your license and dealers should be able to order inspection stickers.
BH: Riders are probably more ready than others, especially since they wear gloves and a form of a face mask everywhere they go, but I am sure there is something I am missing that would be helpful to pass on.
BN: Some riders do wear balaclava's and bandannas when they ride. Do not feel compelled to wear these items riding if you normally wouldn’t. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable or try to adjust them when you are operating a motorcycle. According to the CDC, it is highly unlikely that you would contract the coronavirus while riding a motorcycle at 30 mph.
BH: How have things changed for you at the dealership? Can people still get service and repairs done? If we're thinking about getting a new ride, how should be go about doing that? Should we wait until everything gets 'back-to-normal?"
BN: Yes, you can get service done and now is a great time to get it done, because then you will be set for the entire summer. Schedule an appointment with the dealer, wear a mask, and observe social distancing rules when inside a service Department…As for buying something new, again, call the dealer and schedule an appointment to allow you into the showroom. Unfortunately, there is no ’stopping by to take a look at the new models’ at this time. Same goes for new essential riding gear ( helmets, boots, gloves, etc) you have to call for an appointment and we will fit you for comfort and safety. But if you would like to get a Woodstock H-D T-shirt you can get that through our Shopify website.
BH: Bill, thank you so much for your help! Can't wait to see you out on the road!
Are you a motorcycle rider? What, if anything, are your concerns for riding this summer? Will you be doing anything different? Do you have any suggestions of things that we should keep in mind other than what's been listed above?