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Apr 13, 2012
04/13/2012 1:03 PM (Safety)
Riding a motorcycle requires a little more preparation and training than hopping into a car and driving away. Here are some safety tips for 'riding right':
1. Wear protective gear.
- Make sure your helmet fit properly and is DOT certified. Always fasten the helmet strap. A helmet that goes flying off your head at just the moment you need it kind of defeats the purpose.
- Eye protection is vital. A bug or pebble in the eye at 40 mph (+) can quickly turn a fun ride into a deadly one.
- Wear long sleeves and full-fingered gloves. Don't forget long pants and over-the-ankle boots, too! Most people can run at least 15 mph at short distances. Try going out to the street in sandals, shorts and a T-shirt, run full speed and then slide chest first on the pavement like a baseball player into second base. How did that feel? Don't forget your 'less than optimal' weather gear, too!
2. Ride Sober!! Never operate a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. If your prescription medications say "don't operate a motor vehicle or machinery while using this drug", don't!
Know your bike. The more familiar you are with your motorcycle, the safer you are riding it.
1. Controls: Know where they are on your bike and how to use them. Sit on the bike and practice operating the controls like you were riding it.
2. Gears and Brakes: Practice shifting gears. The better you are at upshifting and downshifting, the more control you have over your bike. Don't put your bike in neutral at stoplights- you might need to leave in a hurry. Know where the brake lever and pedal are and practice using them. Practice braking! The better you are, the safer you are!
3. Maintenance: Keep your bike well maintained and in good working order. Make sure everything works! If anything is in poor condition, it can affect the safety of your ride. Make sure to follow your manufacturer's guidelines for annual and semi-annual maintenance. Refer to the T-CLOCS inspection checklist every time you ride!