Earning your motorcycle license after years of driving a car can make you feel much more excited about hitting the open road, But before you begin planning some motorcycle outings, it's important to brush up on what you'll need to do to keep safe. Riding a motorcycle presents you with a variety of new safety-related challenges, but the right preparation and some smart decisions on your behalf will dramatically increase your probability or arriving back home safely. Here are some simple things to remember on your next motorcycle trip.
Remember That Motorists Won't Always See You
One of the big differences between driving a car and driving a motorcycle is your size on the road. If it's possible for a medium-sized car to fit in another vehicle's blind spot, it's certainly easy for a motorcycle to remain completely invisible to some drivers who don't show a high degree of spacial awareness. You should never take for granted that other motorists are aware of your presence. For example, if you're in the left lane and are approaching a pair of drivers in the right lane, the trailing car may pull out to pass without the driver doing a shoulder check. Keep a sharp eye on vehicles' turn signals and even how they appear to drift within their lane to help predict their movements.
Plan to Take Quieter Roads
It can be dangerous, not to mention not overly enjoyable, to ride your motorcycle on a three-lane highway. Conversely, quieter roads are safer as they aren't as packed with vehicles. When you're planning your outing, check a map or your GPS app to find the optimal route. It might not be the fastest way to reach your destination, but safety is what matters most. A two- or one-lane road, for example, will generally have slower-moving vehicles and a lower volume of vehicles.
Make Yourself as Visible as Possible
Another key way of keeping safe on your motorcycle is to increase your visibility. While it might seem stylish to get black leather garments and a black helmet, this attire won't stand out to the motorists sharing the road with you. Brightly colored clothing, as well as a bright helmet, can help other motorists see you. Even with a quick glance, motorists will catch a glimpse your colorful ensemble and realize that a motorcycle rider is near them. This isn't always the case when you're dressed in darker colors, especially on a dull day.
For safety features you can add to your bike, or if it needs other work, talk to a mechanic like those at Kenny's Auto & Trike Shop.