If you are a motorbike owner, or you are considering purchasing your first bike, there are a number of safety considerations you should think about before heading out on the open road. This article will discuss some of the most important safety tips you should have in place when riding a motorbike.
When it comes to motorbike clothing, you want to ensure you purchase items which are meant for bike riders. It is tempting to purchase gloves, for example, which are not specifically manufactured for motorcycle riders; however, these wouldn’t have the same nonslip properties as good quality gloves. All motorcycle clothing is made to a certain safety standard to protect you if you should have a fall, so going to a reputable supplier for these items is crucial.
Whilst you don’t have to have a fully hi-vis outfit, you should ensure you have some element of reflective wear in your clothes. This could be even just a belt or sash, but many biker jackets now have hi-vis strips built into the arms also. This will ensure you are easily seen by other motorists as it starts to get dark. Black is a popular colour when it comes to bike wear, but often brighter colours are more easily noticeable on the roads, and so you should consider wearing other colours if you are open to it.
As above, helmets should be purchased from a reputable supplier and be specifically for motorbike use. However, in addition, helmets must be changed every three years. They should also be changed if you have an accident or drop the helmet. If your helmet has a visor, this can reduce visibility so it should only be used during the day or choose a helmet where the visor is retractable. Your helmet is your head’s only protection between you and the road if you have an accident, so try not to cut corners here.
Regularly checking your motorbike is important for safety. In addition to the basic MOT requirements, you should check tyre pressure and brake fluid before any significant journey.
When driving a bike, you have to have additional focus compared to when driving a car, as it can be difficult for other road users to see you, which means you have to be alert. Ensure you look over your shoulder before performing any manoeuvre. In addition, you need to take additional care when driving in adverse weather conditions. White lines on the road can become very slippery when wet, and accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.
If you are carrying luggage in paniers, you should keep it as light as possible, and also ensure that it is distributed evenly on each side. Having excess weight on one side of the bike could cause issues when you lean into a bend in the road, so this is an important safety consideration.
Safety should always be of paramount concern as a motorbike rider; putting these things into place before riding will ensure you have more confidence on the road.