Exciting, thrilling, and a lot of fun. These are some expressions that riders feel when riding their motorcycles. The speed and feel of the wind while seeing beautiful places and things around are truly extraordinary. Aside from the adventure that it brings, riding a motorcycle should be safe at all times. The safety of the rider and other people around must be the priority. In this article, you will learn 20 tips on riding a motorcycle safely. Whether you are a pro, or just started riding, learning motorcycle riding is important to avoid accidents and injuries.
1. Choose a Motorcycle That Fits You
This is very important when planning to start riding a motorcycle. With different specs, motorcycles could behave differently which will not make your riding comfortable and safe. Choose a bike that matches your experience and skills. Check out first these specifications when choosing a bike.
- Power – Know the power that you can handle. If you are a beginner, start with a lower displacement motorcycle that only produces less horsepower and torque. Go for a higher displacement engine once you gain the experience and confidence to ride more powerful and fast motorcycles.
- Weight – Observe the weight of the motorcycle. Make sure that you are physically capable to manage the bike while standing still or at low speeds. In these scenarios, a heavy bike could be more difficult to maneuver especially if you are not that familiar with it.
- Understand Power-to-Weight Ratio – Some motorcycles have higher engine displacement and are very heavy. These bikes are more difficult to control when you don’t have enough experience yet. Braking is one aspect that is affected by the power-to-weight ratio of vehicles. Heavier bikes require more braking power and control. Power is also a factor in this. Light bikes with higher displacement engines could go faster and can do a higher top speed. Select a bike that suits your skills only to avoid mishandling and dropping the bike.
- Ride Height– Look for a bike that you can ride comfortably according to your height. The bike will be difficult to control at low speed or when just standing still if your foot can’t reach the ground properly. The width and height of the seat and suspension could be a factor in this. You may adjust or modify your motorcycle but make sure that it will still comply with your state law.
2. Check the Motorcycle Before Riding
Before hitting the road, don’t forget to take a look at all the important parts of the bike. A basic check-up of the following could help in avoiding accidents.
- Monitor the tire pressure
- Tire rubber should still be in the proper thickness
- Ensure that all lights are working
- Check the brakes
- Look for any fluid leaks
3. Keep a First-Aid Kit
Injuries could happen at any time that is why having a first-aid kit will be beneficial. Pack a basic kit that includes bandages, band-aid, gauze, disinfecting wipes, sanitizers, and adhesive tapes. It is better to have one than not having it when you need it.
4. Wear A Helmet
Wearing your helmet could save your life. Never ride a motorcycle without wearing it even it is just a short trip or whether you will just drive slow. Most accidents happen in slow-moving traffic or speed. There’s a higher risk of injuries when you don’t wear a helmet and an accident occurs. It is highly recommended to wear a full-face helmet which gives more protection than the half-face variant.
5. Defensive Driving Motorcycle
In an accident, it’s a common excuse by the motorists to say that they didn’t see the rider. Because of the smaller road presence of a motorcycle, larger vehicles are unable to see you comparing to a regular size car. Knowing this situation on the road, you must be extra careful when riding near other motorists. Especially on trucks and other large vehicles. You must learn the blind spots and avoid staying in those areas. Always check your mirrors and be alert on other vehicles. Anticipate the movement of other motorists to avoid possible collisions and accidents.
6. Make Yourself Visible
As a continuation of item no.5, making yourself visible on the road could avoid an accident. The following habits will be a big help to this.
- Turn on your headlights even during daytime
- Wear bright or reflective gear especially at night
- Don’t forget to use the turn signal when changing lanes or directions
7. Don’t Speed
Overconfidence that leads to speeding is a dangerous action. There are other vehicles on the road that could be distracted and it could result in an accident. Innocent people will be endangered as well by this kind of behavior. Don’t speed and be a responsible rider.
8. Always Wear Protective Gears
Aside from the helmet, there are other protective gears that a rider should wear to have maximum possible protection. The rider’s body is unprotected in a motorcycle compared to being inside a car. In an event of a motorcycle accident, multiple injuries could be obtained not just on the head, but also in other body parts. Wearing these protective gears will keep you safe from severe injuries.
- Jeans or long pants
- Quality boots that will protect your feet and ankles.
