There’s no feeling quite like the wind in your hair as you zip through traffic on a motorcycle. But before you hit the open road, it’s important to remember that motorcycling can be dangerous. Here are some ways to help you stay safe while riding your motorcycle.
Wear the Right Gear
Driving your motorcycle while dressed in regular street clothes is extremely dangerous. Motorcycles can be very small but fast, and other drivers might not see you when they’re changing lanes or pulling out of intersections. Make sure to always wear bright clothing that will help other vehicles notice you on the road. Motorcycle engines can get very hot while they are running, so always wear protective clothing in case you fall down
Helmets are also a must-have for riders. In a crash, a helmet will protect your head from a serious injury and could even save your life.
Regarding motorcycle equipment, make sure that your motorcycle’s windscreen is always clean. If you don’t have one, there are and you can get a universal motorcycle windshield, which can be attached to the handlebars of your bike. Windshields and screens are there to help protect you from the wind and shards when you’re riding at high speeds.
Know About Your Motorcycle
Before you set out on a ride, make sure to familiarize yourself with your motorcycle’s features and functions. Be aware of its speed, brakes, and handling capabilities. If you’re going to be taking a trip through hilly terrain, you’ll want to know if your bike has enough power to handle it. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, ask a trusted mechanic or motorcycle expert for assistance.
Be aware of the differences between your motorcycle and other vehicles on the road. Although motorcycles can be an economical form of transportation, they are also dangerous in the wrong environment. If you’re riding on busy roads, make sure to stay closer to the side where there’s less traffic. Avoid tight spaces between cars and other objects.
Take Care of It
Change the oil and keep up with maintenance to keep your bike running smoothly. Make sure that the tires are inflated to the proper pressure, and have them checked regularly. You should also clean your motorcycle once every week so it stays in great condition.
Make sure to keep up with safety inspections, especially before long rides where you’ll be traveling at high speeds for hours on end. A lube-and-oil service is a great idea to keep your bike running smoothly and is something that you should do right after every ride.
You don’t need to know about engines or motorcycles to just follow these safety guidelines for riding a motorcycle, but if you are interested then it’s recommended that you take some time and learn more about how they work. This will help you to enjoy your time on a motorcycle even more.
Avoid Riding at Night or in Bad Weather
Driving at night is dangerous because of reduced vision and you might not be able to see other drivers around you. Always try to ride early in the morning or later in the day if you can. Many motorcyclists will avoid riding during periods of bad weather as well because this could mean slick roads and other dangerous conditions. If it’s raining or snowing outside, stay off of the road. This is especially true during heavy rain because water makes everything very slippery and you don’t want to get thrown off of your bike when this happens! If possible, avoid these problems by planning your journey for sunny days or taking routes that avoid hills and mountains.
Again, make sure that you wear a helmet and sturdy boots, and choose your clothing appropriately. Jeans and sandals won’t do! Choose clothes made of tough material like leather, and if it’s cold outside make sure to bundle up so you don’t get too chilly during your ride.
Stay Alert on the Road
Driving a motorcycle requires full attention. You may be tempted to relax and listen to music, but this can prove fatal. Don’t take anything for granted while you’re riding your bike―keep both hands on the handlebars at all times, stay focused on the road ahead, and pay close attention to other vehicles around you.
Therefore, make a conscious effort to look for cars that may cut in front of you or drivers that might open their doors into your path. Always try to stay two seconds ahead of everything happening around you while also keeping an eye on the road ahead. If you’re riding at night or during a grey winter day, wearing reflective gear will help to make sure that other motorists can see you.
Always be aware of blind spots and what you’re doing while changing lanes. It can be very easy to misjudge the distance between your bike and other vehicles which could result in an accident.
Don’t Ride Intoxicated or Distracted
Alcohol and motorcycles don’t mix very well, so it’s important to avoid drinking and riding. You’ll need all of your senses to stay safe on the road, plus you also won’t be able to enjoy yourself as much if you drink before taking a ride. Remember: even after just one beer, your blood alcohol concentration will be over the legal limit.
Additionally, always avoid taking your phone with you on your motorcycle because it can be dangerous to try and handle a cell phone while riding. You could easily drop it or cause an accident by trying to answer a call or send a text. Even if you have the voice-activated feature, this is not safe so just put your phone in a place out of reach, like in the saddlebag or even at home if possible.
Don’t Ride Under the Influence of Drugs
Drugs are dangerous for any driver but can be especially deadly when combined with operating a vehicle. It’s best to avoid drugs altogether, but if you do happen to take medication, make sure it won’t affect your vision or reaction time.
Some of the medication that affects vision and judgment includes antihistamines, antidepressants, and other types of over-the-counter medications. If you’re unsure whether or not it’s safe for you to ride after taking medicine then consult your doctor first before taking a motorcycle out for a ride.
There are many things to consider when riding; your safety depends on making smart decisions before you get on the road. Always wear a helmet and appropriate gear, avoid riding during periods of bad weather or at night if possible, pay close attention to the other vehicles on the road, and try not to drink before taking a ride.