There is something about the experience of riding a motorcycle that you just don’t get when driving a car. It may be the feeling of the air pushing back at you as you drive, the amplified control you have over the bike from even the slightest movements, or even just the faster acceleration causing butterflies in your stomach. Whatever it is for you, you should always take the utmost precautions to ensure the safety of you, your bike and others around you. Here are 5 safety tips every motorcyclist should take.
Cover all bare skin
Now it might be tempting, especially in good weather, to ride with just a t-shirt on, but this is inadvisable. While you may be wearing a helmet, having skin exposed while riding can leave you very vulnerable to a variety of things such as wind and sunburn, rain, and not to mention if you figure in an accident, you will have nothing to protect these areas during impact. If you don’t want to wear a thick specialised bikers jacket, go for a comfortable windbreaker or rain jacket that covers up to your neck. Your skin will thank you.
Check your tire tread before you set off
Not only is it the law that your tire tread is above a certain amount, but especially in wet weather and poor road conditions, it is extremely important to ensure you have satisfactory tread. If your tires are on the verge of losing them, also check your side walls as they could also likely have some damage too. Get these replaced ASAP!
Use side mirrors
Funnily enough, you are not legally obliged to have side mirrors on your motorcycle in the UK; so while you may not be required to have any, the benefits of having them are clear. How do you expect to safely be aware of other vehicles around you if you need to turn your head to at least see to the side? Think about how difficult it would be to drive a car safely without side or rear-view mirrors, and this is really how it could be with motorcycles.
Wear hi-viz clothing
You will always be one of the smallest vehicles on the road, therefore you need to make sure you are as visible as possible, especially at night. Not all roads are well lit, nor are all drivers totally aware when driving, so you must ensure that they have as little trouble as possible seeing you. If you don’t want to cramp your style by wearing a workman-like hi-visibility jacket, then invest in a padded riding jacket with hi-viz strips on them.
Avoid riding in bad weather
This may not always be avoidable, but if the weather is wet or icy, think twice about using a motorcycle. You have a higher chance of getting into accidents because of the type of vehicle you are driving, as well as worse conditions for other riders and drivers on the road. Consider taking public transport or a car if you can.