While still in fifth grade, Allwin Xavier had his first good look at a motorcycle when a cousin visited his house. His feet didn’t reach the pegs, nor did he have any idea how the machine worked. But there was this unspeakable joy of sitting on the gas tank, twisting the throttle and mimicking the whir of the engine, pretending he was one of the many motorcyclists he saw speeding past his home in Thrissur.

Anfal Akdhar was no different. When he was 14 years old, he was sure that riding a motorcycle was what he wanted to do one day. He soon discovered the world of racing and was immediately drawn to it. But his parents’ reluctance meant he had to wait until adulthood to finally get a chance to hit the track.

Today, 22-year-old Allwin and 20-year-old Anfal race for their respective teams in the Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship and dream of reaching the big leagues sometime in the future. Here, they share insights into their own journey and reveal how a bike enthusiast can break into the world of racing.

How to become a professional motorcycle racer in India? - MotoSportsNews

Start as young as possible

As with most other sports, getting into motorcycle racing at a young age is essential to having a bright future. The 22-year-old Allwin competed in the Novice category at the 2020 Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship against riders as young as 11 and 14.
“If a rider is under 18, he or she needs permission from a guardian to race. But at that age, the advantage is that multiple teams take care of the rider and manage all the expenses. For example, Honda has a separate category where they work with grassroots riders and nurture them through the years,” Allwin says.

He did a lot of his initial research through online videos to understand the nuts and bolts of racing before hitting the track.
“At 22 years old, my opportunities are almost over. Racing has a lot to do with age. If you look at the world stage, a lot of the guys my age are already established world champions in different leagues. And MotoGP is a competition to find the best among the proven champions. So if you start young, you can gain a lot of experience. Eight-time world champion Marc Marquez, for example, started riding a motorcycle at the age of three,” he adds.

How to become a professional motorcycle racer in India? - MotoSportsNews

Sign up for basic training and get your license for the competition

When Anfal had the opportunity to pursue his calling, he started looking for opportunities online. The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) has around 16 accredited academies that guide beginners through the basics of racing. In April 2019, Anfal joined CRA Motorsports in Coimbatore, where he received certification to drive on the track.

“My initial concerns were about safety, but I quickly realized that the riding suit, boots, gloves and helmet make for a very safe ride. Once you get past that, it’s all about the adrenaline rush,” Anfal says.

Allwin first completed an open-track session to assess his skills. He then moved to California Super Bikes in Chennai, where he was put through three days of theory and track sessions. In the end, he procured a certificate that made him eligible for a racing license.
“It’s hands-on training where a trainer follows you around the track and irons out your mistakes. The three levels of training give you all the fundamentals you need to race on a track,” Allwin says.

Certification by one of the accredited academies is essential to apply for an FMSCI license. For those under 18, a guardian’s consent is also required to obtain a license.

How to become a professional motorcycle racer in India? - MotoSportsNews

Get regular professional training with a team

In August 2021, Anfal made his debut in the national championships with Rockstar Racing. With the Palakkad-based team, he found a mentor in Mohammed Shafin, who prepared him for his first race. With only three professional race tracks in India – in Chennai, Coimbatore and Noida – the duo visited Bengaluru and used a 1km karting track for their training sessions.

“It’s a small track, but it really helps improve driving skills. We spent about a week there every month,” Anfal says. In Bengaluru, Shafin would guide Anfal around the track, instructing him on driving lines, braking lanes and body position. “I think it’s crucial to have a personal trainer if you want to get into racing. If you’re just racing on your own, the focus is only on the times you sign up for. With an experienced driver in front of you, a lot of the learning happens simply through observation,” Anfal says.

Allwin also trains with his team as a group once a month. However, he also organizes his own training sessions at home in Thrissur.
“Besides training on the track, I also do a lot of off-road training around my home. Not only does it help you understand your bikes better, but it’s also a great way to improve fitness levels,” Allwin says.

Try to find a sponsor early in your career

Motorcycle racing is an expensive affair in India. The most basic investment is Rs 1 lakh per season, which a rider has to pay to get into a team. If you perform well on the track, there is a chance that a sponsor will support you in the years to come.

Allwin had a good debut season with Rockstar Racing in 2020, picking up a few podiums and other finishes in the top-5, and it was enough to earn him a ride with Chennai-based Sparks Racing, which offered him a one-year contract at a subsidized fee.

