What’s one thing bikers must bring along with them each time they start their engines? It’s a deep regard for safety and awareness of the road. Don’t drive away without following these motorcycletravelling tips.
Despite attitude and experience, motorcyclists are more prone to injury and death, regardless of who is at fault. A ‘defensive driver’ builds a greater awareness of the roads and drivers. By keeping a greater distance from other vehicles, a defensive driver effectively creates an added cushion in case of errors and worst-case scenarios.
Therefore, takemotorcycle-driving lessons, always be in the moment, and never assume others paying the necessary attention to keep roads safe. On a motorcycle, it’s always better to anticipate the errors of other road users and adjust your riding accordingly.
Wear a Helmet
It’s mandatory for all UK motorcyclists to wear a crash helmet. This goes for all passengers as well, who must also wear a protective helmet at all times unless they are sitting in a sidecar. Tinted, coloured, and black visors and helmets are illegal and only to be seen on a track race. No excuses are valid regardless of your present distance from home or reason (“I was just taking it out for a test drive!”)
Prior experience is not a valid excuse for driving a motorcycle after a few drinks of alcohol. A good rule of thumb if you are going to be drinking is to leave the bike at home. Anything that impairs your judgement of road conditions will lead to slower reaction times which often results in irreversible – yet avoidable – damage.
In the UK, drivers are permitted to maintain a blood-alcohol level of less than 0.08%. And, officers of the law do not need to prove a thing beyond suspicion to apply a breath test.
You need insurance to drive a motorcycle, unless you have a statutory off-road notification, which means your bike cannot be on main roads at all. Vendors offer varieties of motorcycle insurance to accommodate desired coverage and expenses.
Full-comprehensive insurance spans personal injuries to covering damage inflicted to others’ properties. The most-expensive variety of insurance rates for full comp vary widely between providers; so, exact due diligence when shopping for a quote.
Third Party Fire and Theft
In case of an accident, third-party fire and theft insurance does not cover damage to your bike, but does apply to others and their property. As implied, it also covers the agreed costs of replacing your bike in case of fire or theft.
Third Party only
Third-party only insurance only applies to others and their property in the case of an accident that is your fault. All other expenses need to come out of your pocket if you make a mistake.
Some motorcyclists feel confident in choosing one of the lesser insurance packages, reasoning that driving a motorcycle demands greater attention to the road; yet, it’s safe to estimate what ‘could’ happen as a result of a worst-case scenario. Websites like DevittInsurance.com offer more information on the types of coverage.
Get the Gear
Theright gear for riding is equal to owning the right protective helmet. A motorcyclist wants to feel comfortable, free of unexpected conditions like wetness and coldness marring the experience.
If shopping online, be sure that your purchased gear fits well and will keep you warm and dry during long and short rides. Defensive drivers see everything on the road; they also go out of their way to be seen, wearing reflective clothing (with panels and strips). Aside from what you’re wearing, place reflective gear on your bike, to ensure you’re seen from top to bottom.
Attend to Small Things
It takes seconds of moving at high speeds to strip your hands of its skin; your hands are (instinctively) your first layer of protection in the event of a spill. Protective gloves (for summer and winter) keep rider hands warm and protected from concrete and asphalt.
Did you know that added sound in your helmet contributes to rider fatigue? Moreover, there are things you can do to maintain the integrity of your helmet while not riding, such as keeping it out of the sun and housed in a protective bag.
19% of motorcycle-related hospital admissions result from ankle and leg-related injuries. For bikers, the lower leg is the most-likely part of the body to be injured. Moreover, toes and feet can be crushed under the pressure of your bike or another vehicle. Protective boots, with solid soles, protect driver feet and low legs.
Weather the Leather
Perhaps counter to intuition, leather is great in the summer time, breaking wind and keeping riders warm, but it’s not so reliable in keeping riders warm in the winter. Plus, once leather gets wet, it’s highly uncomfortable for the duration of the ride.
It’s a good idea to never stop learning about motorcycle safety in the UK and upon all roads throughout the riding world.
Richard’s passion is feeling the wind while driving down the motorway on his motorcycle. After years of travelling across the country, he often blogs about his adventures, safety tips, and joy of simple travel on two wheels.