As with any type of vehicle, safety needs to be your priority when you’re out on the roads. Thousands of accidents and fatalities happen every year due to negligence or misjudgement so great care needs to be taken, especially when riding a motorbike.
You can find a lot of information pertaining to motorbikes on our website. We even published an article on safety tips for off-road riding. But for this article, we are going to assume you’re a beginner rider and that you will primarily be using your bike on the roads. Keep reading and follow the advice given to improve your chances of safety when you’re out on two wheels.
#1: Consider advanced training
Before you’re allowed to legally ride, you will need to pay for a motorbike training course. You will learn much of what you need to know on the course and you will become more familiar with your vehicle. But to develop your skills further, it’s worth considering an advanced rider course. You will get the opportunity to hone such skills as cornering and braking, and you will be given further instruction on bike safety. Look for courses in your area and consider the expense a worthwhile one.
#2: Wear the proper gear
When you’re out on your bike, a pair of leather trousers or a tracksuit just won’t do! You know this already of course, but it’s common to see beginner riders wearing gear that is completely inadequate. To stay safe, you need a helmet, motorbike jacket, gloves and motorbike boots, and you need to make sure they comfortably fit you too. You can still buy something fashionable and cool if you want to impress nearby onlookers so don’t assume you have to sacrifice looking good when staying safe.
#3: Make sure you can be seen
Motorbike riders often get into accidents because other road users have failed to spot them. Riding at night can obviously be problematic but so can riding in the day. Sun glare can be a problem for drivers when out and about in the summer, and rain, fog, and snow are other hindrances to visibility. Consider this when choosing the colour of your motorbike gear and opt for something bright if possible. It’s also worth buying a high visibility belt and jacket to wear on top of your gear to further ensure your safety.
#4: Check your bike before each ride
No matter how new your bike is, you should still give it the once-over before each ride. Check the wheels, chain, brakes and controls and make sure everything is as it should be. Read through your owner’s manual so you know what you should be looking for and read other advice online to further your understanding. While checking before every ride might sound like too much, consider the consequences if your brakes fail or if you experience a tyre blowout! It’s unthinkable, we know, so remember the motto: Better to be safe than sorry! For more advice, read through these maintenance tips and follow the advice given to ensure your bike is always safe to ride.
#5: Be safe on the road
You will learn road safety when on your training course but learning it and being safe are two very different things. It could be easy to forget safety rules when you’re weaving in and out of traffic and speeding ahead to impress or annoy other road users. You need to make a conscious effort to be safe, and this means sticking to speed limits, checking the blind spot, and avoiding any distractions around you. As we suggested at the very beginning, it’s worth taking an advanced riders course if you have forgotten any elements of road safety, so book yourself onto a course if you feel you need to.
#6: Check the weather
Bikes aren’t as stable as cars so there is a higher risk of injury when out on the roads. This is especially true when it’s raining outside or if there are high winds. Being on two wheels, you only have half the traction of a car and you don’t have the advantage of windscreen wipers either. In some instances, it is best to leave your bike at home if the ground is slippery due to rain or ice. But if you do head out, go slowly, take quieter roads, leave plenty of stopping space, and pull over if the weather gets worse. For more advice, check these tips on motorbike riding in bad weather.
By following these suggestions, you will improve your safety on the road. Keep them in mind when you’re out on the roads, for your sake and for the sake of other road users.