“A rider only gets paid if he is picked up by a factory team. Only Honda and TVS currently have a factory team, which means most have to pay for a ride. The first year my parents supported my passion. This year I am supported by some motorcycle enthusiasts from Kerala. I also have the support of an established motorcycle accessory dealer for my riding gear support. It is encouraging to know that they see my potential and I am grateful to them,” says Allwin.

Anfal emphasizes that landing sponsors is more challenging than racing bikes in India, unless you can get on a big-budget team.
“It’s still manageable if you’re in the stock category. Once you are in the Pro Stock category, you need about Rs 6-7 lakh in the first year to build the bike. So it gets really expensive when you get into that category. After that, it costs about Rs 1.5 lakh for every season to maintain the bike,” says Anfal.

How to become a professional motorcycle racer in India? - MotoSportsNews

Sign up for smaller races to get practice

As a precursor to the national championship, most riders compete in pre-season races hosted by private promoters. These are single rounds of two races that set the stage for the upcoming season.
“There are about 15 races that a rider can participate in each year. In addition to these races, there is also an endurance race where drivers work in teams of two to complete the most laps,” Allwin says.

Focus on physical fitness to become a better racer

In addition to the work that goes into improving skills on the bike, a lot of effort goes into preparing the body for the rigors of motorcycle racing. Anfal has adopted a daily badminton routine that helps sharpen his reflexes and agility. He has also built his endurance through running.
Allwin has worked with Anish Shetty both on and off the track. As a professional racer and CrossFit athlete, Anish has a planned routine for Allwin to follow in the off-season.

Moto3 working on new accident warning system 'in race situations' - MotoSportsNews

Recent rule changes announced by the MotoGP Grand Prix Commission included official confirmation that the new automatic accident warning system to alert following riders of an impending incident will be developed in Moto3 “race situations” this season.

While the exact operation of the system, created in response to a series of tragic deaths in the Moto3/SSP300 classes last season, has yet to be explained, it is believed that once an accident has been detected, the rear rain lights of nearby machines will flash to warn those arriving on the scene.

In normal use in wet weather, the rear rain lights illuminate but do not flash. The MotoGP class tested the visibility of flashing rain lights in bright sunshine during Friday practice at Portimao last year. Most riders reported that the flashing rain lights were still visible, although some were easier to see than others because of their position on the bike.

Additional warning lights on the bike and/or rider equipment are also possible to maximize the effectiveness of the new warning system. The development of the MotoGP World Championship’s new “automatic warning system” will be carried out by the Moto3 class “in race situations in 2022”.

“In order to facilitate the introduction of an automatic warning system for riders approaching an accident scene, certain changes to the electronics must be made, including the enforcement and standardization of the DellOrto 6-axis IMU and 2D’s BC-OUT_RL-300 power module,” states an amendment to the 2023 Moto3 Technical Regulations.

“Modified equipment and systems will be effective from 2023. However, the development of the technology will be carried out in race situations in 2022.”

Moto3 working on new accident warning system 'in race situations' - MotoSportsNews

The “enforcement and standardization” of the IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit, consisting of gyroscopes and accelerometers) indicates that it will be involved in the detection of an accident. The “development of the technology” in racing situations could range from data collection to full system testing.

The current dashboard messaging system used at the Grand Prix is unidirectional, meaning signals are relayed from race control to the bikes. The new warning system requires a change in the communications infrastructure so that a signal from an overturned bike can either be transmitted directly to other machines or bounce through a nearby track marshal and/or race control.

The mandate for the new system was to “provide automatic, near-instantaneous warning systems for all subsequent riders/bikes … [that] must be applicable to championships at all levels, including Talent Cups.” While Moto3 will have modified equipment and systems starting in 2023, a timetable for Moto2, MotoGP and other two-wheel classes has not yet been confirmed.

In a separate announcement, Moto2 and Moto3 teams will now be allowed to keep unused tires from race events for training purposes instead of returning them to Dunlop. The decision was made “because it is impossible to determine the source and specification of race tires used by riders for training on non-GP specification machines.”

It also means that teams will only receive brand new tires in their allocation for events. No tires will be allocated beforehand and may be subject to tire warming.

MotoGP is the oldest motorsport in the world. The first world championship was held in 1949. The FICM, now called FIM, was supposed to start the competition in 1938, but due to the Second World War, the championship was canceled and finally started in 1949.

