A Quick Guide to Riding Responsibly
It’s not fair but by choosing to operate a motorcycle, you are choosing to shoulder the burden of the public image of motorcyclists as rule-breaking, reckless “bad boys”. It’s as certain as old age and taxes but it must be changed for the safety of motorcycle riders. Here’s how you act and operate responsibly to fight that image.
1. Avoid Speeding- Motorcycles, due to their comparatively low mass, have a higher rate of acceleration
2. Never Assume You Are Visible – Nearly two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents involve a driver violating a rider’s right of way. Your headlights should always be on, and every change of lane and direction should be signaled well before the moment they are necessary. Be especially wary of illegal left turns at intersections.
3. Check Your Ride- James Dean may have just hopped on and rode off into the sunset, but you should make these checks before every ride:
a. Tires- Check tire pressure and tread level and for signs of sidewall damage
b. Underneath Your Bike- look for oil, gas, and other leaks
c. Clutch & Throttle- check for smooth action ( throttle should snap back when released)
d. Brakes- Test both front and rear brakes (Each brake should feel firm and hold the bike still on its own when fully applied)
Remember that you cannot control the responsibility of others on the road. What you can control is your own preparedness and awareness and the safety of your motorcycle. Riding responsibly takes training and years of practice. This guide is not comprehensive, but a starting place for ride safety.