It has been a long winter, spring has finally arrived and warmer temperatures are hopefully on their way. This time of year is when you should begin getting your motorcycle ready for the riding season.
Before you take your first ride of the season, do a complete check of your motorcycle or take it to a dealer for a tune-up. Remember to also contact your broker and review your motorcycle insurance policy.
10 tips for a safe motorcycle ride are:
1. Drive what you can control. Often, people buy motorcycles that are too powerful for them to handle. Ask your dealer if you can test drive the bike before you buy it.
2. Take a safety course. Be aware of your limits on a motorcycle. What would happen if you had to quickly avoid an incident?
3. Ride according to weather and road conditions. Check the forecast and keep your eyes on the road ahead.
4. Wear a DOT (Department of Transportation) approved helmet. Choose the helmet best suited for how you ride, and replace your helmet every five years.
5. Wear clothing that will protect you in a fall. Heavy denim or leather jackets and pants aren’t just stylish; they help prevent nasty cuts and burns if you fall.
6. Stay focused on the road. The cold reality is that motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to die in a collision than people in a car, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
7. Always be seen. Assume car drivers can’t see you, so leave them plenty of room. Also, wear clothing or reflective materials that allow you to be seen.
8. Ride in the proper position in the lane. Know where you should be positioned in the lane and never drive along the middle of the lane where there is oil build up from cars.
9. Practice riding with others. When riding as a group form a staggered pattern and establish hand signals that all of the riders understand.
10. Stop frequently. Being rested will help you focus on the roads.
Sources: Insurance Bureau of Canada