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Motorcycles are fun to ride and the experience can be exhilarating. There’s no better feeling than being out on the open road and connecting with your surroundings but there’s no getting away from the fact that motorcycles can be dangerous. When you ride a motorcycle, you have less protection than you would if you were in a car or van. You aren’t protected by the body of a vehicle and don’t have the safety features and gadgets that you get with other vehicles. Even the best motorcycle riders can fall into bad driving habits and forget the most obvious motorcycle safety tips.

Brush up on your knowledge with our top 10 motorcycle safety tips below.

man and woman travelling on scooter

Top 10 motorcycle safety tips: 

1. Wear the correct protective gear. 

What you wear when riding a motorcycle can directly impact how an accident could harm you. It can be easy to get lazy with preparing for your next ride but taking the time to properly equip yourself could save your life. The UK Highway Code states all motorbike riders and passengers will need to wear a protective helmet. They are also advised to wear eye protectors, ear protection, strong boots, gloves, and protective clothing. When riding in the dark or with limited visibility, you should also wear some form of reflective clothing or strips to improve your visibility. 

2. Check the weather before riding. 

Weather conditions have a huge impact on how safe your next journey will be. Riding a motorcycle in the rain is more dangerous than driving a car. Winter driving can be especially dangerous as motorcycles only have two wheels which reduces the traction and can increase the risk of skidding in the rain or ice. It is recommended if bad weather is forecast such as snow or ice, it’s best to leave the bike at home as it is not worth the risk. 

3. Inspect your bike before you head off. 

Getting into the habit of regularly checking over your motorcycle before you head out is a great way to keep you safe. Take a quick look over your tyre pressure, mirrors and lights and inspect the bike for any leaks, loose bolts or anything which looks unfamilar. Just like owning a car, you will also need to keep up with MOT and servicing requirements to ensure your motorcycle is road-worthy and in the best possible condition it can be. 

4. Concentration is key.

It can be said that motorcycle riders need to pay more attention to the road ahead of them. There are more adversities that can affect your journey such as sharp bends in the road, uneven surfaces and potholes. It is also harder for other drivers to spot a motorcyclist which means you need to be more alert than other road users would be. 

5. Reduce distractions. 

Another way to retain concentration whilst on the road is to reduce distractions. What could be a minor traffic incident for the driver of a car could be a severe incident. Before you set off, make sure any gadgets, sat-navigations or mobile phones are securely fastened, programmed and ready to use. If you’re using your mobile phone to follow the navigation, it can be a good idea to silence any notifications so they don’t divert your attention away from the road. 

6. Maintain a safe distance.

Having someone drive too closely to you is annoying but it seems many drivers don’t know tailgating is illegal! Riders and drivers should both maintain a safe distance of at least 4 seconds from the vehicle in front. If the weather is wet and the roads are slippery, distances should be increased even further. Maintaining a safe distance helps to reduce the likelihood of a road traffic incident occurring.

7. Stick to the speed limit. 

It may seem pretty obvious but all road users should adhere to the speed limits. It is illegal to exceed the speed limit and increases the risk of an accident occurring. 

8. Know your limits. 

Riding a motorcycle is a skill and being able to ride a motorcycle doesn’t mean that you’re skilled enough for all manoeuvres. Seasoned motorcyclists may be able to seamlessly weave in and out of traffic or keep control on curved roads but it may be hard for new riders to perform these kinds of manoeuvres. Being the best rider you can will come with time and practice so in the meantime, it’s best to avoid anything you’re not comfortable with yet and stay within your lane. 

9. Communicate clearly. 

When you’re out on the road, it’s essential you are able to communicate with other road users clearly. Some motorcycles don’t even come with indicators. So, if you have them, use them in good time. If you don’t have indicators, make sure you emphasise your arm singles to let other drivers know where you intend to go. 

10. Take an advanced motorcycle training course. 

If you want to be the best rider you can be and improve your knowledge, an Advanced Rider Course may be for you. The course can take around six months to complete and costs around £200. An Advanced Rider Course by I am Road Smart is a great choice for any rider (with a full licence) to develop their skills and get more out of their riding experience. During the course, you’ll regularly go out for a ride with an ‘observer’ from the I am Road Smart team who will coach you along and help you become a better rider. 

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