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Car tips & advice | 30.04.2014 - 18:15

Drive a Motorcycle? 5 Things to Remember Before You Hit The Road

Being qualified and in the right mindset when you hit the road on your motorcycle

Driving a motorcycle is one of life's simple pleasures. But, before you hit the road, remember these five things:


1. Make Sure You're Qualified


If you were born to be wild, you still need proper training and testing to be licensed to ride a motorcycle in most states. Motorcycles are fairly cheap to operate and fun to drive, but for you, the vulnerable rider, they are more dangerous than cars and require different skills and knowledge to operate safely in traffic.

Every state has different rules and regulations when it comes to getting licensed. Things like the size of the bike to the age of the operator are sure to vary from state to state. It is important that you obtain one of these licenses, not only for your safety, but the safety of everyone else on the road. If you're not licensed and get pulled over, you could see fines, impounding etc..


2. Get in the right mindset


You might do it everyday, but riding a motorcycle takes considerable more focus than driving a car. If you're angry or upset, take a few deep breaths and relax before you release the clutch. Be aware that you're smaller and harder to see for drivers in cars, vans, and trucks. A Motorcycle Accident Attorney in Richmond has said that quite a few motorcycle accidents that happen annually, are caused by people not checking their blind spots when changing lanes. Be aware, be ready!


3. Wear your safety gear


While wearing a helmet isn't required everywhere, you should still consider wearing one. Aside from the possibility of a crash, the road is full of many surprises. For instance, getting hit in the face with a rock can cause you to lose control and a big enough bird can knock you out cold.

Next, at the least, wear heavy boots. Motorcycle-specific boots with ankle and toe protection are even better, but just wear something with more protection then a pair of tennis shoes.

Finally, wear leather or other abrasive-resistant gloves. You don't want your hands getting torn up in the wind, and if they get sweaty you might lose your grip. Gloves can also help prevent painful road rash on your hands.


4. Check the turn signals, brake light and headlight


A quick check of your lights can save you a ticket, or even save your life. Again drivers don't pay a lot of attention to motorcycle riders, so every little thing you can use to attract attention helps. It takes less than a minute, and all need to do is turn the bike on and walk around it.


5. Check the air pressure in your tires


Depending on the weight of your bike and how in tune with it you are, you might notice low tire pressure immediately. It's a good idea to check the tire pressure once a week, since incorrect pressure can really change the handling of your motorcycle. Check the manufactures plate on the bike, or the user manual for the correct tire pressure.


6. Check the brakes


Before you head down the driveway, give the front and rear brakes a quick test. You don't want to find there is no brake pressure heading towards a stop sign at 30 mph.

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