Staying Safe As A New Motorcyclist

Riding a motorbike is becoming an option for many people, as they are cheaper to run than cars, and can get through the rush hour traffic with less hassle. They are also used by couriers and for hot food deliveries, particularly in big cities, and of course, there are the very brave men who risk their lives to race them. Finally, there are those who ride them for fun. They bring them out in the evenings or weekends to go on rides with their friends, and to feel the freedom and excitement that motorbike riding is said to provide. When you are new to riding a motorcycle there are some things you need to be aware of to help keep you safe.

Proper Clothing

Wearing clothing designed for motorbike riding is the safest thing to do.

  • You should make sure you have a good quality, well fitting helmet. Never buy one-second hand because you do not know its history. If you drop it the integrity could have been compromised, and you should purchase another. You need to watch out for the fakes that have flooded the market and should purchase your helmet from a reputable dealer. This may seem a lot for one piece of safety equipment, but your helmet can reduce the risk of you suffering a head injury by 50%. Even at that, 80% of motorcyclist’s deaths are caused by brain injuries, so you can see how vital it is to get it right.
  • Leather or other protective clothing can stop you suffering from serious burns or road rash. If you come off your bike and it falls on top of you, just imagine how hot the engine is and how badly you could be burned. Road rash might not sound very serious, but it happens when you come off your bike and slide down the road. The tarmac and gravel will tear flesh away from your limbs, and it can go so deep that an amputation is needed. For many years, leather was the only material sturdy enough to stand up to these situations but now other materials have been developed that will do the same but are lighter and more comfortable.
  • A pair of good sturdy boots will help to stop your feet and ankles being broken in a crash situation.
  • Glovers to protect your hands are crucial as well.
  • If you are dressed all in black, wear some reflective strips or a reflective jacket so you are more visible to other road users.
  • So now you are kitted out well enough to lower the risk of serious injury in an accident, what do you need to do next? But before we go onto that, just for a moment think of all the groups of motorbikers you see on the roads, and in films. They are all dressed for safety because as much fun as riding can be, it is also very dangerous.

Check Your Bike

Without fail, you should check your motorbike every time you intend to ride it, as any good motorcycle accident attorneys will attest, faults with one’s bike is a significant cause of motorcycle accidents. That means you need to make sure all the lights are working properly and that the brakes and fluid levels are all OK. Make sure your tires did not get damaged the last time you were out and you should be good to go.

Watch For Hazards

Motorbike riders are taught to be very aware of their surroundings and to look much further ahead than a car driver would. In fact, there is a school of thought that says if all card drivers went through this training, there would be fewer accidents on the roads.

All the time, motorbike riders need to be looking for hazards. It could be a child or an animal about to run into the road, or another road user pulling out in front of them. This happens very often because motor vehicle drivers are just not aware enough of motorbike riders, and often do not see them until it is too late to stop. As a new rider, when you are approaching junctions be aware of this as you may have to take evasive action if you encounter a careless driver.

There is another hazard that can be fatal for motorbike riders, and whether they are new to riding or experienced it is one that they do not always spot. Potholes in the road. You cannot always see them in time to avoid them and often they will cause you to come off your bike. It really depends on how and where you land as to how bad that is. What if you are thrown into traffic coming the other way, or down a ditch? Both of these scenarios could have very serious results.

Enjoy Your Riding

So now you are kitted out properly, you have checked your bike and you know what hazards to look for. You would think that is it and all you have to do is enjoy your riding. Not quite, but nearly there. 

You have had training on how to ride your bike and took a test to say you are competent. Now you are going out on it in the real world, and that can be totally different. You will not have an instructor telling you what to do, or an examiner saying that was not good enough. Now it is up to you. 

You will be in control of a very powerful machine, and one that could give you many years of pleasure, only if you ride sensibly though. If you want to do tremendous speeds or try some tricks, go to the tracks that are meant for these things. On the open roads stick to the rules. Other road users make riding a motorbike dangerous enough without you doing stupid things as well.
You have to remember that misbehaving on the roads is not only putting your own life at risk. If you have a pillion passenger they could be hurt, and people in other vehicles or on other bikes that are involved could also be injured.

Motorbike riding can be great fun and hopefully, you will enjoy it for a very long time. Just make sure you stay safe.