How dangerous is motorcycle riding.
Is a motorcycle dangerous
The short answer is NO. A motorcycle is inanimate and cannot be dangerous on its own. The real question would be is it dangerous to ride a motorcycle on the road and that in itself has many facets and answers. Walking down a busy road has its own dangers even talking back to your wife or girlfriend can be especially dangerous.
It would all come down to are your riding safely for the conditions and your awareness. It is extremely dangerous to ride quickly on a road that you do not know well as the surface conditions may be hazardous such as oil spills or sand on the road. Are your tires in the best condition? are you using slick track tires on a wet road, this will definitely be a major danger and 99% of the time end in you going into a hedge or curb.
Your mental awareness of your surroundings plays a vital point to remaining safe whilst riding. If you are not focused, you may not see the car pulling out of a driveway or the pedestrian stepping out in front of you. Always try remain vigilant and assume that the other drivers on the road are going to do something wrong and be ready to take evasive action.
Chances are you will have a crash.
I personally have been riding for 16 years and have had 5 major accidents that have sent me to the hospital for over a week and many broken bones. All the major crashes were entirely my fault and were either because of not having enough experience or not being alert.
My first crash was when I had been riding for 4 days and I tried to race. I ended up in someones garden and a wrecked bike. The next accident was exactly a year later when I was not focusing on the road and hit the back of a car totally smashing my knee and breaking my femur. Two weeks in hospital and many pieces of metal and I was ready to go out again.
I have had cars pull out in front of me and had to swerve causing me to hit a curb, then a tree and finally the ground. I was off to the hospital again to get cleaned up. All the accidents could have been avoided if I just looked out for the dangers and focused on what I was doing.
Always wear your riding gear.
There is a saying that goes ATGATT, All the gear, all the time. Even a small 10 mph crash on the road will cause major road rash and will have to be cleaned up at the hospital. A minimum of jacket, boots and gloves with jeans is what I would suggest but proper riding pants is better. Next is your helmet. Never ever get on a motorcycle without it. Any small bump to your head can be fatal or at least leave you with brain damage.
Always wear the best you can afford. Motorcycle gear is not that expensive when you think about what hospital costs are and the pain that is associated with crashes. My hospital trip cost me 2000 dollars and I was only doing 40 mph in shorts and a T shirt. On a race track I would suggest a full piece suit. At the speeds that you will be doing, jeans and a T shirt would offer no protection what so ever and you would not even be allowed to ride. So why in a safe environment do they force you to wear full gear but you would not wear it on the road when it is even more dangerous.
Check out another hub about motorcycle gear and safety here.
Always wear your gear
Act like everyone is out to get you.
Cars and people are not expecting a motorcycle to ride up next to them if they do not ride themselves and are careless when driving to work. I have seen ladies putting on make up and men reading newspapers whilst in the morning traffic to work. It has been proven that talking on a mobile phone whilst driving is the same as driving under the influence of alcohol. Now on the way to work you will notice 1 out of 10 people at least talking on a mobile phone which means 10% of people can be driving as if they are drunk.
Next is the drivers that just turn without indicating. You are in their blind spot so do not assume that they have seen you next to them. As a youngster I used to ride between traffic as fast as possible for the excitement, till one day a motorcycle behind be did not make the gap I had found and at speed was not able to stop. He hit a car straight on. He survived but was very bruised and battered. A little more grown up and wiser, I realized how silly and dangerous it was to be racing between cars.
Pretend while riding that everyone is trying to get you. Be prepared for the car in front of you to brake or turn without notice or warning. Leave some space between you and the vehicle in front. This will allow for your reaction time to be enough to swerve or take evasive action.
Practice techniques and go for training.
Bike schools are a great way to hone your riding techniques and to see what your motorcycle can actually do. Learning how to do an emergency brake and swerving will help you in panic situations. The more you practice these techniques the better you will become and in the event of an emergency, muscle memory will help with the panicking and you should be able to avert the danger.
Track schools are one of the best ways to see what your bike can actually do as well as teach you proper riding form and to deal with the speeds that motorcycles can do.
So by all means buy a motorcycle as they are not dangerous, but watch out for obstacles and people or third parties as those are the real dangers. Ride safe for the conditions and never go past your limits.
The road is not a race track
When riding on the road, just remember it is not a racetrack. Many in-experienced riders try to ride as fast as they can on normal public roads. This is not the place for this type riding. A race track is designed that should something go wrong (and it normally does when pushing the limit) there are many run off spaces and very little obstacles to hit.
If you are riding as fast as you can on the road, you may be forced to run wide in a corner or take evasive action, You may hit a curb, tree, person or vehicle. On the road there are too many distractions and obstacles to allow for this type riding. Even professional racers lose concentration on the track and come off. Now try add into this having to look out for other vehicles and poor road conditions and you are just asking for trouble.
Whilst getting your knee to scrape the road is a great feeling, On the road you cannot always know what is coming up ahead. Being totally leaned over and hitting any dirt or oil will cause you to slip and crash.
Treat your bike, the road and other road users with respect and you will be fine.