Riding a motorcycle is fun and exhilarating. Many riders enjoy the feeling of freedom they get when they are on a bike. The adrenaline rush that comes with being out in the open at speeds comparable to that of an automobile is something motorcyclists enjoy. Despite these positive emotions, it cannot be denied however that riding a motorcycle is still a pretty dangerous feat.
While it has been noted that the frequency of motorcycles figuring in accidents is not higher than that of cars, the likelihood of serious injuries and fatalities from motorcycle accidents is higher. To be able to ride a motorcycle safely, you need to take extra care and be more attentive while behind the handlebars. There are also a lot of other things you need to take care of in order to ensure that you are safely riding your motorbike. Here are some safety tips that may help:
- Take up the Motorcycle Rider Training Scheme – Knowing how to ride your bike the right way can mean the difference between you riding safely, and being accident prone. While the motorcycle rider training scheme is needed for licensing needs, you should note that not all riders actually have licences (in fact, a lot of those who get into motorcycle accidents do not have a licence). This means that not everyone on a motorcycle has taken this training program.
- Don’t drink and ride – Whether you are in a four-wheeled vehicle or on a motorcycle, always remember, drinking and driving DO NOT MIX. Studies show that 50% of fatal motorcycle accidents are due to intoxication. Not only that, but even a small amount of alcohol can impair your judgement and slow your reflexes, which can also lead to accidents.
- Wear protective gear – Motorcyclists need to wear protective gear due to the fact that they are on a
vehicle that does not have any protective covering around them. Also called PPE
(personal protective equipment), these items of clothing provide a rider with
resistance to abrasion, and protection from impact. Some of the items of
clothing that a motorcyclist should wear for protection include the following:
- Helmet – While there are a number of options available when it comes to helmet design, always go with the one that offers the most protection, and this is the full-face helmet.
- Boots – For cruise riders, choose boots that are made of leather, come with steel-reinforced toes, and have rubber soles. Select boots that go up to the lower part of your calf since these protect part of the shin, the ankles, and the foot while still allowing for ample movement.
- Jacket – Always go for jackets that are made out of materials that offer some protection through padding or its thickness. Leather jackets are considered the best option for this since the material is durable, and does not tear. Always go for leather jackets that are made specifically for riders. These come with special features that include padded elbows, chest, and shoulders, as well as protective armour in these same areas. These are made with leather that is soft enough to be comfortable, but tough enough to be durable. You can also choose motorcycling jackets made out of Kevlar or Cordura, which are also durable and designed specifically for riders.
- Pants – Motorcycling pants look like your average pair of jeans, but in reality, these are made out of similarly tough and protective materials as your motorcycling jacket. These can be made using Kevlar, leather, and Cordura, which is a type of fabric known for its abrasion resistance and durability. These also come with padded areas and armour, for increased protection.
- Gloves – Also made out of the same materials as motorcycle jackets and pants, motorcycle gloves are designed to give added protection to riders. These are not built like other gloves since these often come with added knuckle protection, wrist protection, and slightly curved fingers ideal for motorcyclists.
- Wear highly visible clothing – Aside from padded protective gear, riders also need to wear high-visibility clothing to make them easier to see. While people have this mistaken notion that riders are usually clad in all-black outfits, for safety purposes, they also wear clothing with bright colours and reflective surfaces. Motorcycling vests can be made using highly visible materials, or come with contrasting bright colours that make the rider easier to spot. You can also customize these with brightly coloured bolo cords to make these vests stand out. Some riders also make it a point to wear pants that are brightly coloured, but still have the protective features needed for motorcycling, in the form of Kevlar leggings or jeans.
- Have weather-resistant gear ready – Some people forget that an accident is not the only thing you need to protect yourself from when you are on a motorcycle. Since your ride does not have a roof over it, you will need to provide yourself with weather protection when the need arises. Protect yourself from cold, wind, rain, and other extreme weather conditions with clothing and equipment that can withstand these. Weatherproof boots, rain suits, and other similar gear should be worn when these conditions come up. These things may also come with reflective panels that make you easier to see during rainstorms and low visibility weather.
These are some of the things you need to keep in mind before you hop onto your motorcycle. Remember, safety should always come first. With the proper training, the right attitude towards motorcycling, and the right gear, you can be sure that safety won’t be an issue for you when you ride.