7 Savvy Tips for Motorcycle Riders
It’s no secret that for the most part, Motorcycles are perceived to be dangerous and are feared by most. However for most of the people who have ridden one, it’s fun and fuel efficient.
According to an NTSA report, between 1st January and 29th October 2017 400 people were involved in Fatal Motorcycle accidents during the year. This is down from 425 the previous year.
While many riders enjoy riding for a long while without actually getting into an accident, new riders are more at risk for getting into accidents on the road due to lack of proper training or experience.
In the spirit of our ongoing Safety Culture campaign we are here to offer you 7 Motorcycle Tips for New Riders.
1. Wear the right gear
As a new bike owner, nothing is as important as the right gear. Jeans and a T-Shirt don’t do much in terms of wind chill, flying bugs, debris and a lot of road rash if you get into an accident.
For full protection, go for a leather or a reinforced jacket, gloves, full pants and over the ankle footwear. This should be a standard no matter the weather. If it’s not possible, you can find a specially designed jacket with rugged padding and breathable mesh material to provide protection as well as ventilation during the warm weather.
Be sure that your gear is has bright colors as most drivers claim they didn’t see the rider on the road when on the accident.
2. Use your Head
While helmets are an emotional topic for most, statistics don’t lie, Riders without a helmet are 40 percent more likely to suffer a fatal head crash and are three times more likely to suffer brain injuries than those with helmets according to government sources.
Hence you can understand the importance of getting a helmet. A Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) or an Economic Commission for Europe (E.C.E.) helmet is recommended. If a helmet is certified by D.0.T. or E.C.E. it then means that they are tested. Look for a sticker at the back of the helmet to know if it’s certified. Avoid getting cheap helmets from River Road as they tend not to offer much protection for your head. Most modern helmets are strong, lightweight. They also cut down on wind noise and fatigue.
It is also important to note that Helmets deteriorate over time and might not offer protection even if they look fine. The general rule is to replace the helmet every five years and sooner if you are involved in an accident.
At Savvy Riders we sell E.C.E. certified helmets at a complete bargain. You can find out more here
3. Be on the Defensive
According to studies, accidents involving motorcycles and cars, the car drivers are at fault 60 percent of the time so when on the road you need to be extra alert. In an age where some drivers go as far as to text when driving on the roads of Nairobi, you can never tell who can or cannot see you on the road. Watch out for drivers who suddenly change lanes on highways and don’t tailgate another car to give you enough time to either stop or avoid obstacles on the road (2 Second Rule). An object that a car can easily straddle over might be fatal to a rider.
4. Avoid Bad Weather
Rain is something that you should avoid when riding on the road, not only does it reduce visibility on the road, it also reduces your tires’ grip on the road, which can make cornering especially tricky. If you are riding in the rain, the water can make oil residue rise at the top. Make sure you avoid making sudden maneuvers. When riding in strong side winds, be proactive in anticipating the potential push from the side by moving to the side of the lane the wind is coming from. This will give you some leeway in the lane, should a gust nudge you.
5. Watch out for Road Hazards
A motorcycle has much less contact with the pavement than a car. Sand, mud or even murrum road much pose much more of a threat on a bike than on a car and might cause your bike to slide unexpectedly. Bumps and potholes that you might barely notice when in a car can cause some serious damage to your bike. If you can’t avoid them, try to slow down as much as possible to maintain control over the bike.
6. Hone Your Skills
Nothing is as important as growing your skill. Ensure you visit a riding school before actually beginning your journey on the road, and even then, it doesn’t hurt to visit an advanced riding course academy. This ensures that your riding skills are always sharpened to ensure growth on the road. Always keep learning.
7. Be Ready To Roll
Before going for each ride, do a quick walk around to make sure the lights, horn and signals. Ensure that the chain belt or shaft and the brakes. Inspect the tires and make sure they are set on the right pressure. This can ensure that your bike might not fall apart or cause an unexpected problems on the road.
Got any tips you think new motorcycle taxi riders should have? Comment your thoughts below.