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Motorbike Mondays: Staying Safe On The Road

September 15, 2014

Motorbike Mondays

We’ve put together some essential advice and tips to give you peace of mind when riding:

  • Essential Safety Equipment – wear full protective clothing

  • Bike Safety Checks – check your bike before every trip

  • Safe Riding Technique – develop your skill and judgement

There’s few things more exhilarating than riding a motorbike – the adrenaline rush and sense of freedom is unparalleled on the open road. But, riding a motorbike is not without risks – motorcyclists are 38% more likely to be killed in collisions than car passengers and despite who’s at fault, motorcyclists will always come out worse in road accidents. Motorbikes are meant to be fun, so put your mind at ease and enjoy your bike by taking some simple precautions.

Image source: Highways Agency

Image source: Highways Agency

Essential Safety Equipment

Wearing protective clothing is as crucial to your safety as your riding skills and safety checks are. If you crash at high speeds, tarmac and concrete road surfaces can have a devastating effect on exposed skin, even when covered by normal clothing. Wearing full protective gear creates a padded barrier between you and the road – keeping you safe. For maximum protection – head-to-toe, you should invest in proper motorbike gear:

  • Helmet – minimum legal requirement
  • Long-sleeved jacket – waterproof and leather
  • Long pants – protects from the hottest parts of the motorbike
  • Gloves – protects from abrasion and helps maintain control of the motorbike
  • Visor – maximum visibility and protects eyes from debris
  • Heavy duty boots – with maximum grip and no laces as it’s dangerous if they become caught in the pedals
  • Fluorescent gear – for during the day
  • Reflective gear – for at night
  • Zips – should never lie directly against the skin – there should be an overlapping piece of leather as if you crash, heat from the friction could transmit over to the zips and cause serious burns

Bike Safety Checks

Unfortunately many motorbike accidents could have been avoided with some simple maintenance. Mechanical failures are responsible for numerous serious collisions and therefore it’s essential that you keep your bike is in top operating condition. All it takes is a few easy checks before every ride.

  • Oils and fluids – check the petrol, brake, coolant and clutch fluid levels
  • Hoses, lines and reservoirs – check for leaks and ensure that the throttle and brakes move freely
  • Lights and electrics – ensure the battery terminals are clean, your bike has electrical power and the battery is secure
  • Chassis – check condition of frame, forks and shocks
  • Chain/belt – check for tension, lubrication and wear
  • Tyres – check for proper inflation as under-inflation will wear the sides away and over-inflation will wear the middle away. Always check that there’s nothing stuck in the tread, which can lead to a flat tyre
Motorbike overtaking

Image source: Highways Agency

Safe Riding Technique

Skill and judgement are required when it comes to riding motorbikes as you are exposed to a lot of danger. Whether you’re a fresh beginner or you’ve been riding for years, you never stop developing your safe driving technique.  We always recommend you start with a low powered bike and work your way up as you develop your skill. High powered bikes can be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands – driving a bike you can’t handle at speed is extremely reckless. Here are some quick tips to ensure you stay safe on two wheels:

  • Don’t ride when you’re tired – riding takes constant concentration
  • Anticipate the action of drives – be prepared to react quickly to anything
  • Check your blind spots before all manoeuvres
  • Exercise restraint on speed and acceleration – it’s not a race
  • Be mindful of the traffic when you select your road position – try to avoid riding in other people’s blind spots
  • Reduce your speed in the bends – never overtake when you don’t have a clear view of the road ahead
  • Keep a large enough distance between you and the vehicle in front to perform an emergency brake without losing control or going over the handlebars – motorway traffic especially can slow down suddenly

For more information, head over to Think! for a fully comprehensive guide on motorbike safety. BikeSafe will also provide you with further tips for staying safe on the roads in all weathers.

 

Safely riding a motorbike is a skill for life and if you hone these skills, you can combine maximum fun with maximum safety. If you’re ready to buy a motorbike experience the adventure – the Car Loan Warehouse can help. We’re experts in financing both new and used motorbikes. Our team works with dealers and lenders to find you the best motorbike finance deal. Try our quick and easy motorbike finance calculator for an instant quote.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.