How to Stay Safe While Riding a Motorcycle

Posted on: 1 May 2015

Share

Whether you've just bought your first motorcycle or are returning to your forgotten teenage hobby, motorcycle safety is key. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe on your hog.

Get in Gear

You may feel silly wearing a tough leather jacket, motorcycle chaps, and boots. However, riding around town in shorts, a T-shirt, and flip flops looks even sillier. Ditch your style preferences and go for gear that will keep you safe if you get into a crash. There's a reason motorcyclists wear leather -- it helps prevent road rash if you happen to crash and slide. Above-the-ankle boots keep your feet protected, too.

Practice Alone

The first time you rode your bike, you were probably a little unsure and unsteady. Instead of practicing out on the open road with other drivers, go to a Motorcycle Safety Foundation riding course to put in some time alone. You can figure out how your bike rides, turns, stops, and swerves in safety. If there isn't a course nearby, practice turns and emergency braking in an empty parking lot before taking to a busy road.

Be Defensive

This is a good tip for any driver, but especially motorcycle drivers. Especially when you're on the freeway, be a defensive driver. Be aware of drivers who appear to be talking on their phones or texting. Don't swerve through lanes and pass cars just because you can. Use your blinker and horn, even if it's not cool. Taking these safety precautions into your own hands can save your life. Most motorcycle-vehicle accidents are caused by drivers, which means it's up to you to be extra safe on the road.

Get Seen

A lot of motorcycle fatalities happen simply because a driver didn't see the two-wheeler. It's easy for you to slip into blind spots; take extra measures to ensure you are seen while on the road. Keep your headlights and brake lights shined to reduce cloudiness. Wear a bright color if possible, and a reflective vest at night. Put reflective strips strategically on your motorcycle. It may be trendy to wear all black on a black motorcycle, but it's not exactly safe to drive around like that at night. 

Motorcycle safety might not be fun, flashy, or cool, but it will keep you alive. Follow these rules of thumb to stay safe on the roads and you'll be riding your motorcycle for many years to come. For more information, talk to a motorcycle professional like Harley Davidson.