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Riding your motorcycle at night

Posted by Howard Trott on Sunday, February 25, 2018 Under: Motorcycle Riding Skills
When riding your motorcycle during the day, all the rider needs to use are the indicator or signal lights to show where he or she is turning, whether to the left or to the right. It is only when it gets dark, then the rider will have to switch on the headlight and tail light in order that the rider can see properly and also be seen by other road users.

An responsible rider should regularly check to make sure that all these lights are working for own safety and also for the safety of other road users. Just imagine a motorcyclist cruising down the road in the dark without any light on. Drivers of other vehicles will not be aware of the rider or the motorcycle and a fatal crash could easily happened. All riders and their motorcycles should be made visible to all on the road at all times. All motorcycles has a headlight, tail light and reflectors to alert others of their presence.

When it is time to get a replacement for the motorcycle headlight or if you get a busted headlight, you should get one that is of good quality material. Riding a motorcycle at night can be cold and very uncomfortable. For night riding, riders should be properly attired for the ride for their safety and comfort. 

The most important items are a riding jacket and a pair of gloves. Whether you are a male or female rider, your jacket should fit you comfortably; not overly tight or overly loose. Always remember that you will be wearing the jacket seated on the bike for long period. Your jacket should be of good fit because they are made to protect your elbows, shoulders, hips and knees. Picking the right jacket and the right material will depends on your preferences and also the type of weather condition. 

Being Seen

While you should assume you haven’t been seen both day and night, it’s during the evening that it’s far more likely to be true, especially when at even moderate distances the only thing that someone will see at night are headlights. Because you have just one headlight, it’s not difficult to see how your bike’s visibility can just merge into the car behind you – causing a potential accident when someone pulls out too soon.

In most developed countries, accidents occur twice as often in the night as they do during the day. Additionally, night blindness becomes a factor as well as the fact that because visibility is reduced in the dark, reaction distances are far worse. It is also the time of day when both tired and drunk drivers are more likely to be on the road.

For these reasons, approach every intersection with caution. You should be covering your front brake lever religiously and your lane positioning also becomes critical.

Staying Visible

One of the best strategies to be visible while riding at night is to be a little unorthodox. By that we mean do things that will hopefully get drivers attentions. When slowing down, ensure you’re doing so by braking rather than engine braking and coasting, otherwise your break light won’t come on. Feel free to ‘flash’ your brake lights too by pulsing the lever quickly and repeatedly just enough to activate them before you begin your breaking procedure.

Do so similarly with your turn signals. Ensure you indicate your turning intentions nice and early to give drivers behind plenty of warning that not only are you turning but you’ll probably need to slow down to do so.

Don’t be afraid to move around your bike either. Many riders will stand up when braking at night just so they can catch the attention of those behind them. Casually weaving your bike inside the lane is another way to attract an otherwise inattentive motorist.

Staying Safe

Like riding during daylight hours, your safest defense is seeing what dangers are around you. And to do that night you need your headlight to guide the way. It’s critical that your headlight is pointing where it should.

Just because you’ve bought a new bike doesn’t mean that your headlight won’t need adjusting. Given everyone weighs a different amount, plus the added mass of luggage you may be carrying, your headlight will need adjustment to suit you. Your low beam should be angled so that it lights up just in front of your bike and towards the horizon, while high beams should be illuminating the road from a distance of about 30 meters (100 feet) and beyond.

Consider also replacing your bulbs with brighter ones – although keep in mind that if you’re going to dazzle oncoming traffic you create a danger not only for them but for yourself. Keep within the law and follow common sense.

In : Motorcycle Riding Skills 

Tags: night motorcycle riding   


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