If you’re riding a motorcycle, you owe it to yourself and your family to take extra steps to stay safe. With distracted drivers and potholes all over the place, it’s important to ensure you’re doing everything you can to protect yourself on the road. Check out these five tips to help you stay safe on your motorbike!
1. Always Shadow Your Breaks
Driving in traffic requires you to react quickly. Things aren’t always what they seem when you’re sharing the road with inexperienced and impatient drivers. Shadowing your brakes helps minimize your reaction time. Always keep your fingers on the brake lever and your toe close to the rear brake pedal.
In addition to shadowing your brakes, keep an eye on the drivers around you. Watching their head movements will help you anticipate any sudden moves they might make. Even if a driver doesn’t check their mirrors, they’re likely to move their head before making any sudden moves.
2. Don’t Rely 100% On Your Mirrors
Your mirrors are incredibly useful, but you can’t always rely on them. Your mirrors don’t always tell the full story when you’re in busy traffic. In addition to looking in your side mirrors, make sure you double check with a shoulder check. While it may take longer, this is an excellent technique to help keep you safe.
In addition to shoulder checking, riding in the city in a lower gear than you usually would helps with your reaction time. Riding a gear lower helps you take advantage of openings as they become available. Moving at a high RPM also makes more noise which alerts people to your presence.
3. Make Sure People Notice You
Staying safe is much easier when other drivers and pedestrians are alerted to your presence. Do your best to ensure people can see you from as far as way as possible. Riding with your brights on is always a good idea, even during the day. You can turn your lights off as a courtesy when you’re stopped behind someone.
Another way to get noticed is to wear brightly colored gear. While the black helmet may look sleek and cool, including bright colors in your gear can help you stand out more in traffic. It’s also a good idea to get a vivid riding jacket with reflective strips.
4. Upgrade Your Motorcycle Gear
Part of staying safe while riding is investing in quality motorcycle gear. Your gear is designed to keep you safe which makes it well worth the investment. Whenever you want to buy a new piece of gear, always go for quality over price. After all, you can put a price on protecting your body.
When buying motorcycle gear, make sure it fits your body correctly. If possible, try sitting on your bike in the gear to see how it fits. It’s also a good idea to get gloves and jackets with extra armor at the elbows, shoulders, and back. Your riding pants should also have armor at the hips and knees.
5. Check Your Bike Before You Start Riding
Before you take off on a trip, it’s always a good idea to give your bike a quick inspection. Making sure your bike is fit for the road is just as important as ensuring you know how to ride safely.
Before leaving, check your tires for any cracks, bulges or signs of wear in the treads. You should also test your lights and make sure they’re functioning. Don’t forget to check your brakes and ensure they feel firm and hold your bike when fully applied. Taking a few extra minutes to inspect your bike before you take off is an excellent way to invest in your safety.