Riding Safety – If you ask people why they prefer to ride motorcycles, you will get a long list of answers. However, it is undeniable that one of the things that make motorcycle riding appealing to a broad number of people is the connection between man and machine that driving a car cannot offer.
But the thing that makes motorcycle riding enticing can also be the same thing that makes it risky. Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned motorcycle rider, one of the important things that you need to know is that your bike is less stable and less visible on the road compared to a car.
“Additionally, motorcycles do not have the same amount of protection offered by an enclosed vehicle.”
If you are planning on investing in a bike, whether for practical reasons, for leisure, or a combination of both, here are a few motorcycle safety basics that you will need to learn and master.
Riding Safety to always keep in mind:
Choose the right bike
One riding safety measure that is especially applicable to prospective riders is choosing the right motorcycle. Ideally, the bike you choose should allow you to mount and dismount with little effort. Check for the fit. The handlebars and the controls should be easy for you to reach. Do not buy a bike that is too heavy for you. In terms of engines, choose a bike with a 250 to 300 cc engine if you are planning to use it for your daily commute, or a bike with a 500 to 750 cc engine if you want to use your motorcycle on a highway.
Upgrade to ABS brakes
If your bike does not come with ABS or antilock brakes, consider making the switch. This type of brake prevents lock-ups which lead to loss of steering control. In turn, the loss of steering control can lead to crashes, skids and injuries.
Invest in honing your riding safety skills
Investing some time and money toward a basic motorcycle safety course can sometimes spell the difference between life and death. Most of these courses cover the basics of motorcycle riding while others offer tips on how to handle emergency situations. Apart from boosting your safety, you can even get a discount for your insurance.
Wear a helmet
Wearing a helmet can substantially reduce the risk of succumbing to a fatal head injury by as much as 40 percent. Additionally, riders who wear helmets are three times less likely to suffer from brain injuries should they figure in an accident. Experts recommend full-face helmets approved by the Department of Transportation. Remember to buy a new helmet every five years or if you figure in a motorcycle crash.
Invest in the right wardrobe
Whether you are going for a short or long ride, you should wear the right type of clothing. These include a reinforced jacket, over the ankle footwear, full pants, and gloves. Avoid wearing T-shirts, sandals and jeans.
In most accidents involving cars and motorcycles, it is the car driver who is at fault. As such, you have to be extra careful and defensive. Be always on the lookout for cars and avoid tailgating. Keep your bike at a safe distance, giving you enough space and time to react.
Don’t ride when the weather is bad
Unless you really have to, avoid riding out when the weather is bad. Apart from making the roads slippery, rain can cut down visibility. If you must ride when it is raining, avoid making sudden movements and be gentle on the brakes, throttle and steering.
Motorcycles are more susceptible to road hazards because of the reduced contact with the road. Always watch out for bumps, potholes, sand, pebbles and wet leaves which can lead to skids.
Check your bike before each ride
Make it a habit to do a quick but thorough check on your bike, especially the brakes, chain, belt, shaft, signals, lights and horn.
So after following these riding safety tips, get out and start riding your bike today along with a new oil cooler to save your bike from overheating!