Motorcycles are a lot of fun and they also happen to be fuel efficient but those who ride it do not do so for either of these reasons. Most riders love their bikes because of the thrill and freedom it offers. However, most riders are also aware of the dangers associated with a motorcycle as opposed to a car. The harsh reality is that a motorcyclist is 30 times more at risk of fatality from an accident. Worse still, are the studies that suggest 50% of all fatalities in motorcycle accidents happen as a direct consequence of single-vehicle crashes.
In other words, new riders or folks who make a comeback after years of not riding a bike are making silly mistakes and not preparing for their bike rides. Another concern is the rise in older folks riding bikes. As you reach the age of 60, your reflexes slow down, your bones become brittle, your eyesight weakens and several other conditions develop. Studies have shown that riders above 60 years are a lot more prone to accidents!
The numbers are even scarier for older riders, who are increasingly taking up or returning to motorcycling after many years. Because of slower reflexes, weaker eyesight, more brittle bones, and other disadvantages, riders over 60 years old are three times more likely to be hospitalized after a crash than younger ones.
Our intention is not to scare you but to inform you of the dangers associated with bike riding and therefore prepare you, help you to reduce the dangers. Here are five tips that will save your life from day one.
Buy A Bike You Can Handle
The allure to purchase a powerful bike is irresistible, but hands off! Even if you have ridden motorcycles awhile back, do not jump straight into half litre and higher bikes. Start with something that pumps out no more than 30bhp or has a 300cc engine. Why? Because today’s motorcycles are technological more advanced and match the performance of 500cc bikes from a decade back!
Make sure the bike you choose is comfortable for you, handles are reachable and you aren’t tiptoeing around on it. Once you get used to a bike like this, have ridden for at least a year, you can always migrate to a higher cc range.
A lot of older generation starting bikes do not come with ABS and naturally their resale value is much lower. While you may get tempted to purchasing them for their lower cost of ownership, know that Anti-Lock Braking System saves lives. Research has shown that without ABS chances of controlling your bike in panic braking are slim but with ABS you have a decent 40% chance of gaining control even in panic braking situations. Frankly speaking ABS should become mandatory on all bikes.
Build Slow And Hone Your Skills
No matter how long you have ridden, what skill level you are at, it always helps to practice and train. You can join motorcycle safety foundation and receive not just evasive emergency maneuvers but also understand your bike better and troubleshoot problems too.
Always Wear The Complete Protective Suit
It is just crazy how many new riders skimp out on protection. Like with condoms, bike gears are a blessing. You regret it only when you don’t have it. A helmet is an absolute must and never go out in a T-shirt, sandals and shorts unless you want painful burns. When you slip from your bike, you will hit the surface hard and burn your skin. A biking jacket, helmet, gloves, riding above-ankle shoes and full denim or biking pants helps keep you safe even on slips and slides. When you ride protected, it is only your ego that is hurt and maybe your bike but you can pick up your bike and start riding immediately.
Always Be On The Lookout
Nearly all bike related accidents with another driver happens with cars and 60% of the time, the car driver is at fault. Ways to reduce this risk is to wear reflective clothing as much as possible so you are always visible to the traffic and be attentive of vehicles around you. Watch out for cars cutting lanes, driving a little off edge and never tailgate.