Riding a motorcycle is an exciting hobby, but any rider knows that it comes with risks. Staying safe on the bike is essential if you want to keep enjoying the thrill and freedom of owning a motorcycle, whether you use it for your commute or for an amazing road trip.
1. Always wear a helmet. A proper helmet is the most essential part of your safety gear and should never consider riding without one. To protect you from head injuries, invest in the best helmet you can afford. Choose one with a face shield or wear it with protective eye wear to keep your eyes safe from road shrapnel if you come off the bike.
2. Wear proper gear. Protective clothing can help you to avoid serious injury if you’re in an accident. If you come off, you want to avoid skidding along the road, so make sure you wear sturdy leather clothing, gloves and boots with non-skid soles. Attach some reflective tape to your gear, so if you come off your bike in the dark, other drivers will see you more easily.
3. Obey the rules of the road. A ride on your motorbike is exciting, but don’t get carried away and forget traffic rules. Obey the speed limit at all times, as the faster you’re going the longer it will take you to stop. If you’re riding in another country, check local traffic laws and be sure to follow them.
4. Know your rights. Motorcyclists are at risk of accidents, as they’re more exposed than drivers in a car. If you’ve been in a crash with another driver, consult motorcycle accident injury lawyers to get advice on how to proceed.
5. Ride defensively. Just because you can see a driver doesn’t mean they can see you, so assume they can’t. Expect to have a car invade your riding space and stay alert. Ride with your headlights on and be careful to stay out of a car’s blind spot. Before you change direction, watch out for other vehicles and signal well in advance.
6. Keep topping up your skills. Never ride without a current licence. If you haven’t been on the bike for a while, consider taking a course to refresh your riding skills and develop new safety knowledge.
7. Never ever drink and ride. Drunk riding puts you and other road users at risk. Be careful not to ride when tired either, as being drowsy could have an impact on your reaction times.
8. Check over your bike before you ride. You should be sure you bike is road ready before taking it out. Check the tyres for any cracks, bulges or wear in the treads. Look under the bike for signs of oil leaks. Check your headlight, taillight and signal lights are functional. The level of hydraulic and coolant fluids should be checked once a week.
9. Once you’re on the bike, before pulling away, do some more checks. Make sure the clutch and throttle are working smoothly. Are the mirrors clean, and can you see them clearly? Test the brakes, and check your horn is working.