Before taking to the road on a motorcycle, responsible riders will be sure to acquire the safe techniques and riding skills that can prevent an accident. And although experience is the best way to avoid a wreck, a few basic tips can also go a long way toward ensuring safety. First up, here’s three things you can do prior to climbing aboard to maximize safety:
- Train on a Course- You can dramatically improve your skills by taking even a basic instructional class. Safety courses can increase your knowledge base so that you’re prepared out on the road. Research suggests that the majority of motorcycle crashes involve riders who either instruct themselves or have family or friends teach them how to ride. Needless to say, in most crashes, a safety class never enters into the equation.
- Get the Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)- Some items, such as gloves or jacket, might be optional by law, but they should never be optional to someone who wants to guarantee their safety. Responsible riders should always utilize at least a helmet and leathers. It may not be wraparound bumpers and bubble wrap, but it goes a long way toward protecting you in a crash.
- Wear the PPE- This should seem obvious after the last point. Even if you’re just going down the street, wear it. Multiple studies have detailed how most accident take place near the motorcyclist’s home or on a short road trip. Knowing this, wearing PPE at all times should be a given.
And here’s three techniques you can utilize while riding to ensure safety:
- Proper Cornering- This can be one of the toughest things to master as a new rider. But here’s a tip: When going into the turn, lightly engage the throttle. When you come upon the turn’s apex, slowly accelerate. Once at the straight stretch, counteract the gravity being exerted on your body by powering on through. Center your body and anticipate the end of the turn by looking ahead.
- Braking: It’s more complex than it sounds, considering that any error in engaging the back or front brakes could lead to a wheel locking up, the bike losing its balance, or an incident that could send you over the handlebars. It’s recommended that a careful combination of downshifting, heavy front and light rear braking be utilized. For additional tips, consult this how-to video sponsored by Geico.
- Position Within the Lane: Such a minor thing can have a large impact on safety. You should place yourself so that other motorists can easily see you and that you yourself can clearly see the road in front of your vehicle. If you’re traveling with a group, everyone should be staggered so that the motorcyclists can avoid each other should one person wreck their bike.
One final tip: When in a turn, be sure to bank, which increases your traction and contact with the road and keeps you as safe as possible. For more information about safety courses, consult the DMV or your local motorcycle dealership.
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