So you want to ride a motorbike? Well if your answer is yet then you better get ready for the ride of a lifetime. However there are a couple things that you need to know before hitting the road on your two wheeler. You should have the right kind of training and also have proper safety wear among other things.
Motorcycling is a high-risk activity, and the most vulnerable riders are new ones. Protecting yourself with proper safety gear is an easy way to save yourself from injury, but the cost of gear adds up, and you’ll want to add this to your biking budget.
Though it’s common practice to experience your first ride in a parking lot, leave motorcycle training to the pros and take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course. The skills you’ll learn will last you a lifetime, and MSF instructors will educate you with fundamental skills that will make you a better, more competent rider.
You just bought your new toy and cannot wait to try it out but you should not do so if you do not have approval to do so. You need a license and a certification showing that you are professionally trained. Next you need to understand that every driver on the road is a mad person. Ride your motorbike like you are the only sane person on the road.
Get some training. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has training programs all over the country. Find out where by going to www.msf-usa.org. Many of these programs are official parts of state programs. Some, like those in Ohio for example, even provide the bike for beginning students. They’ve trained close to 6 million students since 1974. They’ll teach you the techniques of throttle, clutch and brake control, and more. And they don’t stop there. As you get better, you can also take their Experienced and Advanced courses.
Ride like you’re invisible and everybody else is drunk. Car drivers, at least the ones who aren’t texting, fighting with their spouse on the phone, applying make-up, or messing with their iPods, are looking for moving objects the size of cars and trucks. A motorcycle is a much smaller thing and might not even register with a driver. And since so many cars are wired to have their lights on all the time, even the bike’s headlight doesn’t make it stand out in traffic. Never assume that the car driver sees you. Always assume that the car driver will do something dumb. Be ready for it. Plan accordingly.
When it comes to motorbikes, everything you put on matters. This means that no matter the kind of bike you are riding when it comes to matters or life or death, your gear can save you. You should not wear dark shades, always have a helmet on and ensure that the clothes you wear protect you from heat and cold.
Visors and goggles
A visor or goggles will protect your eyes from wind, rain, insects and road dirt. Your visor or goggles must meet certain standards – see GOV.UK for the visor and goggles standards.
Keep your visor or goggles clean so you can see the road clearly all the time. To clean your goggles or visor, wash with warm soapy water. Never use solvents or petrol because these will damage the surface.
If your visor or goggles get heavily scratched, you’ll need to replace them: scratches can distort your view and cause dazzle and glare.
You must wear a safety helmet when you’re riding a motorbike on the road (except members of the Sikh religion who wear a turban). All helmets sold in the UK must meet certain standards – see GOV.UK for the safety helmet standards.
For more information about safety helmet laws and the Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme (SHARP), go to GOV.UK.