Keeping safe on the roads: our top motorcycle safety tips
Pure exhilaration. Adrenaline pumping. An incomparable feeling of freedom.
These are all emotions that motorcyclists experience on a daily basis.
Coupled with the reality that they’re cheaper to run, cheaper to insure and faster than most other on-road vehicles, motorcycle driving is an attractive option.
But it’s also true that riding a motorcycle can be dangerous. In fact, motorcycle riders are 40 times more likely to be injured than car drivers. It’s important to look after yourself on the roads so you can enjoy the ride and be safe at the same time.
This guide is going to give you the top motorcycle riding tips, so you can be aware of the dangers and take precautions.
1. Get the proper gear
The first step for how to ride a motorcycle safely, is investing in a solid helmet. A helmet is a non-negotiable. You need to make sure that it fits tightly and isn’t too loose, but is still comfortable. Also, it shouldn’t obstruct your vision but should still offer protection all the way around, covering your chin in case you hit the road.
There’s also a very good reason that a lot of riders wear leather: it’s super strong and will help to protect your skin from the floor.
When you’re riding a motorcycle, you’re not protected from small objects like stones. And even a small stone can sting if it hits you when you’re travelling at 60mph. No one wants that.
2.Check the weather reports
Riding a bike in the rain is far more dangerous than riding in a car. If you’re getting ready to go for a ride, make sure you check the weather report for any signs of snow, ice or heavy rain.
If you have to travel in heavy rain, try to avoid doing so right after the storm starts. When rain first hits a road it can bring up oil and make the road slippery. But if you wait for a while, the rain will wash away the oil and it will be much safer.
3. Don’t forget to protect your ears
Many people forget about ears when it comes to protection. But when wind gets inside your helmet it could cause long-term damage to your ears, even at lower speeds. Surprised? Most people are.Hearing damage can happen at any time over 85 dB and if you’re traveling at 100km/h the db level is already around 94.
So one ride could cause you serious hearing issues. You can protect your ears with earplugs that are specially designed to reduce wind noise, but keep road noise clear. This way you can stay hyper-focused and alert with a sound reduction of up to 23 dB. Your ears will thank you, promise.
Earplugs for motorcycling
3. Don’t forget to protect your ears
Many people forget about ears when it comes to protection. But when wind gets inside your helmet it could cause long-term damage to your ears, even at lower speeds.
Surprised? Most people are.
Hearing damage can happen at any time over 85 dB and if you’re traveling at 100km/h the db level is already around 94.
So one ride could cause you serious hearing issues.
You can protect your ears with earplugs that are specially designed to reduce wind noise, but keep road noise clear. This way you can stay hyper-focused and alert with a sound reduction of up to 23 dB.
Your ears will thank you, promise.
5.Check your bike
We all lead busy lives. And of course, it can be tempting to skip getting your bike checked over - but it’s important that you keep up to date.
Also make sure you give your bike a quick once over every time you ride. You need to look at:
° Tyres - check the pressure when the tyres are cold. Remember the correct PSI will be listed on a factory sticker somewhere on your bike.
° Wheels - if you have spoked wheels make sure you check for any missing or loose spokes before you set off.
°Brakes - a quick check of your motorcycle’s brake discs is important and easy to do! You don’t have to do this every time, but every six months should do the trick.
Checking can take a bit of time, but it’s all worth it when you can ride away with confidence.
6. Wear bright coloured clothing
Being seen on the roads is vital. As good as black leather looks, you need to cramp your style with a high visibility top or colorful clothing (sorry). If the idea of a vest isn’t appealing to you, there are hi-vis belts that cost next to nothing and are just as effective.
Loving the idea of making yourself as seen as possible? Go all out with retro-reflective strips to the wheel rims, fairings, tail light and panniers.
7. Ride within your skill level
I know, I know, we sound like a buzzkill. But motorcycle riding is a skill and it takes time to learn it properly. You may be happy and comfortable to cruise around town, but you might need a bit more practice before hitting the motorway.
Saying that, it’s important to challenge yourself in order to grow your skills and experience more. Just take it at your own pace and use your own judgment - don’t try to keep up with people who have been riding for a lot longer.
8.Make sure your passengers are safe
Carrying a passenger is a big part of the fun. Shared trips and experiences - it’s the ultimate road trip!
But with passengers, a little education goes a long way:
° Make sure they have the right gear (the same as you)
° Ask them not to distract you while you’re driving, focus is everything
° Explain what turning can feel like so they don’t panic
Some passengers may know what to expect, but many won’t. And if it’s your first time taking a passenger, have a practice first in a safe space like a car park. Then you can hit the road.
Motorcycles are there to be enjoyed. But they can be dangerous, too. Remember to be aware of other drivers - you have no control over their actions, but you can anticipate their movements and adjust yours accordingly.
And a final reminder to protect your ears. They deserve it.
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