Posted by Howard Trott on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 Under: Motorcycle Riding Skills
Whether it's a quick trip to the corner shop for a few things, or a two-week touring trip with friends, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your motorcycle riding is safe and enjoyable.
It would be nice if the road was always smooth, and without bumps, but those bumps, potholes, breakdowns, lost riding moments and more are out there. The best way to avoid trouble from these instances is to be prepared. You can also improve your own safety, as well as that of your passengers and motorcycle, by not only following the laws and rules of the road, but also by knowing them well and always practising courteous and calm driving.
Safe From the Start
The best way to start off right and ensure you have a smooth ride, and to anticipate problems that may occur, is to prepare and pack for your trip, bringing water, extra clothing, a map of the area you're driving, or other items that might be necessary, depending on your trip. You should also be sure you have some safety basics, particularly a first-aid kit, and a charged mobile phone if possible.
It is also important to make sure that your bike is well-maintained and checked, and that all fluids and major systems, including braking and lights, are in working order. You cannot predict and prevent all vehicle failures and breakdowns, but you can reduce the risk by maintaining your motorcycle.
Next, you will need to make sure that you, as the rider, and any passengers are properly seated on the bike. This means sitting squarely on the centre of the seat with feet on foot pegs and hands holding handlebars or the rider. Also, make sure you and passengers are always wearing protective helmets.
One of the most obvious things you can do to make sure your driving is safe is to practice defensive riding. This does not mean you have to drive extra slow, but you should use extra caution at all times, and remember that other vehicles are not just other cars and lorries, they are people. Defensive driving consists of a few basic driving tips that are intended to help keep you focused on the road, raise your awareness of your surroundings, and prepare you for a fast reaction to avoid a crash.
A List of Defensive and Safe Driving Skills and Practices:
- Avoid distractions, including mobile phones and other devices, which can divert your attention, even with hands-free functionality.
- Aim high when looking out over the handlebars at the road.
- Keep your eyes moving, meaning don't just stare at the road ahead; check mirrors and other views frequently.
- Leave yourself an out; this means anticipating what would happen if you had to swerve or slam on the brakes.
- Position both hands firmly but comfortably on handlebars.
- Never ride while feeling drowsy or sleepy; pull over at a rest stop or other safe place to take a break and get some real rest.
Tags: motorcycle safety motorbike riding skills