Steed: Built to Ride

Do the Doo

Tech Tip Index
All right, I'll admit it, I've been writing these tech tips for almost 3 years and I'm running a little thin on new interesting topics that don't become too esoteric. In the attempt to elaborate a few tech topics, I've even stretched my vocabulary over the years in these installments to include the mind numbing word 'circumlocution'. Which, by the way, had created quite a debate among the staff and editors of Rumble, who were insistent on switching my high school vocabulary word to 'jabbering'. Somehow I got my way, and they ran with my original choice of wording. Proof that if you stick to your guns, literary convictions, and utilize your myriad bag of Scottsdale Public School vocabulary words, you've got word-power.

So in this installment, I'm going to write a tech tip about the proper way to fold a doo-rag so it won't blow off your head at 80 mph. Believe it or not, this is a safety concern. Have you ever been riding next to a guy when all of a sudden he starts to swerve, grabs for his head with his left hand, and then swoosh, his noggin is all exposed out in the breeze? It's just not pretty, and can also be very dangerous too. I've witnessed one of these "free-breezers", screech to a halt, right in the middle of the interstate, and then flip a U-turn in an attempt to recover his five-dollar pre-fabricated hair holder. So in the truest form of safety education, and cost effectiveness, I'll attempt to enlighten you through the medium of text and photos, a technique regarding how to fold a ninety-nine cent bandana into a safe piece of motorcycle road-wear.

Step one:
Scrape up less than a dollar of change out of your cars ashtray and buy a regular-old square bandanna. These are readily available in a multitude of stores all over the place, not just at your corner motorcycle shop. The standard bandana is a multi-use item, and when not secured to your head, can be used in a variety of ways if you use your imagination.

I can find no reason to purchase the pre-made units, unless you don't want to read any further. I have had more issues losing those overpriced pre-sewn rags blowing off my big head, mainly because they just don't fit quite right. One standard size 100% Cotton bandana will fit just about every size skull, sans Herman Munster. The one-size-fits-all store bought pre-formed skullcap approach just isn't personal enough for me either. I like the custom aspect of tailoring the square swath of fabric to my own liking, plus you won't be seen wearing the same iron-cross flaming doo-rag that 30 other dudes are wearing at the rally.

Step two:
Pick a corner and fold it over. Here's the secret key of the experienced doo-rag wearer; if you have a big head only fold a small amount over. Don't fold it in half or you won't have enough left on the ends to tie it securely in the back. If you have a tiny head, fold it in half. Medium size head, somewhere about three-quarters of the mid-line will get you in the zone. If you want to look really cool, fold the one corner over that has the label printed on it, then the unwanted part of the design will be hidden under the fold when it's installed properly.

Step three:
This is a one-man operation. No bones about it. It just looks silly in public to have another man tie your bandana, so practice this move before you get in public. Your mama stopped tying your shoes before you went to kindergarten, so you shouldn't need your wife or girlfriend to tie your bandana for the road either.

Face into the wind, tip your head forward and place the folded portion of the rag onto your forehead. With the two outer tips in your left and right hand, tuck the center top tip down over your head with both hands while still maintaining a grip on the corners. This does take some practice, but it's an acquirable skill that's worth its weight in gold. With less than a dozen practice attempts in front of a mirror, I promise you you'll have the skills needed to perform this task blindfolded.

Step four:
This is the most critical step to maintaining a firm rag-to-head fitment. Make sure that the leading edge of your bandana is low on your brow, not all high on your head like Aunt Jemima. If you don't tie the bandana low on your forehead it's surely guaranteed to catch some wind and you'll be out your 99 cents. At this juncture, you should still have your two hands holding the tips of the outside corners, and the third corner is tucked underneath the two ends as you tie a double knot. The first knot needs to feel extra tight on your head. By the time you get the second half of the knot tied again it's going to be looser.

Now you've got the inside tip on doo-rag tech. Whatever you do, don't go chasing after it if by chance it does blow off. If you're not secure in your tying skills, bring a second bandana along in your back pocket. You can buy at least 5 bandanas for the price of one pre-made poser rag. So just remember, practice makes perfect.

As you can tell, I've just about run dry with new topics. Check out and go to the tech-tips section to see the archived Rumble Tech-Tips that range from batteries, tires, ignitions, fuel, brakes ad-infinitum. If you can help me out with some new topics for these tips, please mail them to Who knows, maybe you'll see your personal motorcycle technical bewilderments become crystal-clear in the next issue of Rumble.

Keep the rubber side down.
- John at Steeds

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