10 Motorcycle Safety Tips Every Motorcyclist Should Know
It seems like everyone is now suggesting different security tips and hacks that are supposed to make our lives easier, or at the very least make some tedious tasks a little less tedious.
Motorcycles are no exception, there is a confusing mix of myths, lies and half-truths to wade through before you find something useful in one way or another, most of them you always suggesting to buy a random product. Some of us have only been riding for a short time and haven’t had the opportunity to learn or discover the most useful tips, and could easily confuse good marketing with good advice.
Here are some of the most relevant tips that will not necessarily cost very much to put into practice and that may well be useful to you one day.
ten Wear the appropriate safety equipment
Technically, this will cost you something, but it’s important to adjust accordingly. While it’s a good idea to prepare for every outing, it’s just not realistic.
If you’re just going to the convenience store 5 minutes down the street, sneakers and a helmet will suffice. If that convenience store is in another state and you plan on doing some light-to-light 0-60 errands, well, you better wear your jacket and jeans too. Also, for off-road riders, getting the right gear for this very different environment is important.
9 Put away those shoelaces
If you commute with your motorcycle, you know full well that your riding boots might not really work anywhere off the bike, so nine times out of ten you’re going to put on your trainers or riding shoes ordinary work.
If you’ve ever ridden in sneakers, you might have felt that awful sinking feeling when your shoelace snags on the footpeg. If you ride in sneakers or shoes with long laces, it’s crucial that you get into the habit of tucking your laces in, this will almost certainly save you from a low-speed tip over one day.
8 Preload your brakes
Most experienced cyclists will cover their brakes in anticipation of the inevitable when riding on an unfamiliar or poorly lit road, this can at least alleviate panic braking to some extent.
You can go further and preload the brakes. If you hold them in focus just before they bite, it can completely eliminate panic braking. It is important not to overtighten, otherwise you risk increasing the wear of your brake pads.
It might sound simple enough, but seriously, watch what you’re doing someday, and you might be surprised. Most people alternate and some even use the right foot consistently, which in this case is actually the wrong foot.
Make a habit of shifting some of your weight to the left when you come to a stop, this will force you onto your left foot, so your right foot can stay planted on the brake pedal, warning those behind you that you’re right there and don’t want to be killed.
6 Take a riding lesson
Whatever your current level, there is a suitable riding lesson that will make you a better rider.
This one will take time, effort and a bit of budget. It’s worth it, though, giving you access to seasoned pros as well as racers in most cases.
5 Do a basic safety inspection
There are several different checks you can perform on a motorcycle, but one thing you can never overlook is the condition of your tires.
This should be on any list, depending on the weather you’re riding in there will be a few variables, but other essentials include the condition of your channel (if you have one), the level of oil and coolant level. Most bikes have a fuel gauge, but if yours doesn’t, add it to your list.
4 Get a first aid kit
We won’t all get this one, but we should. There are very small versions of this, but another option is to just make a small copy.
Find a suitable pouch that fits under your seat and find a small kit online that you think contains all the essentials. Get the essentials from a pharmacy and prepare your own kit.
3 Always be seen
on a motorbike, visibility is crucialeven during the day people in cars usually expect to see a car and too often overlook anything smaller.
A black helmet and a black bike might look cool, but the combination does nothing for visibility, at the very least choose a shiny/white helmet. If you buy a rain suit, make sure it is reflective.
2 Respect the rules of the road
This one might seem simple, but the vast majority of us will have to admit that we don’t always follow the rules perfectly.
We must take responsibility for our actions, so always be aware of others, if you are going to break the law, be prepared for all eventualities.
Even the most experienced riders might find this technique counter-intuitive. We see guys doing it on the dirt, but on the street leaning into a corner makes more sense and definitely more fun.
However, most corners on the street are actually low-speed corners, so counter-holding is technically more efficient, and if you practice it, you’ll notice how much faster you’re able to shift your weight in a emergency situation.
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