Riding a motorcycle is synonymous with freedom. Hitting the open road with nothing between you and the asphalt is one of the best ways to see a country and make a road trip. But there is the problem. There is nothing between you and the asphalt!
As exciting as it can be, it is also dangerous. You will need to be far more vigilant and attentive on a motorcycle than when you drive a car if you want to stay safe.
If you are a new rider, you will need to keep these tips in mind when you get on your bike. Even veteran riders may need a reminder, so read on for all the safety tips so you can get the most out of your motorcycle. If you need more information, then check out Lamber Goodnow, the motorcycle accident lawyers.
Prevention is the best medicine, so if you drive to avoid an accident, you should be able to stay safe. Sure, the accident may not be your fault, but you should do your best to prevent it from happening.
Always assume that a car driver doesn’t see you and act accordingly. These days with so many people texting and driving, it can only take a second of distraction for a driver to miss a motorcycle and cause a fatal accident.
Keep a safe distance between you and a car or bike in front of you. You will need time to stop or maneuver safely, so the more space you have, the better.
Wear the right gear
The right clothing can save your skin when you are in an accident on a motorcycle. And I mean that literally. If you are wearing jeans and sneakers and go down, the pavement will rip your skin to shreds. You should be wearing heavy-duty clothing, so when you are in a slide, your skin stays intact.
Leather and reinforced clothes can keep you very safe. Over the ankle boots can prevent broken bones, and gloves and jackets fill out the rest of the ensemble.
Of course, a helmet is essential. Even if the law in your state allows for going without, you should never get on a motorcycle without a helmet. Even a minor accident could turn fatal if your head hits the ground.
The helmet needs to be one approved by the DOT (Department of Transportation) and should cover your face as well as your head.
Buy the right size for you
A big, loud bike might be your ideal situation in your dreams, but it may be more than you can safely handle. If you are just starting out, then the engine size does matter. A 750cc motorcycle is probably going to be more than big enough for you. And much easier to handle as far as weight and torque go.
These days, even mid-sized motorcycles like a 750cc are much stronger than they were years ago. You don’t necessarily need to have a 1100cc engine to satisfy the need for power.
Hopefully, you have a friend with a motorcycle that can give you an idea of what size you should be looking into. If he or she is similar in size and strength to you, then use that as a guide. But also take into account that they are far more experienced and know how to handle the size of the motorcycle.
Give it an inspection
Before you ride off on your motorcycle, make sure to go around and make sure that everything is in working order. Check that the tires are filled to the proper pressure. An overinflated tire won’t grip the road as much as you need it to which can have you lose control.
Then, you need to make sure there is nothing loose or hanging that could get caught in the spokes of the wheel as you’re driving. Lights should all be working properly so you can be seen and that your directional can let people know when you are turning.
Turn on the motorcycle and check your instruments before setting off. Adjust your mirrors, and then when everything looks good, you are ready to roll. This should only take a few minutes of your time and shouldn’t be considered a burden.
Watch the weather
Driving a motorcycle in the rain is a very dangerous situation to find yourself in. Your tires will not grip the road, and it is difficult to see and be seen. Know the weather before you set out for a drive.
Road conditions are far more of a factor when you are on a motorcycle than in a car. If the roads are slick, even if the rain has stopped, it can still be dangerous. Also, any signs of ice on the road are very bad news.
You should also be conscious when out after a storm as there usually are a lot of leaves and debris on the ground. Taking a corner with wet leaves under your tires can cause a spin-out.
Knowing how to get out of sticky situations can be a literal lifesaver. Motorcyclists don’t have the luxury of simply bracing for an impact like a car driver. There are no airbags to cushion the blow.
Many times, it is required to pull a maneuver out to be able to avoid the accident or even to go into a controlled fall.
There are often motorcycle safety courses held by your local department of motor vehicles that can help you learn some of these techniques when you’ve learned some, set aside sometime before the season begins to brush up on some of the maneuvers.
Though you are more likely to get into an accident when on a motorcycle, keep these safety tips in mind, and you can significantly lower your chances of it happening. The best protection you have in an accident is your quick thinking, so make sure you are always taking your safety seriously.