It’s Motorcycle Season! Now is the time to get re familiarized with the rules of the road. We have compiled 10 motorcycle tips to help everyone enjoy a safer ride.
1. Watch Drivers' Heads and Mirrors
Paying attention to the head movements of drivers through their windows and mirrors is an excellent way to anticipate any sudden moves. Most drivers won't bolt left or right without first moving their heads one way or the other (even if they are not checking their mirrors).
2. Trust Your Mirrors, But Not Totally
Your bike's mirrors are indispensable, but they don't always tell the whole story even if they're adjusted correctly. While riding always reinforce your rear view with a glance over the appropriate shoulder.
3. Stay In Your Comfort Zone
Make sure you are comfortable with both the route and bike you are heading out on. Experience is the best teacher so make sure you work your way up to a particularly tricky road or large bike. And if you’re riding with a group, don’t push yourself just to keep up with the pack. Always ride to your comfort level, not theirs.
4. Cover Your Brakes
In traffic you must often react extra quickly, which means not having to search for the brake lever or pedal. To minimize reach time, always keep a finger or two on the brake lever and your right toe close to the rear brake pedal.
5. Be Noticed
Make sure to put forward an effort so drivers and pedestrians can see you, even from a distance. Ride with your high beam on during the day, and wear brightly colored gear, especially your helmet and jacket. If you must wear black make sure it has some kind of reflective piping for better visibility at night.
6. Be Ready To Move
In traffic, ride in a gear lower than you normally would so your bike is ready to jump forward instantly if asked. Doing so gives you the option of leaping ahead instead of being limited to just using the brakes when that pickup suddenly moves over. The higher revs might also alert more cars to your presence.
7. Traffic Stopping? Stay Left (Or Right)
When vehicles stop suddenly, stay to the left or right of the car in front of you. This will give you an escape route if needed. It will also help keep you from a rear impact if the car behind you fails to stop in time. Once you've stopped, be ready--clutch in, your bike in gear and your eyes on the mirrors to react if needed.
8. Know the forecast
Weather can multiply the dangers of the road by making them wet or icy. Always check the weather forecast before headed out on your planned route. At the very least it will help to keep you dry!
9. Study the Surface
Add road conditions to your scan of surroundings. Be on the lookout for spilled oil, antifreeze or fuel; it'll usually show up as shiny or wet pavement. Also keep an eye out for gravel and/or sand, which is usually more difficult to see. Use your sense of smell too, often you can smell spilled diesel fuel or oil before you find out how slippery it is.
10. Brake for Motorcycles
Whether you’re in a car or on your bike always be looking out for motorcycles. Always give extra space to other bikes and be courteous. Double check when changing lanes and turning.