If your young adulthood was marked by shows like “American Chopper” or “Sons of Anarchy“, chances are you thought about buying a chopper. If you`re recently going through a middle-age life crisis, you might have already swapped your old family car for a brand new Harley. However, before you can pull the stunts of Paul Senior or Jax Teller, you need to learn everything about riding a motorcycle in a safety way. Here are some safety tips to keep you on the saddle and prevent you from breaking a few bones on your first attempt.
Wear weather-appropriate gear
Forget about patched leather vests, white t-shirts, and sneakers when riding your bike. The combo might look good on a Hollywood actor with serious motorcycle riding skills but not for a newbie. We hate to say this but before acting cool and “bad” on your vehicle, you must look like a three-year-old learning to ride a regular bike.
In other words, gear up! Wear a helmet, a good pair of riding boots, gloves, helmet, and, most importantly, weather-appropriate clothing. Look for waterproof jackets and wear protective gear that will absorb shocks and keep your body away from severe injuries.
Follow traffic rules
Must we even insist on it? Rules are made to be followed, not broken, especially when you`re a newbie. Obey the speed limit and never go faster just because your motorcycle can. Don`t pull any stunts on the highway and always be aware of the local traffic rules and laws on the road.
According to recent surveys, 7 in 10 motorcycle riders are responsible for accidents involving motorbikes, meaning they don`t pay enough attention to the traffic rules or other drivers on the road.
Practice your defensive riding
Don`t just assume that a driver can see you, especially in low-visibility conditions or when it`s raining or snowing outside. Always make sure to ride with your headlights on and stay out of a driver`s blind spot. Don`t forget about signaling in advance any change of lane or direction and never speed up beyond the maximum limit.
Keep in mind that road conditions are not always perfect, even when the weather is warm and the highway seems dry. Therefore, avoid rushing and ride carefully, especially if you`re a newbie.
Always ride sober
Although state regulations may allow drinking one-two beers and getting on the saddle, we don`t recommend drinking and riding under any circumstances. This goes the same for other substances that can cause muscle relaxation, including over-the-counter or prescribed medication.
Paracetamol, antidepressants, anxiety pills, and even cough syrups can alter your perception and vision on the road, so it is best to avoid riding if you are taking any pills. Talk to a physician or carefully read the prospect of every medicine to see if it can alter in any way your driving capabilities.
Check your bike before every trip
Last but not least, make sure your motorcycle is in perfect condition every time you take it out for a ride. Check the tires, brake pads, and all other important parts to make sure there aren`t any leaks or damage.
Weekly check the hydraulic and coolant fluids, especially if you use your bike regularly, and take a look under the motorcycle as well. If you`re not familiar with most parts of a motorcycle, take your two-wheeler to a specialized mechanic every 3-4 months.
We also suggest investing in some good moto grips to keep your palms protected and prevent them from sweating and slipping when riding. They should be ergonomic and preferably feature a rubber top layer for usage in all weather conditions and temperatures.