Without question, motorcycling imparts unrivaled experiences and memories. Immersing in the rush of the upshift and embracing the gusts of the open road, motorcyclists understand best why canines love to shove their heads out of car windows. But, more so than virtually all other modes of transportation, motorcycling demands discipline and attention to safety beyond simply putting on a helmet.
All motorcycle safety measures are crucial, including the ones to take before the ride even begins:
1. While efforts to raise public awareness of motorcyclists and their presence on the road have increased over the years, visibility of motorcyclists will always be a critical concern. Before riding, always test and ensure a motorcycle’s headlights, brake lights, and turn signals are properly functioning.
2. Ensure brake fluids reservoirs are adequately filled and the brake pads are not excessively depleted. Motorcycle brake pads are obviously much easier to inspect than their automobile counterparts, so there are no excuses not to do these inspections before every ride. In turn, test the responsiveness of the front brake lever on the right handle bar, along with the rear brake pedal.
3. In addition to the brake controls, test and ensure the responsiveness of the throttle and clutch lever.
4. Inspect and maintain proper tire pressure, and ensure the tires treads are not overly depleted. Under-inflated and excessively worn tires will dangerously affect handling, especially in wet and windy conditions.
5. Inspect and ensure the rear-view mirrors are properly fixed and not loose, and appropriately adjusted. Absolutely, do not ride with missing or damaged mirrors. It is critical for motorcyclists to have maximum awareness and visibility of their surroundings.
In addition to these inspections, protective clothing are just as essential. At the very minimum, motorcyclist gear should include a sturdy jacket and protective shoes. In particular, the jacket should be constructed of leather, or an equally rugged synthetic material. Tougher pants, gloves, and kneepads should also be considered. The consequences of “dropping” one’s bike while riding underdressed requires no further descriptions to comprehend.
In summary, all of the above comprise a necessary, but easy checklist to better ensure safety while riding. Finally, check the oil engine level, and make sure there is enough fuel in the tank. See you on the open road.