Looks like the warm Spring weather is finally here to stay and
those of you with motorcycles are probably getting ready to hit the open
highways and explore some country sides. But before you strap on your leathers,
there are some important safety precautions you should consider before taking
to the road:
1. Get ready for riding season – Since probably most of you haven’t been riding in a while with this long winter we had, it’s important that your bike gets a good once-over. You should make sure all your lights and indicators are working properly, check oil and fuel levels, make sure your mirrors haven’t been moved out of place, check all cable lines to make sure they’re still in good condition, lubricate the chain and make any adjustments needed, and you may even want to take a refresher riding course to brush up on your skills if you’re feeling a little rusty.
2. Invest in good gear – Proper gear is very important. When you’re going around a corner in the mountains at 40 mph you want to make sure you’re properly protected in case something should happen. Make sure you have a high-quality helmet that fits well (this means it should neither be too loose or too tight) and if it doesn’t have a face guard, pick up some glasses. Pick one with the DOT label which shows that it meets federal safety requirements. Investing in some good leathers is always a good idea. They protect you MUCH better than just jeans. Durable non-slip gloves are also a must-have for safe riding, and make sure you have a good pair of boots that protect your ankles.
3. When you’re on the road – There is a lot of stuff out there on the road that is bigger than your bike and probably a few more obstacles, too. Make sure you’re ALWAYS wearing your helmet; you don’t look any cooler without it. Know what your bike can and cannot do. Just like cars, all bikes have certain things they do better than others and their limits for even the stuff they’re good at. Don’t tailgate, always use your indicator, and keep to a safe speed. As a smaller vehicle, you’re able to get through traffic between the cars which can make other drivers nervous. Make sure drivers know where you’re planning on going; don’t drive too quickly in case a car makes a sudden lane change; and when you’re in a lane moving at highway speeds, be sure you’re keeping a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you because if they slam on their brakes suddenly, you may have to lay down your bike. Try to be conscientious of not driving in drivers’ blind spots. As a smaller vehicle, you’re more easily concealed there which can lead to serious accidents. Last but not least: brake safely. Use both brakes at the same time, slow and steady.
Keeping these tips in mind will help you to have a fun and safe motorcycle season for everyone. Sweeney & Sweeney wants you to be able to keep riding as long as possible.