Are you new to riding? Or are you experienced and need a little reminder? Here are the top 15 safety tips for motorcyclists.
It is easy to get lost in the numerous amount of cars and trucks on the road these days. This could make riding a motorcycle dangerous. The amount of angry and aggressive drivers do not help either. Having safety tips for bikers can be the difference between life or death on the roads.
**I may earn some cash from the companies mentioned in this post. That being said, I only recommend products that I’ve used and loved! I Thank you for your support. Read full disclosure here.
This allows for other vehicles to see you. Intersections are the most dangerous for motorcyclist as many people fail to look both ways and miss judge stops. Another thing to keep in mind as a motorcyclist we don’t stick out like a car so many people don’t register you.
- Make Yourself Visible: Do not tailgate other vehicles. Leave enough distance so you can see several cars in front. This allows time to react in case there is something in the road. You also want to have time to stop.
- Try to stay in lane position 1 or 3 to allow vehicles to see your lights in their side mirrors.
- Move within your lane to avoid looking stationery to other vehicles
Wear clothing that stands out. Safety vest are great to use day or night for visibility. Getting clothing that has reflectors also help.The brighter the better.
There is a saying in the motorcycle world “Loud Pipes Save Lives”, Although it is great to have your pipes heard. Do not rely on this option. Today’s vehicles are well insulated to block out noise. Add the fact many vehicles have loud music playing. How about that nice suited up car that pipes are louder than your motorcycle? Loud pipes can get lost in other background noise.
Watch for other Drivers
You are able to see other drivers however even if you think they see you. They don’t. Watch the driver and the mirrors on cars to anticipate movement.
Avoid Semi Trucks. There are so many trucks on the road due to an increase in logistics. This, unfortunately, means we have to share the road with semi trucks. Avoid them as much as possible. Make sure you position yourself in the furthermost lane possible to pass. Keeping yourself in the furthermost part of the lane. When in a group signal for one lane formation furthest away from the truck and allow plenty of speed to pass semi truck safely. Do Not hold the group in the semi trucks blind spot.
A great safety feature to have and use. Make sure you are not relying on them. Always check with your own eyes before moving. There are plenty of blind spots for a motorcyclist. Check and double check before switching lanes.
Cover Your Brakes
In traffic, you need to be prepared to stop fast and react at any moment. Make sure you are able to brake on a moments notice. Keep fingers on front brake and toes close to back brake.
If there is one thing I remember from my training course this was the one. You always want to plan your riding route even if it is local. Road conditions change at the last minute and knowing this can save your life. Know if any roads have construction. Avoiding construction can eliminate an accident. Many motorcyclists are also car owners and have taken the same route with their cars. We remember the road conditions and understanding this can help when you decide to take your motorcycle that same route to avoid bumps or uneven portions of the road.
Know Hand Signals
When riding in a group, knowing hand signals can keep the group safe. Hand signals are used to help guide a group through traffic and on the road. Each signal gives the rider a heads up what is coming up.
Drive What You Can Control
Having the right bike is so important. Many beginner riders want to get on the biggest bike they see and have no clue on the mere size and strength you need to control a big bike. As a beginner chose a motorcycle that is used and has a few dents in it to allow you to get comfortable. You will not be out of money if you drop the bike. Motorcycles are expensive and dropping them happens even to experienced riders. Know your strength. You need great upper and lower body strength to move the bike and control it while in a stopped position. Not to mention you must be able to back your bike up and that requires muscle.
Ensure you are able to touch the ground and that both feet are firmly touching concrete. Make sure your arms are not overextended while reaching for the handlebars. Allow for a little bend at the elbow so you are able to turn the front wheel. Make sure you are able to grip both the clutch and front brake.
Try to avoid riding in hazardous weather. Although sometimes we are not able to avoid it. Plan ahead. Make sure you watch for any weather changes. Wind can be a big factor in riding and can cause motorcyclists to lose control. Wet roads are dangerous even for vehicles on 4-wheels so avoid going out in the rain. Rain also reduces visibility.
Wearing the proper gear can protect you if you go down and can also save your life. Statistics show that motorcycle deaths occur in those that do not wear a helmet.
- DOT Approved Helmet: Make sure you chose a proper helmet. That is DOT approved. There are many types of styles, however, make sure you pick the right one you feel more comfortable in.
- Jacket: Having a motorcycle jacket can reinforce that protection. Having a jacket with padded shoulders, elbows, and back is a must. Make sure the jacket you purchase is snug and fits true to size. This allows the jacket to protect you and not move if you were to go down on your motorcycle.
- Proper Shoes: There is nothing more disturbing to me than to see seasoned riders cruising in flip-flops. Apparently, they don’t like their feet. This is such a safety hazard. Wear proper boots. Biker boots are made to protect not only your foot but your ankle. Biker boots also help you make great contact with the ground when you stop. Again, imagine trying to upshift with just your toes. OUCH!!
- Jeans: So a little debatable. Motorcycle jeans are pricey. Like $200 on up. For the kevlar jeans. Now, these are designed to avoid sheering in a motorcyclist goes down. However, I wear plain thick jeans if possible. Anything to keep my legs covered. Road rash will happen the degree is what you want to avoid. Jeans protect you from your motorcycles pipes. These things hurt if you come into connecting with them bare. Besides seeing grown men in shorts on a Harley is not attractive.
- Gloves: Protect your hands in fingers are a must. Again. Hopefully, you like all parts of your body.
It is important to check your motorcycle frequently. Ensure tires are in good condition and have proper air pressure. Make sure your oil and fluid levels are topped off. All these can avoid being stranded or an accident. Also, remember to have proper documentation on your motorcycle. Women riders: Make sure if you carry a purse you don’t forget your wallet when switching to your motorcycle.
Don’t Be A Jerk
You look like a badass and most vehicles will give you that space. However, don’t be a jerk. Don’t cut off cars, don’t act like an asshole just because you are on a bike. This cockiness will get you killed.
Motorcycles are not like cars. There will be more stops to fuel up as many tanks are 5 gallons give or take. Stopping during long road trips allow the rider to stretch out and fuel bike and yourself up. It also reduces fatigue and helps you focus on the road.
Taking a safety training course is a must!! The amount of knowledge you gain in such a short period of time is worth every penny. Not only will it make you a better motorcyclist, but a better driver. You will see motorcycles when you are on your 4-wheels. You will be more vigilant on the road. When you have been riding for 6 months to a year. Do an advanced course to help you gain more confidence and allows you to avoid complacency.
Are you a biker? Do you know any safety tips? Share below. Want to learn more about riding let me know at the bottom in the comments. I love to share my passion for riding with others especially women. Check out my other articles.