First Time Rider: How to Safely Ride a Motorcycle

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience as you feel the wind in your hair and view the open road ahead of you. As with being on or inside any vehicle, you need to take the proper precautions to stay as safe as possible while on the road. If you’ve never been on a motorcycle, it’s best to ride with someone else so that you get an idea of what to expect and the proper placement of your hands, feet and body before riding alone. There are also a few tips to keep in mind to maintain your balance on the bike and to make it easier for others to see you.

The Best Bike

When you’re out shopping for a bike, get one that you can handle. Even though the larger bikes might look better and be the design that many people drive, it might be too large for you to easily take control of on the road. On the other side, you shouldn’t get a bike that is too small as they often reach higher speeds at a faster rate. Sit on different bikes before making a final decision, making sure the hand and arm placement is comfortable as well as the seat.

Safety Equipment

Always wear your safety equipment when riding. You need a helmet, visor and gloves as minimal gear. If you want to be additionally protected, then consider chaps for the legs and pads for the elbows and knees. Operate the lights at all times to make it easier for other drivers to see you on the road. If you are in an accident and it’s not your fault, then consider a personal injury attorney, such as one from Clearfield & Kofsky, for compensation for your injuries.

Defensive Driving

Pay attention to your surroundings. Other drivers usually won’t or can’t see you while on the road since you have a smaller vehicle. Avoid tailgating, and watch for cars that are changing lanes. If you see an object in the road, don’t run over it as this can damage the bike and cause you to wreck. Instead, if you see something ahead, then drive on one side of the lane to avoid hitting the object. When driving on the freeway, stick to the lane system. Don’t ride in between vehicles that are parallel to each other. This will only make them more nervous, which could potentially be dangerous for you. As much as you probably want drivers to give you your space, you should do the same for them. This will keep everybody safe. If you do have to drive close to other drivers, especially during high traffic situations, stay on alert. Use hand gestures as well as your motorcycle light signals to indicate what you’re going to do so that you can be more assured that drivers around you are aware of your presence.

Rainy Weather

Always look at the weather forecast. If there is a chance of rain or if it’s raining already, then avoid getting out on the bike. Driving a motorcycle in the rain often leads to sliding more than you normally would since the road is wet, and with water on your visor, it’ll be hard to see the road at times.

The motorcycle can be your best friend if you know how to ride. You’ll need to be on the lookout for other drivers to help in preventing accidents. As long as you take your time and drive safely, then you can enjoy scenes that other drivers won’t be able to experience.

Hannah Whittenly

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She graduated from the University of California-Sacramento with a degree in Journalism.

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