In the first MotoGP championship, the Grand Prix consisted of four individual classes. Leslie Graham won the first title in the premier class. It was Freddie Frith who won the very first 350cc title, while Bruno Ruffo and Nello Pagani won the first 250cc and 125cc championships respectively.

In the 1980s there was fierce competition between the big three, Yamaha, Honda and Suzuki. Many racers have come and gone, but few have taken the MotoGP world by storm. Only racers like Mick Doohan, Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi have been able to master the art of MotoGP.

Here’s a list of 10 great racers who have mastered the sport of MotoGP.

1. Valentino Rossi

All Time Top 10 MotoGP riders - MotoSportsNews

Valentino Rossi, a professional Italian motorcycle racer, is a multiple MotoGP World Champion. He is the only racer in the history of the championship to have won it in four different classes: 125 cc, 250 cc, 500 and MotoGP.

He also has nine Grand Prix championships to his name, making him the most successful racer in the world. Amazingly, he has won seven of his nine races in the premier class.

Rossi started with Honda by winning the 500cc championship in 2001 and the 2002 and 2003 world championships. He also won the 2004 and 2005 championships, but this time with Yamaha instead of Honda, which he left before the 2004 season.

Rossi had several battles with Casey Stoner and eventually he replaced Stoner at Ducati in 2011. Rossi had two difficult seasons with Ducati, after which he switched back to Yamaha. After returning to Yamaha, he finished second in 2014, 2015 and 2016. 2015 was the season in which he looked like winning the title, but was overtaken by Jorge Lorenzo and eventually finished second.

2. Casey Stoner

All Time Top 10 MotoGP riders - MotoSportsNews

Casey Stoner, a retired Australian professional motorcycle road racer, is a two-time MotoGP World Champion, which he won in 2007 and 2011. After his retirement, he worked as a test and development rider for Ducati from 2016 to 2018. Stoner was born in Queensland but had to move to the UK to pursue his racing career.

His ability to ride any bike beyond its perceived limits was his greatest talent. He could win on a much worse Ducati bike than a Honda or a Yamaha. The 2007 world championship that Stoner won remains Ducati’s only world championship to this day.

He always had some intense battles with Valentino Rossi, but somehow always seemed to be behind when Rossi won the championships in the next two seasons. In 2010 he moved to Repsol Honda, where he won the championship in 2011. He was the winner of six consecutive Grand Prix on his home soil.

Casey was an amazing racer who had performed well on the world stage, but always seemed to be in the shadow of Valentino Rossi, who was enjoying his best years when Stoner retired in 2012.

3. Marc Marquez

All Time Top 10 MotoGP riders - MotoSportsNews

Marc Marquez, a Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle racer, is one of the most successful racers in the world. He has seven world championships to his credit, five of them in the premier class. He got his nickname “Ant of Cervera” because he is known for his wild riding style. He is only one of four riders who have won world championships in three different categories.

He is one of the greatest innovators the world has ever seen, as his excessive cornering technique of leaning over the bike makes him look like he is falling out. He is only the third Spaniard after Alex Criville and Jorge Lorenzo to win a premier class title.

He is also the first rider after Kenny Roberts to win a premier class title in his first season. In 2014 he won 10 races in a row, which is a remarkable achievement as he retained the title with three races to go. He is third in the eternal list of winners of most MotoGP championships. He is considered a worthy opponent of Valentino Rossi, currently the best racer in the world.

4. Jorge Lorenzo

All Time Top 10 MotoGP riders - MotoSportsNews

Jorge Lorenzo, another great Spaniard, was 250cc world champion in 2006 and 2007. He is also the MotoGP world champion of 2010, 2012 and 2015. He currently competes with Honda in the MotoGP class. In addition to winning the world title three times, he also finished second three times.

In 2012, Lorenzo became the first racer from Spain to win the premier class title. In the eternal list of the most victories in MotoGP, he is in sixth place with 67 races. In 2008 he became Valentino Rossi’s teammate at Yamaha. He started his MotoGP career on a great note, finishing second in the Qatar race.

He finally converted a victory at the third race of the season in Portugal, which was also his first win in the premier class.

Lorenzo is the youngest rider to finish on the podium in his first three races. He is such a dedicated rider that even after suffering injuries from falling off his bike, he was still able to finish the race in fourth place. Lorenzo is famous for his celebrations after he finishes a race. He once imitated a spaceman jumping into the lake in the infield of the Jerez circuit.

