As technology continues to increase, we have watched as a number of innovative new modes of transportation have taken the world by storm. However advanced these new products may be, there’s still a certain nostalgia associated with one transportation method that was introduced in Germany in 1885. Motorcycles allow you a certain sense of freedom on the road that even the most technologically advanced cars, trucks, and SUVs cannot achieve.
Whether you’re a long-time enthusiast or a beginner just getting the taste of the open road, it’s important not to allow the intrigue of the ride override your sense of judgement and safety. Motorcycles are designed much differently than cars and trucks, and they offer much less stability when involved in a crash. As the number of motorcycle users increase, so do fatalities, and it’s estimated that the odds of getting into an accident on a motorcycle is 27 times more likely than while driving in a car.
However startling these facts may be, it doesn’t mean it’s time to put up your leather jacket for good. In fact, there are a variety of seemingly little things you can do to stay safe on the road and decrease your odds of becoming another grim statistic.
Know Your Capabilities
If it’s been awhile since you’ve ridden a motorcycle, what you may not realize is that new bikes on the market pack a lot more punch than they did just a short ten years ago. Therefore, when you pick the right bike for you, it’s important to understand your own capabilities. As you analyze a prospect, there are a few key things to keep an eye out for including:
- Making sure the bike doesn’t sit too high by testing to see if you can keep your feet on the ground when sitting on it without using tiptoes
- Checking to ensure both the handlebars and controls are easily within your reach
- Making sure you can easily manipulate the bike and that it’s not too heavy for you
If you are just starting and need to learn how to ride, a bike featuring a 300 cc engine can prove efficient. You may want to increase that a bit to around 500 cc’s if you plan on getting a lot of highway driving time in.
Select Your Helmet Carefully
Helmets save lives, and whether or not your jurisdiction requires their use, you should certainly wear one even if you’re not going far. Crashing on an open road with little to protect you from outside elements can be tragic, and you want to do everything possible to put the odds in your favor should this ever happen to you.
If you haven’t upgraded your helmet in a while or you don’t even have one, the exciting news is that we’ve come a long way. There are more exciting safety features and designs available to help you not only increase your chances of arriving at your next destination alive, but also ensure you do so in a style all your own. With so many types of helmets to choose from, modular, full face, half helmets etc. it can become difficult to narrow down your choices.
Practice Makes Perfect
One of the best ways to stay defensive on the road is to get plenty of practice, and what better way to do this than at a Motorcycle Safety Foundation riding course? Here, you can rest assured that the road will be prepared for bikers in mind, and you can hone your skills at a pace and level that’s right for you. Aside from gaining basic skills, you can also:
- Learn to perform emergency moves
- Practice riding in unusual circumstances
- Meet other enthusiasts from whom you can learn and develop new friendships