Safety on Motorcycles
The world of motorcycles is an incredibly thrilling one, filled with endless opportunities for new adventures. You can choose to ride solo or join a group of riders in your community that can show you new things about your motorcycle and different areas to ride. While there are tons of positives, it's no secret that riding is dangerous. Without the proper safety protocols, a new rider is much more likely to become injured in an accident. From your riding gear to the type of bike you start out on, there are many variables to take into consideration before getting started in a motorcycling hobby. Here are our best motorcycle safety tips to have the safest ride possible and curtail the chances of an accident.
Start with the Right Motorcycle
How do you plan to ride your motorcycle? What's your experience level? These are important questions to ask before purchasing one. These aren't one-size-fits-all, so your height and size must be accounted for, so the motorcycle suits you. After you determine which size is best for you, the selection of options is much narrower to help you find the right bike. There are many beginner motorcycles on the market that are great to get started on. If you can find a used one in great shape, even better! This will help you get a feel for riding and if motorcycling is something that will stick. After all, you don't want to fork out a ton of money on the nicest and newest bike to only find that you're riding a few weekends out of the year.
Motorcycle Education Courses = A Sound Investment
Just like you need a license to operate a vehicle, you need one for your motorcycle too. You can prepare yourself for the test by investing some time in motorcycle education. Some people prefer the luxury of private instruction, which involves just you and an instructor. They'll be able to give you tons of instruction and feedback that you may not receive in a track school.
However, track schools may actually be a better fit for you. These are seminars that take place over one or two days and use a closed course racetrack to help riders nail down techniques. Alongside classroom instruction, these courses take you to the track and help you learn more about concepts like body positioning and leaning with the motorcycle. After taking a course, you'll feel much more informed and confident about riding, helping to keep you and those around you safe on the open road.
Protective Riding Gear
Have you seen the acronym ATGATT? As a new rider, you may not be familiar, but this stands for All The Gear, All The Time. Essentially, this means that you should be wearing all the safety gear needed to stay protected during your ride. You will obviously need a helmet, one that is DOT-certified and new. You can choose a full-face helmet for all-over protection, or one offering ¾ or 1/3 coverage. We recommend full-face, as these give you the highest degree of protection.
You'll also need a motorcycle jacket. These fit snug so that in the event of an accident, the jacket will be able to withstand abrasion. Plus, a high-quality option will provide you with needed warmth for fall and winter riding. Gloves are essential, too. Because your hands will naturally sweat, you could accidentally lose grip on the handlebar and find yourself in a sticky situation. Gloves provide constant grip and keep your hands warm, so it's a win-win.
What about the pants? Some riders find jeans to be acceptable, but there are a variety of motorcycle riding pants that will keep your legs protected. Should you wipe out, riding pants are durable enough to take on the road rash, saving your skin in the process. Some also feature padding in the knees, thighs, and hips for additional protection.
Don't just wear any old shoes for riding your motorcycle. You will need either leather or textile boots that rise above the ankle. This style of boot will provide the protection your feet need, as well as features like hook and loop strips for the laces and ankle protection.
The important thing here is to not skimp on your riding gear. While you shouldn't go far beyond your means to purchase gear, it pays off to look for deals on trusted brands. Take a little time to do some research on helmets, jackets, gloves, pants, and boots to see which brands and styles suit your needs and budget.
Ride to Your Ability
Even after you've taken a motorcycle education course and earned your license, it doesn't make you a professional rider. Not just yet, anyways. Because of this, it's important to only ride in a manner that suits your ability. If you plan to ride in a group, don't try to keep pace with a very experienced rider. Maintain a speed that feels comfortable so you can make it to the destination with everyone else.
Accessories to Have Equipped
There are a few accessories to keep on hand and wear while riding your motorcycle that we recommend for enhanced safety. You should keep a first-aid kit in your bags, since you never know what will happen during a ride even if you're 100% prepared. You should also have a small tool pouch available, complete with wrenches, screwdrivers, and other tools you might need during an emergency. You may consider things like sunglasses, earplugs, hand sanitizer, dry snacks, and gas (if possible). Ensure you have room on your bike bags for these things. Remember, being as prepared as possible will help minimize the potential of accidents while riding!