While riding a motorcycle can be incredibly exciting and liberating, it can also be dangerous.
It is important to ride safely to avoid accidents and injuries. With summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time to pick up your new bike from a DFW Harley Dealer, brush up on your motorcycle safety skills and get ready for your next ride. Here are some essential motorcycle safety tips to keep in mind this summer.
Wear the proper protective gear
When it comes to choosing protective gear for riding a motorcycle, it’s important to invest in high-quality gear that is designed specifically for motorcycle riders. Let’s take a look a some of the things to think about when choosing safety gear.
- Helmet – Head injuries are one of the biggest problems, so a decent helmet is vital. A good one will protect your skull and brain in the event of a crash. Make sure you choose a helmet that is DOT-approved and fits securely on your head. A full-face helmet provides the most protection, but other styles like half helmets and three-quarter helmets can also be effective.
- Protective Eyewear – Your eyes are also at risk when riding a motorcycle, as debris or insects can fly into your eyes at high speeds, and this can cause you to lose your vision. Consider wearing a face shield or goggles to protect your eyes from wind and debris.
- Gloves – Your hands are vulnerable in a crash, so it’s important to wear gloves that provide protection and a good grip on the handlebars. Look for gloves that are made from durable materials and provide impact protection.
- Jacket – A sturdy, well-fitted motorcycle jacket can provide protection for your upper body in case of a crash. Look for jackets that are made from abrasion-resistant materials like leather or textile, and that provide impact protection in key areas like the shoulders and elbows.
- Pants – Long pants can protect your legs from scrapes and abrasions in case of a crash. Look for pants that are made from durable materials and that provide impact protection in key areas like the hips and knees.
- Footwear – Your feet are also vulnerable in a crash, so it’s important to wear sturdy footwear that covers your ankles. Look for boots that provide good traction and support, and are made from durable materials.
Keep on top of bike maintenance.
Regular motorcycle maintenance is essential for keeping your bike running smoothly and reducing the risk of mechanical failure on the road. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and inspect your bike regularly for signs of wear and tear. This includes checking the brakes, tires, lights, and fluid levels, as well as keeping the chain or belt lubricated and properly tensioned.
Practice defensive riding
Defensive riding means being aware of your surroundings and anticipating potential hazards on the road. This includes maintaining a safe following distance, keeping an eye out for other vehicles and pedestrians, and scanning the road ahead for obstacles or hazards. Always assume that other drivers may not see you and be prepared to take evasive action if necessary.
Don’t ride under the influence
Drugs and alcohol can impair your judgment and reaction time, making it much more difficult to ride safely. Even some over-the-counter medications can have side effects that can affect your ability to ride safely, so it is important that you always read the label before taking any medication.
Stay within your limits
It’s important to ride at a speed that’s comfortable and feels safe for you and the environment you are riding in especially if you’re a novice. Don’t feel pressured to keep up with other riders or take on more than you’re comfortable with. Remember that riding a motorcycle requires a completely different skillset to driving a car, and it can take time to really hone those skills.
Be prepared for sudden changes in weather
Summer weather can be unpredictable, so you need to be prepared for sudden changes in conditions. Always check the weather forecast before heading out on a ride, and make sure to pack appropriate gear for any conditions you may come across. This includes rain gear, extra layers for colder temperatures, and sunscreen and sunglasses for sunny days.
Stay alert and focused
Riding a motorcycle requires your full attention and concentration, so it’s important to avoid distractions and stay alert while on the road. This means avoiding the use of cell phones, GPS devices, or other devices while riding. If you need to use a device, pull over to a safe location before doing so.
Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, but it’s important to ride safely to avoid accidents and injuries. By wearing proper protective gear, performing regular maintenance, riding defensively, avoiding riding under the influence, staying within your limits, being prepared for weather changes, taking a motorcycle safety course, and staying alert and focused while on the road, you can enjoy your summer rides with confidence and peace of mind.