Motorcycle Riding Safety Tips And Techniques

Riding a motorcycle is different from driving a car. While we may share the same roads, there are several rules of the road specifically designed for the safety of motorcycle riders that everyone should be aware of and follow. These include spacing between vehicles and motorcycles and visual awareness. However, as a motorcyclist, there are many hidden dangers lurking on the highways that you should know are out there. Motorcycle riding safety is a life and death issue and if taken seriously, you will live to enjoy riding for many years.

My son, the family expert on motorcycles and motorcycle safety.
My son, the family expert on motorcycles and motorcycle safety. | Source

Most Important

First and foremost: make sure you can be seen. Motorists are used to large bulky vehicles. A motorcycle can blend into scenery for motorists or be lost in blind spots. Make sure you have colors either in your clothing, helmet or your bike. Make sure you have head lights AND tail lights that are working and use them. They are the first point of vision for other motorists. You may be a perfectly safe motorcyclist, but if a motorist who crosses your path isn't, then you will be the one getting hurt. There are LED lights to accent motorcycles with that come in various colors. They can be amazingly bright and help with your ability to be seen by others. They also have been found to enhance your "cool" factor. They are easy to add to any motorcycle and are not outrageously expensive. Main point is BE VISIBLE!

A great helmet can be not only safe,  but a rider's fashion statement!
A great helmet can be not only safe, but a rider's fashion statement! | Source

Wear A Helmet

Our home state does not require motorcyclists to wear helmets over a certain age. In my opinion, that is foolish! If a motorcyclist has on a helmet, they reduce their risk for serious injury by 37%. That's not a guarantee, but every little bit counts. Any accident which involves speed of any kind leaves a risk for injury. A head injury is the most dangerous type. A helmet can be the thing that keeps you alive. Like a child's car seat, do not reuse helmets which have been in an accident. An accident reduces its ability to protect in the manner it is designed. Look for one that has a neck support and full padding. For comfort there are helmets designed with air vents and even tinted face shields to help keep out the sun's glare. Make sure it fits correctly. Try on several until you find the brand and fit that is best for you.

His first motorcycle, the blue one and his first  Repsol.
His first motorcycle, the blue one and his first Repsol. | Source

Know Your Place And Your Space

A motorcycle may not take up very much space, but it still needs as much space as any other car or truck. When a motorcycle goes down, it puts a person on the road. Cars should allow plenty of room to stop and make sure you are watchful of the motorcycle near you. Motorcyclists should always be aware of the cars around them. A car may not be aware that you are there and may cut you off without even knowing it. Being aware will allow opportunity for evasive movements and may save your life. Motorcyclists ride offset of each other to allow room for each bike to move without affecting the other. Motorcyclists often take curves different from cars, some pull wide and lean, some hold tight to the curve and lean low. Having ample room between bikes allows for safe curves and prevents dragging. The biker may reach out and touch the road in a tight curve, or may put their foot out to help stabilize the bike in the curve. A bit of debris on the road can be dangerous and they must have the space to avoid it. If you are behind a cyclist for long, you will notice things like they will kick out their leg from time to time. This movement is actually a "flagging" that they do to point out debris on the road to their fellow travelers. It is a courtesy they share for safety. Be aware and allow space enough for them to see debris and maintain safety. We motorists take so much for granted!

My son's  CBR1000RR in Silver on the  Kansas Route 66 Rainbow Bridge.
My son's CBR1000RR in Silver on the Kansas Route 66 Rainbow Bridge. | Source

Be Aware of Weather and Road Conditions

It is more important for motorcyclists to be aware of weather and road conditions than it is for drivers of any other vehicle. The weather can affect road conditions in a moment and cause a motorcycle to hurtle out of control! A road which has been well traveled and dry becomes an oil slick in a light shower. The rain causes the oil to float and become a danger to motorcyclists. A watchful rider has no trouble keeping control as they can adjust their speed and the path they ride on a particular road. A light layer of hail is like rolling on marbles and a patch of ice....well....not a pretty sight! Sometimes a motorcyclist can avoid riding on these weather days, but its not totally practical to assume that the weather will always co-operate! Weather happens! Do your best to plan ahead.

Extreme heat can be as dangerous as extreme cold. While skimming a curve, a motorcylcle peg can become implanted into asphalt softened by extreme heat, causing the bike to stop cold and throw the rider! In addition, the state of the tires can be changed by the temperatures as well. A hard, cold tire will not hug the curves until it warms. A hot tire can roll. Again, be aware of weather and road conditions.


Wrapping It All Up

In reflection, it is just as important for motorists to be aware of cyclists as it is for cyclists to be aware of the road and weather. We are all responsible for the safety of cyclists. Most of them are out there to enjoy the road, the scenery and the fresh air. The freedom of the open road need not come at the cost of safety. Take a moment and be aware of your surroundings and your fellow travelers! Who knows - you may one day choose to take up riding open on a motorcycle too! In the meantime, thanks for watching out for cyclists - you may pass my son while he's out riding! Although, it will probably be him passing you! Let's just say, he rides like his Mom drives!



