10 Essential Motorcycle Safety Tips
Whether someone is a newbie or a seasoned veteran, motorcycle safety is essential to everyone. After all, it’s the potential danger of the ride that makes motorcycles so thrilling and alluring to people. We recommend that all riders take a motorcycle safety course to learn the ins and outs of motorcycle safety. But, in addition to that course, here’s a list of ten essential motorcycle safety tips that any experienced rider will tell you.
1. Buy the right bike for you.
Motorcycle safety begins with choosing the right bike. When seated, you should be able to easily reach the handlebars and controls and your feet should both rest flat on the ground. Check how difficult it is for you to get on and off the center stand. Be wary of anything that seems too heavy or too powerful – it probably is.
2. Be seen.
This is arguably one of the most important safety tips when it comes to motorcycle riding. An overwhelming amount of motorcycle accidents are caused because the other driver claims they “didn’t see them.” Wear bright or reflective clothing and aim to be seen in the mirrors of any cars that surround you.
3. Wear the right safety gear.
If you think helmets aren’t cool, then stick to driving an automobile. Motorcyclists require helmets, gloves, and effective eye protection (whether it’s a helmet visor or goggles). Don’t rely on sunglasses, eyeglasses, or your bike’s windscreen.
4. Surround yourself with riders that you trust.
Not everyone who rides a motorcycle prioritizes safety first. Don’t endanger yourself by riding with reckless or irresponsible drivers. If you don’t trust your fellow riders, then you’re probably better of riding solo.
5. Keep a 20-foot distance between you and other riders.
Give yourself (and others) the space they need to make quick and safe decisions on the road. Leave a buffer of space between other motorcycles or cars just in case something happens and you need to make an unplanned stop or swerve. Always leave room for an escape route for yourself.
6. Invest in anti-lock brakes.
IIHS data states that motorcycles equipped with ABS brakes are 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash than bikes without it. Antilock brakes will help you retain steering control during an emergency stop, especially when road conditions are more than a little slippery.
7. Don’t ride tired.
This is especially one to keep in mind if you’re going on a long drive. Make sure to schedule pit stops every 75 to 125 miles, depending on your tolerance. Don’t push yourself. Stop and stretch when needed and return to the road once you’re feeling relaxed and refreshed.
8. Dress for the occasion.
Bikers wearing leather jackets and motorcycle boots is about more than just looking cool. No matter what season it is, reinforced jackets, jeans, and over-the-ankle footwear will help protect you from wind chill and, more importantly, road rash should you slide out. Look out for jackets with rugged padding and breathable mesh for protection in the warmer months.
9. Feather the clutch on slower, tighter turns.
It’s a delicate balance when it comes to moves like turning, making u-turns, or following groups of slower-moving riders and all or no clutch can lead to tipping. By feathering your clutch, you’ll give yourself just the right amount of momentum needed to make the turn.
10. Set your own limits.
Nobody knows your limits better than you. Even when riding in a group, stick to a speed and distance that you’re comfortable with. Never give in to pressure to do something you’re unsure of and remember to listen to your gut instinct.