101 Steps to Motorcycle Safety - Useful Advice and Information

Traffic Strategies | