Safety is important and AMERiders wants to give you these Simple Motorcycle Tips to Save Your Life, and the Life of Your Passenger. When riding either by yourself or with a passenger it is always important to always stay alert and know what is going on. However, there are other simple motorcycle tips that can help ensure yours and your passenger’s safety. We offer these to you just in case the unthinkable happens and you (in the words of so many car drivers) “just come out of nowhere”, and can help to avoid serious issues or at least save you and your passenger from a few broken bones. An experienced rider will see some of these as obvious but it’s always worth reminding yourself of the dangers out there.
Wear Your Gear
This should be a no-brainer, however, it’s not just about wearing the gear; it’s about wearing the right gear all the time. This is what you need and some reasons why you need it. We sell all types of safety gear so check the links in each section to get your new piece or set of gear.
A helmet that conforms to safety standards (DOT/SNELL) is what you want protecting your head, not something bought second hand at all. It is important to note that, many helmets lose their protective integrity after one impact. Helmets can be expensive, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Buy new and always wear your own, as you may not know the history of the helmet. A good helmet is a key element of yours and your passenger’s safety.
Jacket and Trouser
There are many different kinds of jacket and trouser gear out there; some riders wear leather, but some prefer Kevlar. Regardless of what you choose always remember, your skin can only survive a slide so far before muscle tissue and bone start to show. It may sound horrible but a quick Google search can show you the damage no gear can cause unprotected skin!
When in a fall (crash or even just dropping your bike) your hands always instinctively reach out to break your fall. If you’re not wearing good gloves, your hands are going to suffer for it. Gloves are often forgotten; even if you’re wearing the rest of the gear – don’t forget your gloves. Skinned hands take forever to heal. Not only that they make everyday tasks a complete nightmare. Walking away from a crash may seem like a win but having to get someone else to help undo your zipper for the bathroom isn’t fun.
Everyone has seen the images of riders riding bike scooters and small dirt bikes with flip-flops on; now search for the images of when things don’t go to plan. We have all heard the horror stories and that should be reason enough not to do it. The long and short of it is, you’re riding a large engine on two-wheels with little space between your feet and the floor. Durable, sturdy, thick boots are always recommended. You want something that can protect your ankles, and feet as well as stop a bike from squashing them and survive a slide along the floor. Most importantly stay on if you do crash.
Using Your Eyes is paramount
We all know that you need to look where you want to go. Scan for potholes and other hazards and be aware of the traffic. You should also assume that every other vehicle on the road is driven by a moron and above all don’t assume they know what they are doing. How many times have you seen the unbelievable first-hand? How often have you thought ‘they’re definitely not going to attempt that…No way, they’re actually doing it’? Surprisingly it happens so often that the answer is yes.
It’s important to keep your eyes open; use your mirrors, over-shoulder checks and above all keep an eye on the traffic too. Look around and analyze every potential hazard; your mind should do this automatically as you ride but it’s always good to keep your eyes out for danger. This is especially important when a passenger is riding with you. Don’t forget to wear a great pair of glasses to help protect your peepers if you are not wearing a full face or visor on your helmet.
Avoid Debris in the road and in your path
If your eyes are open, you should be able to avoid any sand, gravel or other debris that may be lying across the road. When riding with one or more other bikes, it’s just polite to point it out to whoever is behind you, So that they can make preparations to tackle it or avoid it. If you can not avoid the debris, make sure you approach it slowly, with your bike upright. Off-road tires can handle the debris but still keep the bike upright. If you’re armed with road tires, make sure that you cross the patch slowly, don’t aggressively brake or accelerate while you’re going over it.
If you’re in a corner and don’t have time to get upright before entering then you’re more than likely going to take a tumble. You were going too fast in the first place or didn’t look far enough ahead and consider the danger. It has been known to happen.
Smart braking is important
One of the most important of our simple motorcycle tips is smart braking. Braking too rapidly can cause an accident, however,so can braking too slowly. To prevent slow braking, ensure that your brakes are in tip-top condition and adjusted to the way you like them. You should also be aware of the state of your tires too. Make sure they have the correct amount of tread of them, cause a tire blow our or bad tread can also cause serious accidents.
Braking rapidly can be because you’re too close to a hazard. Always leave as much room as possible between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. Consider your braking routine as weight distribution rather than slowing down; some riders say they never use the front brake first while others swear by it. Using the front brake does shift all of your weight to the front of the bike but you can counter any potential lock up by applying the back brake, smoothening out your weight distribution.
When riding with a passenger you should expect that as you slow the motorcycle to a stop, this will be the time the passenger moves around or makes adjustments. This will challenge your slow speed control, skills and help you master them! Practice your braking as often as you can with and without a passenger. Knowing how to brake appropriately in any situation could save both your lives!
When thinking of simple motorcycle tips this one stood out most. All of the skills you need to improve your riding can be learned on an advanced riding course. These courses are designed to help you re-learn the basics, lose bad habits and take your riding to the next level. It’s interesting to go and try the new testing requirements and you may be surprised to find gaps in your knowledge. By taking a course or booking time with an instructor, you can fill in all the blanks and re-acquaint yourself with the rules of the road. You might think it’s a waste of time now but you’ll feel differently afterward!
It is also very important to know how to ride with a passenger as well, we will cover more on this in our next post. We should also make note that taking an advanced rider course can lower the cost of your insurance.
Last words for thought
Some last few quick simple motorcycle tips for thought. When riding with a passenger ensure that your gear shifts are smooth to the point of the passenger not even sensing the shift has occurred. If their helmet is knocking into the back of yours, you’re not smooth enough yet. Smoothness in your stopping and starting is important. When you move off from a stop aim for such smoothness that the passenger is not quite sure that you have started to move. This goes the same for a stop, smoothness all around.
Also, the extra weight of your passenger will increase the stopping power of your rear brake. You’ll need greater clutch finesse and more throttle when starting from a stop. If your passenger is heavy, it will take longer to turn, slow down, or speed up on your motorcycle. Avoid traveling at extreme speeds.
We hope that these simple motorcycle tips have helped you to adapt your riding and maybe even given you something to think about that you don’t already do.
And as always….
~Live Free Ride Hard~
Let AMERiders keep you up to date on your riding with these simple motorcycle tips.
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