5. Giacomo Agostini

All Time Top 10 MotoGP riders - MotoSportsNews

Giacomo Agostini, an Italian road racer, is a multiple world champion. He goes by the nickname Ago. Agostini holds an amazing record of 122 Grand Prix victories and 15 world titles.

Agostini was born in Brescia, Lombardy. He had a tough childhood when he had to steal away to start his racing career, first in hill climbs and later in road races. He won his first world championship in 1963 in the 175cc class aboard a Morini.

Agostini got his big break for Morini when Tarquinio Provini left the team to ride for Benelli and he was hired by Count Alfonso Morini. In 1964 he won the championship again in the 350cc class. His performance attracted the attention of Dominico Agusto, who hired him as a teammate of Mike Hailwood. He almost won the championship in 1965 before his bike let him down and the title went to Jim Redman.

He went on to win seven consecutive 500cc titles after becoming the best rider for MV Agusta. Agostini decided he would never race again at the Isle of Man, TT, having lost his close friend Gilberto Parlotti during the 1972 TT. He left MV Agusta in 1974 and joined Yamaha, where he won the prestigious Daytona 200. He is considered one of the best racers of his time.

6. Dani Pedrosa

All Time Top 10 MotoGP riders - MotoSportsNews

Dani Pedrosa is a former Spanish motorcycle racer. He is the youngest racer to win the 250cc Grand Prix. Although he has never won a world championship, Pedrosa has won races in 12 consecutive seasons. It’s still a mystery why he couldn’t win a world championship. He also finished second three times.

Pedrosa rode only for Honda throughout his MotoGP career and announced his retirement from the sport in 2018. In October 2018, it was confirmed that he would join KTM MotoGP as a test and development rider, ending his long relationship with Repsol Honda.

Numbers don’t lie, as he has an impressive record in MotoGP. Injuries and bad luck contributed to his problems not winning a MotoGP championship. Who knows what would have happened if he hadn’t had to deal with injuries, because his record shows what a good racer he could be.

In 2012 he had more wins than Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo. He is one of the best but unlucky racers of this generation

7. Mike Hailwood

All Time Top 10 MotoGP riders - MotoSportsNews

Mike Hailwood, a former British Grand Prix road racer, is considered one of the greatest racers of all time. He was known as “Mike the Bike” due to his ability to race on bikes with different engines. He is also part of a rare company that competed in both Formula 1 and MotoGP. Sadly, Hailwood died in a car accident in Warwickshire.

He began his career at a very early age, riding a mini-bike in a field near his home. He raced for the first time at Outon Park in 1957 at the age of 17. He finished in 11th place, but soon began to achieve impressive results. The next year he won the ACU Stars in the 125cc, 250cc and 350cc classes. He was awarded the Pinhard Prize, given to young motorcyclists under 21.

He joined Honda in 1961, with which he became the first racer to win three races in a week, a remarkable achievement. He went on to win the 1961 world championship. In 1962 he switched to MV Agusta and won four consecutive world championships.

He recorded the highest one-hour speed at 144.8 miles per hour. When he returned to Honda in 1966, he won four more world titles in the 250 and 350 cc categories. He is known for his amazing performances in the Isle of Man TT, considered one of the toughest races.

8. Michael Doohan

All Time Top 10 MotoGP riders - MotoSportsNews

Michael Doohan, also known as Mick, is a retired Australian world road racing champion. He has won five consecutive 500cc world championships. Only Giacomo Agostini with eight and Valentino Rossi with seven have won more world championships in the premier class than Mick. In the early 1980s, Mick raced Australian Superbikes, where he won the 1988 World Championship.

He belongs to a rare class of racers who have won a World Superbike Championship in the 500cc class. He began his MotoGP career in 1989 with Honda on an NSR 500cc two-stroke bike. He made an immediate impact when he won his world championship in 1990. He went on to win the 1991 world championship before suffering a serious injury and nearly facing amputation of his right leg.

It was amazing to see him return to the racing arena in 1993, but this time unable to win the championship as Wayne Rainey won his third consecutive title.

Mick won his first 500cc world championship in 1994. His most successful year was 1997, where he won 12 out of 15 races and finished second in the remaining races. He was inducted as a member of the Order of Australia for his great contribution to the sport. He also participated in the design of an Intamin Motorbike Launch roller coaster named after him.

