Motorcycle riding is as thrilling as it is dangerous, and you must take full responsibility for your safety and learn to anticipate any mistakes that another person on the road may make. There is no better way to enjoy the freedom of the open road than on two-wheeled journey. Regrettably, bikes are also one of the most dangerous and unsafe vehicles on the road today.
If you are ready to feel the wind in your hair on the back of a bike, it is important to put safety first. Every rider should know these motorcycle safety tips before heading out on the road.
1. Ride according to your skills and ability
With enough skills, a lot of stunts can be done using a motorbike. While some roads may look easy, riders require a lot of practice before they can take on challenging hairpin turns safely.
2. Take a motorcycle safety course
Most countries require a skills test before getting a bike license, and some also need a motorcycle safety course. Even if your country doesn't require you to take a motorcycle safety class, you should seriously consider it. The course will teach you about the traffic laws that apply to bikes in your state, how to react to emergency situations on a bike and will give you the opportunity to try out your new experiences in a controlled environment.
3. Get ready to roll!
Before each ride, do a swift walk-around to make sure your horn, light and directional signals are working correctly. Check the belt, chain or shaft and the brakes. Check the tires for wear and make sure they are set at the proper pressure.
4. Maintain a good speed
Speed limits exist for a reason, and all roads and routes have different ones. Make sure to remain within that limit to dodge dangers. Use basic sense while addressing a report on your speed. If the path is empty and wide without traffic, it is okay to ride at top speed as per the limit set for that road.
5. Avoid bad weather
The dangers of icy or wet roads multiply when you're on two wheels. When planning a motorcycle tour, monitor the weather first. If rain, snow, or ice is foretold, opt for a different mode of transportation. If you simply must ride in the rain, do not ride right after the storm starts.
6. Buy the best bike for your riding level
If you are a new rider or took an extended break from riding, you may be amazed by the performance of today's motorbikes. Today's motorbikes are faster and more powerful than they were a few decades ago, so choose the best motorcycle to fit your specific needs.
7. Get an inspection done
This is one is an essential motorcycle safety tip, and you must not disregard this step whatsoever. Even if your bike is brand new, you must do a basic inspection before each motorcycle trip and go for regular checks even if you are not using it as much.
8. Always wear a helmet
Pick a full-face helmet that is approved by DOT (Federal Government's Department of Transportation) for the best protection. Modern models are comfortable and lightweight without sacrificing on safety. Be prepared to spend quite a bit on your helmet. You cannot put a price on your life, so it is worth the high cost.
9. Learn about the weather
This is an essential part of planning your motorcycle ride, especially when you are planning a long distance trip. Monitor the weather forecast not just in your city but everywhere you are traveling to on your motorcycle on that day.
10. Wear the right riding gear
Those sandals and shorts may be comfortable, but they're a recipe for disaster when riding a motorcycle. If you slide out, your feet are going to be in for a world of pain. And those shorts won't provide your legs with much protection either.
11. Ride defensively
The gear you wear should provide you with protection from the elements, wind chill, debris, flying bugs and road rash.
12. Look where you want to go and watch out for road hazards
If you're staring at the curb, you're probably going to hit the curb. Look for clear spots and look through turns. Keep your field of vision where you wish to go.
13. Install anti-lock brakes on your bike
Anti-lock brakes (ABS) give a biker full control of the bike's steering when they break abruptly, preventing the bike from rolling or skidding.
14. Stay in your comfort zone
Know your strengths and make sure that neither your preferred route nor your motorbike is more than you can handle. The more familiar you are with the route, the easier it will be for you to focus and not misplace a turn.
15. Respect all traffic laws on the road
Most of the accidents that occur on roads are the result of reckless driving and disregard of traffic rules. The latter represent the guidelines on how we should operate on the road and ignoring them puts you at a risk of being involved in an accident.
16. Find your happy place
Remember: when you are on a motorcycle, you're the only one on the road watching out for you. If your mind and emotions are anyplace other than the road ahead, you're susceptible to executing rookie errors that can end in a crash, injuries or worse.
17. Educate your passenger
There are certain safety rules that the passenger is sitting behind you must be aware of. Make sure you tell your passenger how to behave while on the road. All he or she is expected to do is to sit tight and not try any stunts that can prove dangerous to both.
18. Ride in a good mood
Make sure you have had enough sleep and that you are in a good mood, free of any stress and just very happy about going on the road trip. Plan your motorcycle rides only when you are in a positive physical and mental state.
Even though motorbikes are generally considered hazardous or unsafe, when the above tips are considered and implemented by motorcycle riders accidents are less likely to happen. There is a good number of riders out there with years of riding experience that have never been involved in a motorbike accident thanks to their discipline and ethics. Have a safe journey. Always.