Basic Motorcycle Safety Tips for All Riders
Let’s face it – riding a motorcycle is fun. There’s just something special about jumping on a bike and heading out on the open road, and that’s the reason we all ride. But riding a motorcycle is a potentially dangerous activity, and you’ve got to have a lot of respect for the motorcycle and the act of riding.
But everyone already knows it can be dangerous, so there’s really no point in talking about motorcycle safety, right?
Wrong… Even the most experienced riders crash. Just like driving a car, an accident might not even be your fault – but when you crash on a motorcycle, you’ve got very little protection. It’s important to be as prepared as possible in order to ride safely.
getting it wrong is usually more severe. As such, we’ll hit some of the high spots to stay mindful of.
Wear a Helmet
Most states don’t require you to wear a helmet… and sure, it’s your right to ride without one if you want to. But why would you want to?
All sanctioned racing events require full coverage helmets and head-to-toe protection. The pros know that the gear will save their life in the event of an accident – doesn’t that suggest that casual riders should protect themselves too?
Even at slow speeds, if you’re knocked off your bike and your head hits the pavement, you could sustain potentially deadly head trauma. It might be tempting to leave the helmet at home on a hot day, but it’s just not worth the risk.
Be a Responsible Rider
Anybody can buy a bike, but becoming a competent rider is your job. You owe it to yourself to do it – not only for your own safety, but for the safety of other people on the road. Buying the bike and getting licensed are only the beginning.
Most riders are self-taught. They buy a bike, start riding, and this is their learning experience.
We highly recommend taking a riding course, regardless of your skill level. Riding courses are available for all skill levels, from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic Rider Course, advanced-level supervised track days.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety strongly recommends ABS brakes, if you can get a bike with them.
Motorcycles have a ton of moving parts and much less margin for error than cars. It’s in your own best interest to get a bike you can control, and to check it periodically to make sure it’s in good condition.
Be Aware of Other Motorists
As any experienced rider will tell you, even if you do everything right, you can still get into an accident.
It’s a well-known fact that motorcycles can be “invisible” to people who are driving cars and are visually scanning for large vehicles. This is even more true when approaching intersections. More than 50% of all crashes happen as a result of driver negligence or failure to yield to the motorcyclist’s right of way.
Make sure you’re good with your front brake – the front brake typically does 85-100% of the stopping. Are you good at evasive maneuvers? If not, you should take a motorcycle skills class.
At night, having reflective patches on your gear is a huge help. Extra reflectors and running lights are also an excellent boost to visibility.
Your most important takeaway from this blog post: You are the one most responsible for your own safety. Even if your bike has ABS brakes or an airbag, riding is still inherently more risky than driving a car.
While it might be riskier, riding a motorcycle is usually much more fun than driving a car, and typically more economical as well. If you have any other questions about motorcycle safety, please feel free to give us a call at 972-380-5151. We’re here to answer any and all questions!
If you’re in the market for a bike, head on over to our site to see the best selection of used motorcycles in Dallas. We’ve got hundreds of bikes available, but if you don’t find what you’re looking for, let us know – we’ll find it for you!