9. Kenny Roberts Sr.

All Time Top 10 MotoGP riders - MotoSportsNews

Kenny Roberts Sr, a former American motorcycle racer and team owner. In 1978, he became the first American to win the MotoGP World Championship. Roberts Sr. is also a two-time winner of the A.M.A Grand National Championship. He is only one of four riders in American Motorcyclist Association history to win the AMA Grand Slam.

He is known for his world championships as well as an advocate of increased safety standards in racing. He had made a proposal in 1979 to create a rival motorcycle championship that broke the hegemony of the Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme. This move led to improved safety procedures and a new era in professional racing. He was named a Legend by the FIM in 2000.

Yamaha USA offered to send Roberts to race in the World Championship along with Kel Caruthers. He secured the support of the Goodyear tire company. Few people thought Roberts would win the championship, thinking it would take him at least a year to get used to the conditions in Europe. Roberts did not start the 1978 season well, but recovered amazingly well to win the championship.

After his Grand Prix career ended in 1983, he briefly got involved in auto racing before starting his own team in 1984. His team included two of MotoGP’s greatest riders, Wayne Rainey and Alan Carter. In 1990 he was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

10. Maverick Vinales

All Time Top 10 MotoGP riders - MotoSportsNews

Maverick Vinales, a Spanish Grand Prix motorcycle racer, is a former Moto3 World Champion, which he won in 2013.

He currently races in the premier class of MotoGP. In 2015, he won the Rookie Award in the MotoGP class. He started racing very early before moving to motocross and then circuit racing in 2002.

In 2007 he became the winner of the Catalan 125cc championship. In the same year he also won the Mediterranean Trophy. In 2008 he participated in various selected events of the German IDM 125GP Championship, where he finished seventh. Vinales ended the 2007 season as Rookie of the Year, finishing second in the championship standings behind Alberto Moncayo. He finished on the podium four times during the season, which is a great achievement for a rookie.

In 2010, he won the championship by just two points over Oliveira after Vinales finished on the podium seven times while Oliveira crashed in one race. Vinales is one of the greatest rookie racers of this generation.

Some of the corners on the MotoGP calendar circuits have names that have been around for decades. Everyone knows them, but often has no idea why certain corners in Misano etc. are called. Brutapela or Lukey Heights are called. Lets look into the origins of some of these legendary corners and their naming.

The Origins of the names of the curves in MotoGP - MotoSportsNews

Le Mans, Curves 9 and 10: Chemin aux Boeufs

Turns 9 and 10 on the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans have the charming name “Chemin aux Boeufs,” which rolls off the tongue easily. The two S-curves are named after a public road in the immediate vicinity of the race track. Roughly translated into German, it means something like “Path of the Oxen.” A handful of roads in France share the name, but the most famous of them has been renamed and thus no longer exists. The ‘Chemin aux Boeufs’ was built in 1860 and connected the town of La Chapelle with Montmartre and Batignolles-Moncau. However, Le Chemin aux Boeufs on the race track in Le Mans is still very much intact and has also been immortalized with curves 9 and 10 on the Bugatti circuit.

The Origins of the names of the curves in MotoGP - MotoSportsNews

Jerez, Turn 6: Dry Sack

Many corners on the Circuito de Jerez are named after legendary Spanish riders – Jorge Lorenzo, Jorge Martinez Aspar and Angel Nieto are just a few examples. Turn 6, however, which bears the name “Dry Sack,” immediately stands out as different. The right-hand bend after the straight is apparently not named after a MotoGP rider, but after a local wine. The area around Jerez de la Frontera is famous for sherry, a Spanish white wine produced exclusively in Andalusia. It used to be particularly popular with the English nobility, who gave it the name “Sack”. “Dry Sack” is a special sherry produced by an Anglo-Spanish company in Jerez. Curve 6 of the Circuito de Jerez is named after the sherry and perpetuates it as part of Andalusian culture.

The Origins of the names of the curves in MotoGP - MotoSportsNews

Mugello, turn 1: San Donato

Each of the 14 corners of the Mugello circuit has its own name and meaning. Borgo San Lorenzo and Scarperia, for example, are named after places in the area. Turn 1 on the historic circuit, however, has a different origin. “San Donato”, as the name might suggest, comes from Saint Donatus. Over the centuries, many men have been given this title. Donius of Fiesole, however, was bishop of the city of Fiesole, located near Florence in the vicinity of the circle, until 876 AD.

