Part of the draw for bikers is the freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle—however it’s also one of the most dangerous vehicles to take on the road. When you’re on a motorcycle, you’re far more exposed to obstructions in the road, cars, and trucks. If you or another driver is not paying attention, the results could be catastrophic. On that note, it’s fun to live on the edge, but sometimes playing by the rules will mean the difference between life and death. A motorcycle safety course is great and recommended, but some things can only be learned from experience—for that reason, here are ten motorcycle safety tips from real, seasoned motorcyclists.
- Ride with experienced, trustworthy people.
It should be no surprise that there are people out there—particularly those who would enjoy a motorcycle just for the purpose of being reckless—who make poor choices on the road. We see them and hear about them every day, normally in the context of an accident caused by those poor choices. Whether it’s someone who’s intoxicated, showing off, or doesn’t know how to properly handle their bike, these aren’t the people you should be sharing a lane with. Pick experienced, trustworthy riders to accompany you on the road—very little will guarantee your safety more than the company you keep in this case.
- Make yourself seen.
Brown and black apparel will blend in with your surroundings on the road, making it difficult for other drivers to see you. Wear something bright or that has neon components on it—it may not be your first choice, but it could save your life. A lot of motorcycle companies offer safety neon apparel for purchase.
- Get the right fit for your gloves.
If your gloves are too big, you’re going to have a harder time maneuvering the clutch. In a normal scenario, this is an inconvenience—however, in an emergency situation, it can seriously affect your reactions and your ability to minimize potential damage. Thinner leather gloves can improve your control and if cold hands are an issue, heated grips can fix that issue.
- Never ride tired.
Just like you should never drive tired, you should never ride tired. Stop every 75-125 miles to take a breather, a power nap if you need it, or get a caffeinated beverage if you need a little kick to get to where you need to go. Regardless of your mode of transportation, everyone has an idea of what their fatigue tolerance is and yet everyone opts to push it every so often at the very least. Set a rule for yourself to stop, stretch, and refresh yourself throughout your trip to ensure you’re not nodding off mid-ride.
- Leave at least 20 feet of space between you and your fellow riders.
Any change in the traffic flow or road conditions can make someone reflexively swerve, change lanes, brake, or accelerate. Being too close to your fellow riders makes it that much easier for you to collide with one of them, causing an accident that could lead to severe injuries and potentially orchestrate an even larger accident. There’s really no reason to ride that close to your group, so it’s in everyone’s best interest if space is kept between all members of the group.
- Feather your clutch on slower, tighter turns.
Either extreme on the clutch—either all or nothing—leads to your bike tipping when you’re trying to make an exaggerated turn, including ones you might make in a parking lot or a U-turn. Feathering your clutch (alternately applying and releasing the clutch) enables you to perfect your amount of momentum in order to make the turn as easily and as well as possible.
- Use the “outside, inside, outside” maneuver on curves.
When taking a curve, start at the outside edge of your lane, maneuver toward the inside of the curve, and then gradually move back to the outside. In doing that, you straighten out the curve and lessen your chances of throwing yourself off balance.
- Have an escape plan.
You never know what other drivers are going to do. For that reason, having a good mental map of your surroundings at any given moment on the road is necessary in case you need to make a quick decision to avoid an obstruction in the road, a careless driver, or correct a mistake you make, yourself. Stay in gear and watch traffic coming up behind you, then always leave room for a escape route.
- Be extra careful around semis.
Riding near semi-trucks in a normal car is nerve-wracking—riding next to them on a motorcycle means all the normal dangers in addition to them being far less likely to see you. If you have to be around semis, be very aware of their blindspots and pay attention to where they’re going. Large trucks also cause wind turbulence, which can throw you off balance, and truck drivers not only have trouble seeing you, the size of their vehicles makes it difficult for drivers around them to see you, too. Your best case scenario is to give them their space once you can pass quickly and safely.
- Ride how you want.
If your group is riding faster or more recklessly than you want to, just hang back and go your own speed. Ride the way that makes you comfortable and that you feel keeps you safest from surrounding potential dangers.
To read more about the original contributors to this list, see our source link below. Always tread carefully when out on the road, be it on a bike, in a car, or in a truck—keeping safe driving practices will help your chances of avoiding an accident, but sometimes if other drivers are being reckless, that’s just not enough. If you’ve been the victim of a motorcycle, car, or trucking accident, contact Boughter Sinak, LLC, today for a free evaluation.
Source: Sturgis Rider News