Every day that passes brings us closer and closer to the end of winter, and as such, we’re going to start seeing more motorcycles out on the road. But as persons pull their bikes out for the first time in what may have been months, it becomes imperative that safety remains a priority. To that end, riders should check out some of the tips offered up in a press release.
First, one has to make sure that they’re prepared to ride a motorcycle. You may not think that your skills have suffered in the intervening time since you last rode, but time begets sloppiness. Take it easy the first couple times you head out. Don’t attempt any maneuvers that require expert-level skills. Perhaps the best way to ensure your skills are where they need to be is by submitting to a training course. This can help point out deficiencies in your riding, and it has the added benefit of potentially saving you money on your insurance premiums depending on the type of policy you have.
You also want to ensure that your gear is adequate, especially if it’s been in storage since the last time you perched yourself atop your motorcycle. And even if your equipment is surrounded by other stuff that’s accumulated during the winter, that’s no excuse not to wear the requisite accessories. A helmet approved by the Department of Transportation is an absolute necessity every time you ride. But safety shouldn’t end there. You can protect yourself further by pulling out old or investing in new protective leathers, gloves, shoes, and anything else that can encourage safety at every turn (and straightaway).
The right gear can also improve your ability to be seen by other drivers, who after months of winter may not be accustomed to seeing motorcycles on the road. Your gear should contain reflective materials, and if it doesn’t, affix some reflective tape to those things that would otherwise be hard to see at night (backpacks, clothing, etc.). This type of reflective wear should be worn during the day as well, as you never know when you’ll need to pull a distracted driver’s attention to the task at hand.
You can protect yourself further by assuming that the other vehicles still can’t see you. Take the time to make deliberate lane changes, giving other automobiles ample time to recognize your presence and react accordingly. Look both ways at intersections, and just generally follow the rules of the road to protect yourself and others.
Finally, consider taking your motorcycle in for a maintenance check. A qualified mechanic should be able to point out any problems that accrued while your bike was stored for the winter. This could be the critical step that prevents a potential tragedy down the line.