- Jacket with armor
9. Don’t Stop on Uneven Road
Stopping on the uneven road could make you drop the bike. You might not be able to put your foot on the ground completely when the road is uneven. With the weight of the motorcycle, you will be off-balance and fall. When stopping especially at a stoplight, ensure that you could reach the section of the ground properly. It is recommended to stop in the middle lane and not on the side where the gutter, potholes, and other hazards occur.
10. Learn to Maneuver at Slow Speed
This is helpful when you are in slow-moving traffic or there are obstacles on the road that you have to deal with. Considering the weight of the motorcycle, you must be skillful to fully control it even at a slow speed to avoid falling. Practice in an open area where there are no other people. Make 8 and U-turns and other drills that could help you build confidence on the bike at a very limited slow speed.
11. Don’t Forget to Cancel Turn Signals
Unlike in a car, most motorcycles don’t have an automatic turn signal cancellation feature. Forgetting to cancel the turn signal could be annoying for other motorists and it is dangerous as well. You might confuse other drivers about your direction which could result in a collision. Ensure that you always cancel your turn signals after changing directions.
12. Never Drink and Ride
Your senses are required in riding a motorcycle. Almost the whole body is moving and contributing to maneuvering it. That is why you should never drink before or while riding a motorcycle. This is extremely dangerous not just for the rider, but for other innocent people around. When intoxicated with alcohol, the person’s senses are less functional and physically not able to move as wanted. Maneuvering a motorcycle will be more difficult which could result in an accident. Avoid this act and be responsible.
13. Avoid Listening to Music While Riding
Having complete focus on the surrounding is important while riding a motorcycle. You should be aware of everything that happens around you while you are sharing the road with other vehicles. You must be aware of things that might happen on your bike and this could happen through having unwanted sounds. When you are plugged in with earphones or having loudspeakers, this could affect your riding and senses on the road. You will not be able to hear nearby vehicles which makes it dangerous if you make a sudden movement on the road. Just concentrate on the road and avoid listening to music.
14. Always Check the Weather
When planning for a trip, make sure to check the weather forecast to your destination or on the locations that you will pass through. Do this at least the night before and check it again in the morning before you head out. Avoid bad weather and it’s better to cancel your trip instead of compromising your safety on the road.
15. Rest for a While
After a long ride on a motorcycle, you will start to feel exhausted mentally and physically. You must be in good condition to continue your ride. Stop and take a rest for a while when you started to feel tired. Stretch your legs, arms, and back to relax your body and mind. It’s a good habit to have a resting schedule in your trip so you could have time to refresh and be in the best condition to ride again.
16. Keep Distance
It is important to keep enough distance from other vehicles. 4 seconds away is the recommended space between you and the vehicle in front. With enough distance, you will still have time to respond quickly when a vehicle in front makes a sudden stop. You will be able to determine and avoid road hazards as well.
17. Always Follow the Traffic Rules
These traffic rules were created to keep everyone safe on the road. You should be aware of the traffic rules in your state or your destination. Be responsible while riding a motorcycle and be courteous to other motorists and enforcers. Follow the traffic signs, don’t speed, and use your turn indicators. Keep yourself and other motorists safe from an accident by doing these.
18. Be Alert on Hazards
Many possible objects could cause an accident on the road. Potholes, sand, rocks, and oil are some of the road hazards that you need to be alert on. Practice defensive driving for you to anticipate these hazards while riding a motorcycle.
19. Don’t Skip Motorcycle Maintenance
Aside from inspecting your bike before riding, make it a habit to have a regular maintenance schedule for the motorcycle. It is a great way to identify existing and possible issues with your bike. Replace parts or fixing the problem early is better to keep the motorcycle in the best shape when you ride it. Regular motorcycle maintenance will give you a safer ride and peace of mind on the road.
20. Continue Learning
Never settle with your current riding skills. Continues riding motorcycle learning will make you safe from accidents and could even save your life. Enroll in an advanced motorcycle rider training and safety course where you could enhance your skills. You will be more prepared on the road especially when there are unexpected situations that could affect your safety. It will develop your judgment in different road scenarios and make you a more skilled and professional motorcycle rider.
You are entitled to claims if you have experienced injuries in a motorcycle accident. Freeway Law’s Personal Injury Attorneys in Orange County could help you throughout the complex process of claiming damages. Have a free consultation with our team by calling us at (844) 443-7339.