Protect yourself and your motorcycle with these safety tips.
Riding a motorcycle means taking more risks than if you were riding in a car, which is part of the draw for some riders. Risk and thrills are part of the fun, but you also need to think about safety if you want to make it home safe and sound.
Here are a few motorcycle safety tips to keep in mind this riding season:
1. Take a motorcycle safety course.
Even if your state doesn’t require it, taking a safety course should be a no-brainer. Riding a motorcycle requires certain skills that you’ll want to practice in a controlled environment before you test them out on the road. Learning how to ride safely is worth the time and money you’ll invest upfront. It could save your life down the road.
2. Know your limits.
If your friends push you to ride faster or farther than you’re comfortable with, learn how to say no. Respect your limits, for your own sake and for the sake of those with you.
Don’t take a passenger before you’re ready, and start out giving rides to a skilled rider rather than a newbie. They’ll be less likely to move around, lean the wrong way, or make sudden moves.
3. Watch the weather.
Riding a motorcycle is risky in bad weather. With only two wheels, you have less traction than a car, and wet or icy pavement can make handling your motorcycle difficult. Avoid riding your motorcycle if rain, snow, ice, fog, or other potentially dangerous conditions are in the forecast.
4. Wear protective gear.
While you can’t always prevent accidents from happening, you can take extra precautions to prevent injury. Wear a helmet, boots, and protective riding gear when you’re out on your motorcycle. Leave the shorts and flip flops at home.
Protective gear can protect you from asphalt burns in case you lose control and need to lay the bike down. It also protects you from exhaust and engine heat, rocks kicked up by the vehicles around you, and other road hazards.
5. Look twice.
Don’t assume other drivers will see you. Look twice before changing lanes or merging into traffic. Check your blind spot for cars and motorcycles. Drive defensively, and take responsibility for your own safety.
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