The Origins of the names of the curves in MotoGP - MotoSportsNews

Assen, turn 1: Haarbocht

At Assen, too, almost every one of the 18 corners has its own name, but while corners like “Timmerbocht” are named after former Dutch motorcyclists, the origins of turn 1, “Haarbocht,” are quite different. This section of the track is named after the nearby forest that starts just around the corner. There used to be a heath nearby called ‘De Haar’, which gave the forest strip and the corner its name. The TT Circuit Assen now surrounds a road of the same name, which serves as the access road to the GP circuit. It also owes its name to the former moorland behind the circuit.

The Origins of the names of the curves in MotoGP - MotoSportsNews

Silverstone, turns 2 to 6: Maggots, Becketts, Chapel

Silverstone is one of the most legendary race tracks in the world. The “Hangar Straight” refers to its former life as a military airfield, but there are other, less obvious names for corners on the circuit. Probably the most famous part of the circuit is the “Maggots-Becketts-Chapel” series of curves. These three names obviously have a particular origin. The name “Maggots” is not derived from the English word for a larval or caterpillar species, but refers to the “Maggot Moor” behind the track. “Becketts” owes its name to Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 to 1170, who was canonized after his violent death. The chapel also named after him.

The Origins of the names of the curves in MotoGP - MotoSportsNews

Misano, turn 9: Brutapela

In 1983, in order to boost tourism on the Italian Adriatic, the turn names of the World Circuit Marco Simoncelli were named after towns in the surrounding area. The circuit itself remained unchanged. However, the general public was not enthusiastic about the idea of promoting tourism through this name change and continued to use the original names. Over time, the track’s owners saw sense and began to reuse many of the original names. An example of this is Turn 9, which is now called “Brutapela.” The corner takes its name from a farmer whose last name was “Brutapela”. He used to own some fields around the circuit.

The Origins of the names of the curves in MotoGP - MotoSportsNews

Phillip Island, Turn 9: Lukey Heights

Apart from Gardner Straight, Stoner and Doohan Corner, Turn 9, ‘Lukey Heights’ is probably the most famous at the Phillip Island circuit, but while virtually every MotoGP fan can imagine where the names Gardner, Doohan and Stoner come from, the situation with Lukey Heights is a little more complicated. But Turn 9 is also named after a racer, albeit not a very successful one. Len Lukey competed in car racing Down Under in the late 1950s, but had better luck as a businessman. Among other things, he owned the Phillip Island Circuit. He is at least still remembered today with his own corner.

The Origins of the names of the curves in MotoGP - MotoSportsNews

No matter what level of riding you’re at, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of proper motorcycle maintenance. After all, your bike won’t last long if you don’t take good care of it. There are a few key factors to consider, so read on for more information.

What causes tire wear?
First and foremost, you need to be aware of the various factors that affect tire wear. There are numerous factors that can affect how quickly your tires wear, including riding style and frequency, suspension setup, weather conditions, total weight of the motorcycle, tire pressure used, storage conditions and tire maintenance frequency.

Look for indicators
Next, look for indicators that your motorcycle tires are fading. If your grip level is dropping, you’ll notice that your tires are moving in new ways. The change will be subtle at first and gradually increase over time. The shape of your tires will also change as they wear. For example, flattened sections of the tire may be present while other sections are normal. The middle third wears out the fastest. You should also keep an eye on tread depth, which naturally wears down over time.

Regular tire checks
You should perform routine motorcycle tire checks so you’re always aware of their condition and when they need to be replaced. Every week, check the overall condition of the tires, the depths read, and any signs of damage. At least twice a month, you should check tire pressure. Every six months, you need to check wheel balance.

If you stick to a schedule and perform these routine checks, you’ll have a better chance of catching problems early before they get too out of control. Not to mention, it will also keep you safe when you take your bike out on the road.

So when should you replace them?
Now that you know what to look for and how often to check your tires, how do you know when to replace motorcycle tires? When the wear limit of the tread is reached or exceeded, it is no longer safe to ride and they need to be replaced. If you have a flat tire, it may need to be replaced. Some punctures can be patched and repaired, others cannot.

If you notice unusual wear patterns, this is a warning sign that should not be ignored. This may indicate worn shock absorbers, improper tire pressure or a balance problem. When your tires are about five years old, have a professional inspect them and confirm that they are still safe to use. After ten years, your tires will need to be replaced regardless of their condition.

