A common way to end a ride is with two words: Take care. Keep the rubber side down, and don’t die are synonyms for the same thing. Ride to survive another day. We know we’re taking a risk when we leg over a bike. But how should this risk be managed?
Here are four ways you can stay safe while riding your motorcycle:
Before You Jump On Your Bike
Most people believe the ride starts when you shift into first and let go of the clutch. Technically, yes, but I like to start my safety checks before riding. The first six items on our list occur prior to the ride:
Pick The Best Bike
Wait. What? A bike? What does it mean? So, first, we need to find a bike that fits us. Choosing your first bike can be as difficult as choosing your first tattoo for new riders. But we also rent bikes or test ride them before buying. Many riders choose their next bike based on appearance when it should be the second or third factor.
Always Wear A Helmet
Put on a full-face helmet with a shield (or eye protection). Always. My friend Jim rides and always wears a motorcycle helmet, except “when he has to run to the store.” Really? Most accidents happen at low speeds, and not wearing a helmet raises your risk. The helmet may save you from a gravel patch. Or a slick. And your head hits… It’s vital for safety. Oh, and one more. You may wonder if a full-face helmet is required. An open-faced helmet looks cooler and is cooler in the summer. Right? Yes, but the chin is hit the most frequently (19.4%). Wear a full-face helmet. Street bike gear is essential for you to stay safe.
Always Wear Safety Gear
There are a few ground rules. Ankle-high boots, an armored jacket, long pants or jeans, gloves, and the full-face helmet in #2. Wear armored motorcycle pants and boots for extra protection. Just because you haven’t dropped a bike doesn’t mean you won’t. “Do I always have to wear all this gear?” you may wonder. What about summer? When it’s 100°F and humid? Yes. Yes. A vented white helmet and lighter colored or white gear will help.
These four tips should keep you safe while on the road. There are other things to consider too such as planning your route, staying within the speed limit, getting the right training, and watching out for bad weather. Do you have any others you could add in the comments below?