The snow has melted, the days are getting longer – it must be motorcycle season!
Riders are starting to turn the gears on their bikes and bring them out of their dormant winter state. As they get ready for a great season ahead, now is a good time for a safety refresher.
Driving a motorcycle can be an amazing experience, plus they are fun and fuel efficient! But, motorcycle riding can also be dangerous, and the injuries from motorcycle accidents can be more serious than injuries resulting from regular car accidents.
Before hitting the road, you should be prepared. Ensure you have your motorcycle insurance handy and review our safety tips for a great riding season.
Motorcycle riding safety tips
- Stay in your comfort zone. Avoid maneuvers that are uncomfortable as this may lead to accidents. Know your skills and the limitations of your ride.
- Inspect your motorcycle before riding. Always maintain the working condition of your motorcycle, and check it before riding for possible damage.
- Pay attention to the road. Be vigilant for unsafe road conditions.
- Have the proper state of mind. Driving angry, drunk, drowsy, or sleepy can influence your judgements and cause accidents.
- Be aware of the driving conditions. Check weather forecasts and the news for traffic, accidents or damage like sinkholes or significantly damaged roads.
- Mind your brakes. Braking suddenly is dangerous. Always double-check when changing lanes or turning.
- Gear up! Always wear the right gear when riding, such as: a helmet, jacket, gloves, boots and pants – preferably made of a heavy material.
- Don’t assume everyone on the road can see you. Ride with your headlights on and stay out of other drivers’ blind spots; watch for turning vehicles, and always use proper signaling well in advance of moving.
- Ride within the speed limit. Not only are you breaking the law when speeding, you are also increasing the chances of an accident occurring.
- Mind the gap. Maintain a suitable gap between yourself and others on the road. This gives you more time to react if the vehicle in front suddenly stops and provides you with a better gauge on what is happening on the road in front of you. A safe following distance is at least two seconds.
Motorcycle riding safety gear
Wearing appropriate riding gear can minimize injuries in the event of an accident. Many people think cyclists wear leather clothes to look cool, but it’s more than just a fashion statement! This type of clothing can actually protect your body more effectively from severe injuries. If you’re driving at night, attach reflective tape to your clothing so it’s easier for other drivers to see you.
Essential protective gear includes:
- Additional safety gear- body armor, elbow/shin/knee guard, eye protection, hearing protection
Motorcycle safety courses
Taking a motorcycle safety course can help you develop skills that could save your life. Many will teach the necessary skills you need to navigate most situations. Instructors can show you how to refine your skills and perform, for example, emergency manoeuvres. A course can help you practise good judgement and know the rules of the road for motorcyclists.
Receiving a certificate from an approved motorcycle safety course can sometimes provide eligible discounts on insurance, and some manufacturers will offer a unique line of credit for those who sign up for a course.
Keep your motorcycle well-maintained
Always make sure your bike is in good operating condition. A breakdown while riding can cause a crash and lead to a devastating accident for you and others you’re sharing the road with.
- Check your brake lights, turn signals, and headlights to ensure they are in working order.
- Check your tires – pressure, tread, and make sure there are no objects embedded in your tires.
- Check for signs of oil or gas leaks
- Check hydraulic and coolant fluids often
- Always ride with clean mirrors, and adjust them accordingly
Learn how to ride safely in groups on our Group Motorcycle Safety blog post.
Get the right motorcycle insurance with BrokerLink
If you’re looking for the right insurance for your motorcycle, give us a call! We will help you get the right insurance at a price that’s fair. With BrokerLink in your corner, you’ll spend less time shopping for insurance and more time out on the road!
It’s easy to get in touch with a BrokerLink Insurance Advisor:
FAQs for Motorcycle Riding Safety Guide
How often do I have to lube and clean my motorcycle’s chains?
In order to keep your motorcycle at peak performance level, experts recommend you lubricate the chain at least within every 800 kilometres.
Is it important to check the spark plug of my motorcycle?
Yes, if you find that your motorcycle is running rough by misfiring, sputtering or it has a flooded engine frequently, you should inspect your spark plugs. Recommended replacement is around every 24,000 kilometres.