Last week, we began a series on motorcycle safety tips for new riders. Because many motorcycle accidents are caused by lack of experience, being aware of potential downfalls and opportunities for injury is essential for riders who are just starting out.
Here are a few additional motorcycle safety tips for new riders:
- Maintain your bike: Most new riders are unaware that motorcycles can require fairly frequent maintenance, especially during periods of heavy riding. For example, since there are two of each instead of four, tires and brakes generally need to be changed more frequently on a motorcycle than a car. In addition, oil should be changed based on how long it has been in the motorcycle, rather than how many miles have been traveled, which can get new riders into trouble.
- Don’t misjudge corners: Single-bike accidents are on the rise in California, which means that many motorcycle crashes are caused by rider error. One common error is taking corners too wide, or going into the curve too quickly or at too high of a gear.
- Don’t run out of gas: This goes for both the motorcycle and the rider. Most bikes only hold between two and four gallons of gas, which can run out fairly quickly. A good rule of thumb is to not allow your gas tank to fall lower than the quarter mark. In addition, make sure that you do not become dehydrated while riding your bike. Riding in the sun while wearing hot protective gear can cause you to lose fluids quickly, and this can place you in danger of a motorcycle crash. In general, drink at least one bottle of water for every two hours of riding time, and more while traveling in hot climates.
In sum, the best advice for new riders is simply to know your limits and to ride carefully. Simply being aware of the common causes of motorcycle accidents can prevent many of them.
Source: Clutch and Chrome, “Ten things new riders do completely wrong”