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Motorcycle Riding Style and Safety - Wednesday, November 24, 2004 at 21:17  Subscribe To RSS Feed

Riding Style- It's much more than a shiny bike and a good profile!
With a smart riding style, you can keep yourself out of trouble and look good doing it.

Ride Smart!In a Split Second, everything can change and your pleasant afternoon ride is turned into tragedy. At times, you need the mindset of a WWI Fighter Pilot in the air over France. Enjoy the flight, but keep a sharp eye peeled for the enemy. The enemy... is the driver that is out to get You. They're out there. I know this because several have nailed me! I don't think they started their day off looking for a motorcycle to run down, but it sure worked out that way. You can increase your odds of avoiding trouble by following some simple rules:

  1. Start with a Good Machine.
    Maintain your bike to the highest standard with good Tires, Brakes, Working Lights & a Solid Drive Train. At least you might not crash yourself!
  2. Wear Proper Motorcycle Attire.
    Leathers and Boots take to Asphalt and Steel better than Knees and Ankles. No Nikes & Shorts for riding Please!!! Eye protection is always a good idea. Wear a *Helmet if conditions indicate, or if you are inexperienced.
  3. Remember, You are on a Stealthy Vehicle.
    NEVER assume another driver sees you, Period. Don't ride in the right rear quarter of the car in front, the Blind Spot... Always be prepared to evade disaster & don't get closed in by surrounding vehicles if possible. Tail Gating invites Road Rage.
  4. Watch Out for the other fellow!
    Don't assume any driver has a brain and will observe Stop Signs, Traffic Laws or Your Right of Way . Some are talking on phones, reading papers and munching on snacks at 80mph. Ride Defensively, don't put your life in their hands.
  5. Scan the Road Ahead.
    Learn to habitually scan the road for gravel, pot holes, road kill, ...whatever. This is an easy habit to develop. In a curve, shoot a quick glance at the farthest point and back through your line. Topping a hill, sweep the road ahead to the next one.
  6. Know what is Behind You.
    Use Your Mirrors! Generally, cars need more distance to stop than a motorcycle does so beware of making quick stops. Is your brake/stop light working?
  7. Watch for Vehicles Lane Swapping & Turning Left.
    Abrupt Lane Changes & Left Turns Across Your Lane are a common cause of the worst car/bike accidents. Only your awareness and ability to react stand between you and tons of steel that swerve around you in traffic. Anticipate an Escape should you be cut off!
  8. Know the Road's Surface.
    If it looks slick, it probably is. Avoid the dark area (oil slick) down the center of lanes on roads and at busy intersections. Go SLOW entering Petroleum Pump Areas. Slick concrete and a little Oil... You'll hit the deck before you know you're sliding!
  9. Simply SLOW DOWN!
    Know when to tread lightly! Back it off for Intersections, Poor Weather and Heavy Traffic. Don't speed in Parking Lots, Commercial Areas or Neighborhoods unless you're hungry for a Fender Buffet.
  10. Ride Smart!
    Keep a Sharp Mind on the Road. NEVER Ride while you're High! Even if you don't trash your bike and splatter yourself or someone else, DUI Laws and Substance Violations are Harsh Everywhere. It just Ain't Worth It so pitch a tent, get a room or call a Bro with a PU Truck if you party hard.
These are only guidelines for a safer ride. A motorcycle operator's training course is the best way to learn about motorcycle handling and safety. Talk to experienced riders and always ride a bike you are comfortable with and can handle well.

Most of the time, motorcycles are only as dangerous as we make them. Enjoy your time on the road by knowing that you are alert, prepared and informed. Confidence in yourself and your bike are the key to a long and rewarding relationship with two wheels, and the road...

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation

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