Motorcycles are fun to ride and are efficient when it comes to fuel. That won’t come as a surprise to anyone who is a seasoned and experienced biker. However, neither will the fact that they are significantly more dangerous than a car. Bikers, sadly, are up to thirty times more likely to be involved and killed in a crash than car passengers, and almost half of all motorbike deaths result from a single-vehicle crash. Those are some pretty sobering statistics, and ones that cannot be ignored.
The figures are even more alarming for the older riders, who are returning to motorcycling after several years. Riders over the age of 60 are three times more likely to end up in hospital following a collision due to impaired reflexes, failing eyesight, more fragile bones, and other age-related drawbacks.
Still, plenty of riders enjoy many, many years of riding without any injury. Preparation is the secret to maximizing the chances and minimizing risks. Keep in mind that, according to the experts, excess speed and alcohol were a factor in almost half of all fatal motorbike accidents.
In this article, to help you avoid being one of the sad statistics, we share some expert tips to help you enjoy a lifetime of safe riding. Whether you’re a first-timer on a bike or returning to two wheels after a break, you won’t want to miss them.
Image credit: Pixabay CC0 License
Buy a bike that you can handle
Big bikes are cool. They look great, they sound great, and yes, they feel great. Do you know what doesn’t look, sound, or feel great, though? Broken bones. Death. Long term incapacity due to serious injury.
It sounds dramatic, but it is true. Buy a bike that is more than you can handle, and you significantly increase the chances of losing control and coming off it. Even if you are an experienced biker, returning to the lifestyle after a break, you may be caught off guard by the power that a modern motorcycle can wield.
Start off small, and if you need to, work your way up. There are no prizes for jumping on the biggest and most powerful bike.
Get kitted up
This is essential. Do not even think about getting on a bike until you have the full kit. This is not an area to skimp on either – buy the very best that your budget allows for, and if your budget doesn’t stretch to good quality stuff, hold off getting onto a bike until it does. A well-fitted bike helmet from a reputable brand, waterproof motorcycle boots, and reinforced jackets and pants are the bare essentials that you need. Other things, such as wind visors and goggles, may make your biking even more comfortable.
Hone your skills
vYou may have your motorbike license, but nothing is stopping you from taking further training to make sure that you are the best possible rider that you can be. If you have been off a bike for a long time, you may want to take a short refresher course. No, you won’t have forgotten what to do, but there is no harm in polishing those skills before you hit the road.