Motorcycle Safety Tips

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Heading out on a motorcycle holds an irresistible draw. If you’re a new rider embarking on your first long journey, upgrading to a new bike or are a seasoned veteran hitting the road after some time away, prioritizing safety is paramount. Before you rev up your engine, make sure you’re confident in your riding skills and familiar with your vehicle.

Understanding your bike 

If you’re new to riding, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the controls of your motorcycle. Before you hit the road, get a feel for your bike and understand its basic functions. This includes:

  • Brakes
  • Clutch
  • Gear shifter
  • Throttle

Spend time in a controlled environment practicing various maneuvers until they become second nature. Additionally, learn the layout and operation of any auxiliary controls like the turn signals, lights and horn.

Maintenance

Regular maintenance is also crucial for motorcycle safety. From checking tire pressure to inspecting brakes and fluids, a well-maintained bike is less likely to experience dangerous riding scenarios or unexpected failures on the road. You can find service and maintenance schedules in the owner’s manual. Unless you are an experienced mechanic or familiar with your motorcycle, it’s recommended to take your motorcycle to have it inspected by a licensed professional. 

There are a few things you can do yourself to ensure everything runs properly, like:

  • Keep your bike clean to reveal any issues
  • Check the battery every month
  • Check fluids regularly and refill as necessary

Packing for a trip

Properly loading your motorcycle is not only essential for your comfort but also for maintaining stability and control while riding. When packing for a trip, it’s recommended that you ride as light as possible. Take only the essentials with you on your ride and distribute weight evenly on both sides of the bike to avoid imbalance. Use bungee cords, nets or straps to secure items to your bike, ensuring they won’t shift or fall off during the ride. 

Overloading the bike can negatively impact handling and braking, so be mindful of weight limits and pack only what’s necessary for your journey.

Hitting the road

As you get ready to head out, gearing up properly is paramount. Here is some equipment to consider:

  • A helmet that meets DOT safety standards and is comfortable to wear for long distances
  • High-quality sun-glare protection or a visor to protect your eyes from wind and debris
  • Approved riding gear (jackets, pants, gloves, boots, etc.)
  • Specialized riding gloves that offer grip, flexibility and protection
  • Waterproof gear to stay dry and maintain visibility in rainy conditions

Always be aware of your surroundings. As you navigate a winding dirt trail or cruise on a bustling highway, stay vigilant and aware of your surroundings, anticipating and reacting to potential hazards effectively. Use your motorcycle’s lights, signals and horn to communicate your intentions clearly to fellow drivers.

Riding in groups presents its own set of challenges. Establish clear communication signals and guidelines for formations to minimize the risk of accidents and keep everyone safe. If your group is looking for a rally to participate in this year, check out this list for inspiration.

Take safety to the next level

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has courses for new and experienced riders. Check them out to sharpen your skills and prepare you to handle unexpected situations confidently and comprehensively. Find a motorcycle safety course near you. 

Here are a few final tips for all riders: 

  • Practice emergency braking techniques so you’re comfortable stopping quickly and safely. 
  • Before setting out on a ride, monitor weather forecasts and be prepared to adapt to changing weather conditions. 
  • When riding, stay alert for any potential hazards like potholes, debris and slippery surfaces.  
  • People driving other vehicles don’t always notice motorcycles. Ride within your skill level and don’t take unnecessary risks. 

Ride safe and smart

Mastering motorcycle safety begins with a thorough understanding of your bike’s capabilities. Gear up with the right protective clothing and equipment and stay vigilant, visible and prepared to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. 

By adhering to these principles, you can minimize risks and maximize the pleasure of your adventures on the road. 

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If you’re adding to your vintage motorcycle collection or moving your household to another state and need to move your bike, do it safely, with Montway Auto Transport. We arrange motorcycle transport across all 50 states any time of year. Get a custom quote at 888-989-8526.

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