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Friday, 31 August 2018 11:39

The Ultimate Guide to Motorcycle Safety

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motorcycle safetyWe all know at least one person who thinks that motorcycles are “death traps”. This is a view that a surprising number of people still hold, even though motorbike riding is much safer than it once was.

Road safety, in general, has been improving steadily for some time, but what motorcycling, in particular, has benefited from is improvements in education, as well as the availability of safety information.

However, there is no doubt that those who ride recklessly are at a far greater risk of injuring themselves and or being involved in a collision or similar incident. Those who pay attention to their safety and take it seriously will find motorcycle riding just as safe as driving a car.

The following motorcycle safety tips will help riders of all experience levels to stay safe at all times with their bikes.

Ride According to Your Ability

One of the most serious errors in judgment that any rider can make is to attempt to tackle a route or maneuver that is beyond their capabilities. Doing this greatly increases your chances of having a crash, which can be serious enough on its own. However, it also increases the chances of you losing control of your bike, which could potentially injure a bystander.

When you are riding for the purposes of transport, don’t force yourself to take any roads that you aren’t confident riding on. If you ever do any stunt riding or other recreational driving, be sure that you don’t attempt to pull off any stunts or tricks that are out of your skill range. Again, doing so could put other people in danger as well as yourself.

Take a Motorcycle Safety Course

For many countries, acquiring a license to ride a motorcycle requires you to go on a safety course. This course is a great introduction to the most common safety considerations for new riders. However, it is also a very effective way for more experienced riders to refresh their memories and make sure that they aren’t letting the small stuff slip through the net.

With experience, there often comes a degree of complacency. It is all too easy to assume that a more experienced rider surely won’t fall into any of the same safety pitfalls as an inexperienced rider. However, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been riding, if you don’t remain conscious about safety, you are bound to run into trouble.

Check Before Every Journey

Before you set off on any journey, no matter how brief or familiar, make sure that you first take the time to check that all your essential components, the horn, the lights, and your turn signals, are all working the way that they should be. You should also check your brakes, along with the tires themselves. Make sure that you aren’t riding with worn-out tires, and that they have the right amount of pressure inside them.

Maintain the Right Speed

You don’t need to be riding everywhere you go at top speed! Speed limits exist for a reason, often a practical reason as much as a safety one. Making sure that you stick to the speed limits in place will mean both a smoother and a safer ride. This is especially important safety advice if you are traveling along a new and unfamiliar route.

You should also remember that you do not have to drive at the speed limit. You should avoid going so slowly that you cause a build up behind you, and you should avoid dramatically slowing down or stopping in places where other motorists can’t see you until the last moment.

Avoid Bad Weather

When you are only riding on two wheels instead of four, the effects of slippery and icy roads are considerably more problematic. When you are planning any kind of motorcycle tour or a long single-day ride, you should make sure to check the weather before you set off. In particular, you want to make sure you avoid the possibility of becoming stranded somewhere, unable to ride your bike because of the weather, but too far from any shelter to walk your bike there.

Rain, snow, and ice can all be a real problem for a biker. If you are expecting some poor weather during your journey, you should consider whether it might be better to tackle it at a different time, or with a  different mode of transport.

Get the Right Bike

Different types of bikes are better suited for different styles of riding, and different skill levels. You should be careful when choosing your bike, especially if you are new to riding or have taken a significant break since you last chose a motorcycle. Motorcycles today are generally notably faster and more powerful than they were just a few decades ago.

Get Regular Checkups

Just like people, when a motorcycle has to work hard every day, things can go wrong unexpectedly. The best defense against any potential issues is to regularly take your bike to be checked by a mechanic. Having your bike inspected regularly and repaired when it needs it is a much more cost-effective approach than reacting to issues by having to pay to have them fixed.

Even if you haven’t used the bike much, it is still a good idea to have it checked on a regular basis. And if your bike has been in storage for a significant amount of time prior to you taking it for a ride, you will definitely want to have it checked for any faults or flaws.

Always Wear a Helmet

This is one of the most important, perhaps even the most important piece of safety advice for any rider. A full-face helmet will offer you the best protection. These helmets are considerably more comfortable than they used to be and are the best protection you can have against a serious head injury following a collision.

Get Some Proper Riding Gear

The helmet is not the only thing that is worth investing in when it comes to your riding gear. You should also look into a motorcycle jacket and pants. These will be made out of a thick, heavy leather, meaning that they will offer a great deal of padding and protection. Similarly, you need to have proper boots that are going to be able to stand up to the occasional scrape along the road.

Take Your Time and Enjoy the Ride!

The gear you wear will offer you effective protection from more extreme weather you might encounter, while also shielding you from flying insects and other debris in the air. There’s no need to ride aggressively and to try and push yourself to get everywhere quicker. Instead, learn to appreciate the opportunities that being on a bike offers when it comes to sightseeing and the views available.

Look Where You Want to Go

One mistake commonly made by beginners at motorcycling is to become fixated on an obstacle that they are trying to avoid, only to end up driving headlong into it. For example, if you are keeping your eye on the curb that you are trying to avoid, you are more likely to turn your vehicle into it.

Make sure that you keep your eyes focused on where you do want to go. Remain mindful of any obstacles that appear ahead of you and make a note of them, but don’t allow your vision to become distracted from the road.

Install Anti-lock Brakes

Anti-lock brakes are an excellent safety feature to have. They allow the biker to retain full control of their bike if they need to brake abruptly. Even if you take great care with your own riding, this can all be undermined if another motorist on the road decides that they aren’t going to drive properly. Anti-lock brakes will allow you to react instinctively by slamming on your brakes, without having to worry about losing control of your bike.

If you are involved in an accident that isn’t your fault while you are riding, you can often claim compensation for it. You can look here to find out more about attorneys and lawyers who specialize in drunk driving cases, for example. Securing yourself the right kind of legal representation will make pursuing a case easier and give you the best chance of recouping some of your losses.

Stay in Your Comfort Zone

Whenever you are planning on driving down a new route, one that you have no prior experience with, it is vital that you take twice as much care with your personal safety as you otherwise would. It is also even more important that you check ahead for weather reports and for other information that will affect riding conditions.

Riding your motorbike safely doesn’t have to be difficult. So long as you respect other road users, make sure to not take on any routes or challenges that you aren’t confident with, and ensure that your bike and gear remain in peak condition, you should have no trouble getting out on the roads. Always be careful when riding new routes, but if you apply the safety advice we’ve given, you will be fine.

Last modified on Saturday, 01 September 2018 08:46
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