Home > Blog > Basic Motorcycle Safety

Basic Motorcycle Safety

Posted by:

Riding is a lifestyle. Whether you’re restoring an old Indian, are a Harley-Davidson person, or prefer your trusty Honda, choosing a motorcycle involves more than history or looks. The size, weight, maneuverability, and experience of the rider all play roles in what motorcycle is right for you. Although you may have dreamed about riding a certain bike for years, consider your abilities and experience before purchasing a motorcycle. If you don’t choose the right bike for you, your enjoyment of the lifestyle may end before it even really starts. Motorcycles do not afford the same protection to riders as traditional motor vehicles do for drivers, so the safety precautions that riders must take in choosing motorcycles are more important than those taken when choosing cars.

Basic Motorcycle Safety

If you are a new rider, even before choosing a motorcycle, know that 90 percent of riders involved in motorcycle accidents did not take specialized motorcycle training courses. Even the right bike for you may not help if you don’t know how to ride the bike safely and what equipment you should use to protect yourself. Safety agencies and motorcycle organizations alike recommend that riders wear the following gear to prevent injuries no matter the type of bike:

Helmets: Should fit snugly and come with federally approval and without defects.
Eye and face protection: Can come with the helmet or stand alone, but should use shatter-proof plastic.
Jackets: Should fit snugly but allow freedom of movement. Should use either leather or strong synthetic material. Purchase a jacket designed for motorcycle riders—they are made for all-weather use.
Pants: Wear them in all weather. They should cover your legs completely.
Boots: Wear high and sturdy boots that cover your ankles—but with short heels and sturdy, slip-resistant soles. Furthermore, find boots without laces to ensure they do not catch in gears and components.
Gloves: Wear leather or a type of breathable, durable material on your hands that allows for a strong and flexible grip.

Using this gear will help protect you from certain injuries, such as those sustained from loose debris, minor scrapes and burns, and head injuries, but the gear is primarily designed to prevent injuries by keeping your vision clear, your body protected from wind and the elements, and your feet and hands from slipping. However, choosing the right bike can help prevent the most common injuries suffered by riders:

Lower-extremity injuries to the legs, ankles, and feet
Upper-extremity injuries to the arms, wrists, hands, and shoulders
Traumatic brain injuries
Neck and spinal injuries
Chest and abdominal injuries to the heart, lungs, organs, and ribs

Best Motorcycles for Beginners

Depending on the source, different motorcycle agencies and experts will recommend different motorcycles for beginners. BestBeginnerMotorcycles.com published this list of motorcycles generally recommended for those still learning to ride as a result using maneuverability, engine power, size, structure, and weight as criteria. Generally, the website recommends these single or twin cylinder engines for newer riders:

Honda twin cylinder engine
Yamaha single cylinder engine
Kawasaki twin cylinder engine
Suzuki twin cylinder engine
Honda single cylinder engine

Beginners should look for bikes without power jumps or powerful gearshifts. The bike should run smoothly and operate both on the roadway and off-road. Furthermore, heavier bikes will give beginners more stability on the road, especially at high speeds. Some beginner bikes also have features that prevent them from stalling when you move after a stop. This can help prevent rear-end accidents and stop riders from getting trapped at dangerous intersections.

Choosing a Well-Designed Bike

Although beginner bikes may cost less, don’t just shop for price—look for a reliable bike with protections against the safety woes.  The following maintenance concerns plague drivers:

Debris accumulation: The accumulation of sand, dirt, and road debris on the interior of your motorcycle can cause the corrosion of certain essential components, which may in turn make your bike break down on the road. Most motorcycle maintenance regimens include extensive cleaning of exposed components.

Poor chain lubrication: To prevent your bike chain from unexpectedly snapping or locking, you must ensure constant lubrication and freedom from debris. Sudden chain failure due to poor maintenance can cause major engine damage in the middle of a busy road, leading to a potentially fatal accident.

Fuel system failure: Because many motorcycles still use carburetors, you must regularly maintain and replace fuel hoses, or they could cause fuel to leak from the gas tank and the fuel system to fail. This might result in a sudden accident coupled with a fire resulting from the exposed fuel.

As a rider, you must reasonably maintain your motorcycle in accordance with the standards set forth by the maker, but you can still choose a motorcycle without a carburetor or with additional safety shields to protect against debris accumulation.

If you or someone close to you has been injured in a motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it is important to reach out to an accident attorney who can assess the merits of your case. At LeBell, Dobroski and Morgan, we have the experience necessary to help bikers get the compensation they deserve when injured in an accident. If you're hurt in a motorcylce accident, call us for a free case evaluation at 414 276 1233.