Being safe on two wheels is the primary objective of every rider, and to make that happen, it is instrumental to follow a set of best practices. These best practices can be as easy as picking the right tools, to practicing week-in and week-out to imbibe a certain skill into your muscle memory. To make life easier for you, we have listed five basic safety tips all motorcycle riders should follow.
Put your left foot down when coming to a stop
This might seem like there is no sense to it but practicing this skill can save your bacon in more situations than one. It is always advised that when you come to a stop on your motorcycle, you use your left foot to support the motorcycle, and not your right, or even both feet. This is because the right foot controls the brake, so you can use it accordingly to slow down smoothly from slow speeds. This also activates your brake light, so anyone behind you knows that you are slowing down.
Pro Tip: Before putting your left foot down, make sure you are in first gear. This will allow you to pull away from a spot if you are able to anticipate a mishap. For example, if you hear a car behind you screeching to a halt, you can instinctively move out of the way by using the clutch and the throttle.
Wear the right kind of riding gear
Motorcycle riding gear plays an instrumental role in keeping you safe. However, you also need to be wearing the right kind of gear to stay safe. For example, if you wear winter riding gear during peak summer, your body will become hot and not be able to function in the most efficient manner. This will increase rider fatigue, and the chances of a crash. Alternatively, if you are riding off-road, you should wear the appropriate off-road gear, as it’s designed to keep you safe in those specific conditions.
While we all know about it, tyre pressure is one area where most riders skip out on doing their due diligence. Riding with incorrect tyre pressure can make a motorcycle behave in an awkward fashion, and in drastic scenarios, the motorcycle might be downright uncontrollable. Many motorcyclists chalk this down to there being something wrong with the motorcycle but maintaining the right pressures in your tyres will solve most handling issues.
Be visible on the road
We all know black looks good, but you know what black can’t do. It’s not the most reflective colour, and that can lead to visibility issues – especially at night. So, does that mean you stop wearing black riding gear? No. All you need is the right number of reflective surfaces on your riding gear, so that you are visible to other motorists on the road whether it is day or night. During the day, the black will help you contrast against the natural light, and at night, the reflective surfaces will do their job. Also, keep in mind that as a motorcyclist, you are a small object compared to other vehicles on the road, so other people will find it that much more difficult to see you. You must anticipate this and make sure you slow down enough in areas where other road-users might have a problem in seeing you.
Stay in your comfort zone
If you ever find yourself riding with a faster group of riders, it is important to stay in your comfort zone. Trying to keep up with others, and over-exerting yourself in the process, is always a recipe for disaster. This mostly happens when you ride with a new group of people. So, whenever you ride with a new group of people, make sure you take it easy for the initial bit of the ride, and figure out the riding style and speed of others around you, and then you can slot anywhere into the group according to your pace.
You Need to Remember
Everything mentioned above is a skill. That means, you will have to train yourself over time to imbibe these into your riding routine, to make the most of them.