Biker’s Rules: Safety Tips for Your First Motorcycle Ride
1. Read the manual – While it isn’t the most interesting read, go over the owner’s manual. It provides many little known tips about riding a motorcycle as well as specifics about the type of bike you will ride. Pay particular attention to maintenance dates and put them on your calendar so that they are not overlooked.
2. Stay Insured- Ensure that you have proper motorcycle insurance. In addition to required liability coverage it is a good idea to consider comprehensive and collision for accidents and minor dents and dings. Also, emergency roadside assistance is another option to get through insurance or AAA. Having the right type of insurance lets new motorcyclists have a bit more peace of mind.
3. Inspect Your Cycle-
b) Oil, fuel and coolant levels should be adequate
c) Side-stand and center-stand should fold and stay up
d) See that controls like cables have no stiffness or kinks
e) Ensure that lights, horns, mirrors and turn signals work
f) Wear bright colors, helmets and protective jackets and gloves
g) Chain driven rear wheels must be in good shape and properly tensioned
h) Check tires. They should have adequate pressure and be free of cuts, debris and other foreign objects. Use the best gauge possible rather than relying upon gas stations
e) Make sure you see others and they can see you
f) Ensure road conditions and weather is safe for traveling
g) Do not try to overtake other vehicles when corners are near
h) Keep eyes moving. Never focus more than two seconds on one object
i) Notice and evaluate potential hazards like railroad tracks and turning cars
j) Use the horn to make people aware of your presence or if they are dozing, tailgating or engaged in some other dangerous activity
a) Always position the bike where it can be seen
b) Check at intersections for side and behind traffic
c) Do not ride behind large trucks or in vehicle blind spots
d) At speeds under 40 mph, keep two second gaps between the vehicle ahead
e) The motorcycle should be two or more seconds behind vehicles before passing
f) Higher speeds on open roads should have three to four second or more gaps, depending upon speed
The reality of road hazards will not change and motorcycle accidents can and will continue to happen. However, following the above tips can make it less probable that an accident will be caused by driver negligence, mishaps on slick roads or operator errors.
Melanie Fleury has enjoyed riding on motorcycles in the past and encourages bike safety. Auger & Auger Attorneys at Law, a Charlotte motorcycle crash attorney, understands that each year over 100 motorcyclists lose their lives in an accident just in North Carolina alone. Following safety rules can save your life and spare your family from the devastation such an accident can cause.