Stay Safe on The Road for Cheaper Insurance
Riding safely is riding defensively – drive your bike within your own abilities… if your riding partners can do something you can’t, let them! You stay safe! The number one reason for most motorcycle crashes may well be attempting things that are beyond the rider’s capabilities. Don’t go faster or ride longer than you know you can!
Watch that Corner! Almost 3/4 of motorcycle-vehicle collisions take place at intersections so be especially alert ! Vehicles might unexpectedly change direction turning across your path or pull out from a side street or driveway. If your vision is limited by surroundings or environment be sure to slow down, watch for other traffic, and be prepared to react. In short, drive defensively!
Often overlooked, these are very important aspects of motorbike safety. Operating a motorbike safely is much more physically and mentally demanding than driving a car. Are you physically able to ride safely? Are you mentally prepared to ride and concentrate on the riding tasks? Many things can impair either or both. Some things are rather obvious, some not. Consider this list:
You have had a drink in the past two hours.
You are just getting over a pretty bad case of the flu.
You are upset or angry
It is obvious that item 1 will impair your physical abilities to operate a motorcycle and depending how much you’ve had to drink you could be breaking the law . Item 2 is less obvious but potentially just as dangerous. You may feel MUCH better, but after a day or two of extreme weakness and bedrest, you are not back to 100% as quickly as you may think.
Your bike falling from under you when your leg is too weak to hold it up at a stop is not the time to realize it. It would be impossible to list all things that could impair your abilities. The key is to be aware of your physical and mental condition and save the ride for later if there is anything that could substantially impair either. Your life may depend on it.
Learn how to Brake!
A motorcycles stopping power is almost all in the front wheel so you must learn how to use the front brakes without going over the handlebars! Using rear brakes alone can cause the bike to go into a dangerous skid.
As with any vehicle you must watch ahead to anticipate problems and road hazards but motorcycles are far more vulnerable to minor road probelms than other vehicles. Nearly any kind of uneven roadway can present a problem if you are not aware and competent. Watch for hazards from a distance to get around them safely.
Position, Position, Position…
To control the motorcycle more (especially while riding on rough terrain) sit as far forward as possible, keeping your elbows up and away from your body. That keeps you ready for unexpected but necessary direction changes or stops.
Of course, to ride your motorbike safely, it must be safe to ride! Make sure that your bike is well maintained and always check your brakes, lights and fluids before starting out! Sloshing the gas tank to check whats left may be ‘cool’ but a quick look is more reliable!