If you have any other questions about replacing motorcycle tires, we’d be happy to help. We can also help with parts, services, accessories and much more.

With the changing of the seasons, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for all conditions. If you intend to ride your motorcycle this season, here are some safety tips that will help you continue to enjoy the thrill of the road.

Don’t ride during an active snowfall
One of the most important things to remember when riding your motorcycle in the winter is to not ride during an active snowfall. Even if you are dressed appropriately and have a good grip on the road, it is still very dangerous to ride in these conditions. Wait until the snowfall has stopped and the roads have had time to clear before riding.

Park your motorcycle in a safe and dry place
If you ride your motorcycle in the winter, make sure you park it in a safe and dry place when you’re done riding for the day. This is especially important if it has been snowing, as now more than ever moisture from the road and air will accumulate on your bike. If you don’t have a garage to park your bike in, try to find a covered area that will protect it from rain and snow.

Don’t ride thirsty or hungry
Make sure you never leave your home on a motorcycle when you are thirsty or hungry. Riding in these conditions can cause dehydration and loss of concentration, which is dangerous for everyone around you. If you feel the need to refuel your body, stop and grab a quick snack and drink before continuing.

Make an occasional pit stop to warm up
If you ride a motorcycle in the winter, you’ll likely be riding longer than usual due to slower speeds. Be sure to take regular breaks during your ride to warm up and refresh yourself. This will help you stay alert and focused on the road.

Keep your speed in check
If you ride your motorcycle regularly in the winter, practice riding at slower speeds. Not only will this prevent you from slipping, but it will also increase your visibility and reduce the risk of accidents.

Make sure you keep a greater distance from other vehicles
Since riding a motorcycle in the winter is slower and more dangerous, make sure to always follow other vehicles at a greater distance. If they have to stop suddenly or lose control of the road, you will have enough time to react accordingly.

Use anti-fog eye protection
When you drive in cold weather, your breath and body heat can fog up your glasses. Make sure you use anti-fog helmet visors or goggles to prevent this so you can maintain vision on the road.

Wear the appropriate layers of riding gear

Layer 1: Base layer with full leg and long sleeves.
The base layer is the foundation of your riding gear. Make sure you wear a baselayer with long legs and long sleeves to keep your skin covered and protected from the cold. Thermal or dry underpants are an affordable and easy to find option for your base layer.

Layer 2: Middle Layer
The middle layer is important to keep you warm and comfortable while riding. This can be a fleece, down jacket, or other type of lightweight insulated coat.

Layer 3: Waterproof outerwear
The final layer is your riding jacket and pants. Make sure you wear a riding outfit that is waterproof, windproof, and breathable so you can stay warm but also regulate moisture on your body. If it’s freezing outside or snowing heavily, consider wearing an extra pair of riding gloves under your regular riding glove for added warmth.

You may also want to purchase a pair of ear warmers designed for use with motorcycle helmets. These fit more comfortably, don’t clash with the look of your headgear, and keep your ears from hurting in the cold air.

As with warm weather, also be careful not to ride without a helmet. Doing so could put your life in danger in the event of a skid, accident or car crash. Buy a helmet that is at least DOT certified for head protection.

Make sure your bike is well maintained

Before riding your bike in the winter, perform all necessary maintenance. This includes checking tire pressure, fluid levels and chain tension. Some key things to look out for are:

  • Physical damage to the motorcycle
  • Fluids and fuel
  • Condition of your tires and brakes
  • Chain tension

If any of these maintenance issues arise and you can’t fix it yourself, schedule a professional service with a nearby motorsports dealer. They can help you get your bike back in great riding condition so you can stay safe on the roads this winter.

Keep your tires warm

Cold tires don’t grip the road as well. To warm them up, accelerate your bike and brake a few times to generate heat from friction on the road. The engine will continue to provide ambient heat around the outside of the tires.

Watch out for black ice

Black ice is a thin layer of frost that freezes on roads in the early morning hours. It is common in winter driving conditions and can be difficult to see when riding a motorcycle on the road. If you see black ice ahead, slow down immediately so you don’t lose control or slide off the road.

Have a towing service in case of emergency

If an emergency does occur while riding your motorcycle in the winter, it’s important to have a reliable towing service on hand. This will ensure that you get the help you need as quickly as possible and minimize further damage to your bike. Look for a towing company in your area that offers motorcycle-specific services.

