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Road Safety 101: How to Ride a Motorcycle Safely

Riding a motorcycle can give you an exhilarating experience. They are cool, fuel-efficient, and cheaper than most cars.

However, the reality is that riding a bike can be quite dangerous without proper precautions. One mistake could send you flying off.

In fact, motorcycle deaths are far more common than car accidents. According to the U.S NHTSA, deaths on motorcycles occur 28 times more than any other vehicle.

The best way to avoid this is to learn how to ride a motorcycle without getting into accidents. Read on to learn more about motorcycle safety with some moto riding tips.

Wear the Right Gear

Looking cool is not your number one priority when riding a bike. No matter the weather outside, always wear your motorcycle safety gear. Your gear should include:

  • Helmet
  • Jacket
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Pants
  • Accessories

Your helmet is the most important safety gear on the list. The helmet protects your head from injury in case you fall off your motorcycle. Be sure to wear a helmet that’s DOT certified or compliant with the current ECE 22.05 standard.

Your jacket protects your torso and internal organs from getting damaged in an accident. Make sure the jacket fits on your torso with free motion in your arms. Go for a leather jacket or a suit with impact-absorbing body armor.

Using gloves and boots can protect you from pebbles or large bugs hitting your knuckles and ankles. It can shield your hands and feet from various flying objects in the road. Get ones that allow maximum dexterity.  

Motorcycling pants should offer comfort and protection for your lower body. Don’t wear ones that are too tight or too baggy. You can go for jeans or leather with extra padding at the knees, hips, and thigh areas.

When it comes to riding accessories, these are extra options you can add to make the ride safer. Consider getting ear and eye protection such as earplugs and riding glasses. Never ride your motorcycle without using any of your motorcycle gears.

Learn How to Ride a Motorcycle

Before riding your motorcycle off to the sunset, you need to get a formal riding education program. This develops your motorcycle riding techniques and sharpens your street-riding strategies. You’ll also learn the appropriate actions that you need to take during unprecedented riding situations.

You’ll learn collision avoidance maneuvers, control tips, advanced turning, and so on. A motorcycle safety course generally costs around $200 to $400 depending on the location, number of days, and concepts. Here are some moto riding tips and other things you need to remember when learning how to ride a motorcycle.

Learn All the Controls

Familiarize yourself with the basic controls of your motorcycle. Not familiarizing the controls can lead to accidents leading to threatening injuries.

The hand clutch lever is usually at the left handlebar. It’s for disengaging the power from the rear wheel when you shift gears.

The gear shifter is usually at the left foot. You can use it to shift one gear either up or down while you pull the clutch lever.

The throttle is on the right handlebar, which is for accelerating. The lever on the right handlebar, which is the handbrake, applies the brakes to the front wheel.

Note that the left side has all the controls for controlling the gears. At the same time, the right side has all the controls for accelerating and braking.

Practice Shifting Gears

The primary use of the clutch is to change the transmission gears. It matches the engine speed with the road speed. There are five to six gears along with a neutral gear. 

Think of the clutch as a dimmer switch. You’ll need to pull and release the clutch to prevent your motorcycle from stalling. Practice pulling the clutch with your left hand.

You can try using the two-fingered clutch technique. When starting, pull the clutch lever and put the bike in 1st gear by pushing the gear shifter with your left foot. You can tell when you’re in 1st gear when you no longer feel any resistance.

When you shift gears, you’ll see the appropriate number light up on your gauge. Remember that when you pull the clutch, reduce your throttle. This prevents you from jerking as you re-engage the rear wheel.

Get a Feel of the Bike

Once you get used to the controls, it’s time to start practicing how to ride the motorcycle. Start by shifting into 1st gear and letting the clutch out. Make sure to also pull back on the throttle.

Check if your kickstand isn’t out, then let go of the clutch to let the bike move forward. Start with straight-line riding. Pick up the speed as you continue riding in a straight line. Be sure to also practice turning.

As you enter your turn, be sure to slow down first. Release the throttle and break if you have to stop before making a turn. Roll on the throttle as you go through a turn to keep your momentum.

Make sure you don’t jerk on the handlebars. Simply press on the left side of the handlebar if you plan to make a left turn and vice versa. Make sure to shift your weight and lean into the turn.

Try practicing to slow down and stop the motorcycle. You should brake with your front brake and employ the rear brake to help you slow down and stop. Remember that you have to increase the pressure on your brakes. 

Ride in Proximity to Other Vehicles

You are likely to meet with traffic with other motorcycles, cars, and trucks. Never ride next to a car, especially if you’re in a blind spot. You can choose to stay at the front or rear of any car to avoid accidents.

If you’re following a car, make sure to keep a two-second following distance. This gives you enough time to react and adjust your position within the lane. So, make sure your eyes are always on the road.

In case you do get into an accident, be sure to have a motorcycle accident lawyer.

Road Safety 101

Always watch the road, inspect your motorcycle before riding it, and wear your safety gear. Grow your motorcycle safety and skills through education and repetition. Keep these things in mind when learning how to ride a motorcycle.

We hope you enjoyed reading the article! Feel free to share this knowledge with fellow motorcycle riders. Don’t forget to check out our other blogs for more helpful guides.

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