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18 comments

Phil Plasma profile image

Phil Plasma 5 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

I always leave plenty of space between me and a motorcycle in front of me - I know that they can stop significantly more quickly than I can. Great hub earning you a vote-up and interesting.


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 5 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA Author

Thanks Phil both for the great comment and for leaving space between you and motorcycles! My son has had several close calls and it is an aware motorist that kept him alive! Thanks again!


jblais1122@aol profile image

jblais1122@aol 5 years ago from Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Very informative. I remember having to take a Texas Highway Patrol course to get my first MC license at 15. It was a hard course and included having to lay a bike down on their sand course. They provided the bike. I don't think anyone offers that kind of training anymore. Drivers Ed is not as common as it once was. Very good article.


mailxpress profile image

mailxpress 5 years ago from New York

Excellent Hub and welcome to Hubpages. I found this article very interesting. Last week I wrote several articles (at other revenue sharing websites) about traffic safety, aggressive driving, DWI laws and so on. Your article is five stars. Nice to meet you.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Excellent hub! I've been in a hotel for a week while my uncle recovers from a terrible car accident! I truly believe wearing his seat belt saved his life:). This is a great topic - great writing!


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 5 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA Author

jblais,

Thanks for the compliments! We live near a large Harley Davidson retail store who offers motorcycle riding classes. They are quite costly, but I have heard they are very thorough! I am fortunate enough that my son has met several police officers and military men who ride and have taken him "under their wing" and have taught him many important safeguards. We are blessed! He has had one accident that he should not have walked away from, his helmet saved his life, so he is very safety aware! I think it should be mandatory to attend some course to get your license. Thanks for reading my hub!


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 5 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA Author

mailxpress,

Thank you for the gracious compliments! I am pleased to meet you and look forward to checking out some of your safety tips, I will have to look for your other articles!


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 5 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA Author

realhousewife,

Thank you for reading my hub and the compliments! My son just walked away from a serious accident and I truly believe the helmet saved his life (and a HUGE guardian angel!). Safety is never something to take for granted! I am glad your uncle is a seat belt user! I pray he heals quickly and completely! God bless!


Kent 5 years ago

Seems like just yesterday I was just learning my way around a motorbike. Here are some tips on riding that I found helpful. http://thetop7.net/2011/08/31/riding-a-motorcycle-...


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 5 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA Author

Kent,

Thanks for reading and for the extra tips link. I will definitely check into it! God Bless!


Forrest 5 years ago

In the place where I live, wearing no protective motorcycle clothing and accessories are both fashion and passion. There are even cities in here that prohibits the use of full-faced helmets, by way of an ordinance, in order to help the national police in making it easy to detect the faces of criminals in the streets. Sorry for this stark reality but I just want to let it out that there is still a place in this planet where people would trade their safety or even their lives for the purpose of fashion, passion, and easy work. By the way I live in the Philippines. Thank you.


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 5 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA Author

Forrest,

Wow! That IS a passion for fashion! I can see where it would help police identify criminals, however living in our rural area, the motorcycle speeds and wandering deer make for more face replacements than fashion should ever need! I can see it being more practical in cities at the lower speeds...much more social without the helmet!

Thanks for reading and sharing! God Bless!


Forrest 5 years ago

prektjr.dc

Mam, no helmet in this world has yet been manufactured that can preserve human head at speed in excess of 140 KPH against a road pavement, deer, or a tree. This is the rationale that most people would preserve and keep in their purse like a cigarette lighter to conveniently discuss and light their disgust against wearing one. It's stupid. I have had 5 motorcycle accidents in 8 years, some fatal, some aren't but I preserved my dull head because of a full faced helmet. I wish that people would stop putting fashion as passion in the wearing of helmets. May it be made of Kevlar or cotton so be it. Our heads would look better at least when viewed in coroner's file as we finally come to see God in the highways or trails.


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 5 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA Author

Forrest,

Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts! The helmet my son sports regardless of the lack of laws has protected him well. He has also experienced serious accidents and walked away due to the protection offered by his helmet and a well made jacket. His jeans on the other hand have not survived as well!

A fatal accident by definition would be one in which you lost your life, therefore I am glad that has not occurred. I am glad also that you are smart enough to wear that helmet!

You have a strong viewpoint which others could benefit from reading. Go to http://prektjr-dc.hubpages.com/ and sign up to write hubs yourself and share it with others! You would do well! God Bless!


PA Injury Lawyers profile image

PA Injury Lawyers 4 years ago from Scranton Pennsylvania

Good information. I like how you emphasized the importance of being visible to other motorists. That is probably one of the most important and most neglected safety tips.


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 4 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA Author

PA Injury Lawyers,

Thank you! That was the one thing I worried most about my son! I realized just how dangerous it could be when they blended in!! It was little concern as his motorcycle and helmet were lime green and bright yellow and blue! He was VERY visible! Thanks for reading!


michyoung profile image

michyoung 4 years ago from North Carolina, USA

Thanks for the tips! Motorcyclist should be aware of their safety and protection while they are on the road and you pointed out all those necessary things. Great job!


prektjr.dc profile image

prektjr.dc 4 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA Author

michyoung,

Thanks for reading and for the compliments! If I keep one rider safe I will be happy! Seems too many get hurt unnecessarily! Have a great day!

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