While motorcycles and cars are both popular forms of transportation, there are many differences between them. While it’s true that there are more car drivers than motorcyclists, motorcycles still have many advantages over cars that some may not be aware of. To expand your knowledge of motorcycles, visit us at Owen Motor Sports in Charleston or Effingham, Illinois. We also serve Decatur and Champagne.

Physical and mental benefits
The motorcycle/car debate has been going on for decades, but the physical and mental benefits of riding a motorcycle are undeniable. Riding a motorcycle burns more calories than driving a car and also uses more muscle groups, so riding a motorcycle can help improve your health. Taking a ride can also increase your peace of mind when you’re frustrated by relaxing and breathing in fresh air.

Save Money
You can save a lot of money by buying a motorcycle instead of a car. Motorcycles generally cost a fraction of the cost of the average car. Because of their small size, you will also spend less money on gas. Many motorcycles are more fuel efficient than even a partially electric hybrid car, so you can also save thousands of dollars a year in fuel costs.

Motorcycle / Car Parking
The small size of a motorcycle allows the bike to fit into spaces that a car normally couldn’t maneuver into. This makes parking as a motorcyclist much easier and less cumbersome than for someone driving a car, especially if it’s a large vehicle like an SUV.

Resale Value
Another area where a motorcycle can be considered an improvement over a car is resale value. It is well known that cars lose value very quickly after purchase. Motorcycles lose value much slower than most cars, so you may be able to get a better deal on your motorcycle if you want to resell it.

Cleaning your motorcycle is much faster and less complicated than washing your car. While washing your bike may not be your favorite thing to do, making sure your motorcycle is polished and spotless will be easy compared to how long it would take to polish up a car.

Whether you like cars or motorcycles better depends on your personal preferences, but don’t underestimate the many advantages a motorcycle can have over a car. To learn more about motorcycles, visit our locations in Charleston and Effingham, Illinois, which also serve Decatur and Champaign.

Our helmet is a pretty important accessory when riding a motorcycle. A decent helmet may not be cheap, but it’s an investment that can save your life or prevent a serious head injury. But does your new helmet have durability? Is it something you should replace after a certain amount of time?

How long do motorcycle helmets last?


Once you start digging into the research for an answer, you’re bound to come across the five-year rule, which, as the name suggests, requires you to replace your helmet every five years. The rule is based on a consensus between the Snell Foundation and helmet manufacturers.

Helmets tend to deteriorate as the linear materials in the helmet deteriorate over time. This is due to a number of factors, including adhesives, resins and other materials used in the helmet, body, hair oils and other environmental factors.

How Long do Motorcycle Helmets Last?

What influences the five-year rule?

The five-year rule is a good guide, but it’s not set in stone. There are three main factors that influence the longevity of a helmet:

Useful life: The number of hours or miles it has been worn.
Maintenance: whether it has been cared for. Properly storing your helmet when you’re not using it and keeping it clean and tidy also contribute to a helmet’s longevity.
Initial quality: materials and workmanship matter. A quality helmet will easily last five years, although cheaper helmets may need to be replaced more often.
The five-year rule is not the final answer to how long a helmet will last. Whether your helmet is old or new, it’s important to check it regularly to ensure its integrity is maintained.

New technology

Five years is considered by some to be the perfect time to replace your helmet. The technology associated with helmets is rapidly evolving, with new materials and designs offering riders better protection.

Although these improvements are made in small increments over a long period of time, this means that technological changes add up over a three to five year period and are easily noticed.

Helmet checks

A regular helmet check will help keep your helmet ready for use. When performing a helmet check, there are a few things you should keep in mind, including:

  • Check that the EPS liner is firmly attached to the outer shell.
  • Make sure the tethers are in place and not fraying or worn out
  • Make sure your clip system is easily attached
  • Inspect the outer shell for chips and cracks. While chips can often be repaired, a crack usually means it’s time for a new helmet.
  • Make sure the moving parts of the helmet can move freely
  • Check that the clip system is working as it should be

After an accident

Regardless of whether your helmet looks damaged, it is best to replace your helmet if you are involved in an accident and hit your head. This is because the foam in the helmet has been dented and will not return to its original shape.

If you continue to use the helmet and have had the misfortune of another accident, the foam in the helmet may not absorb the impact.

The five-year rule is a good general guide. However, the importance of regular wear checks should not be underestimated as not all helmets are the same.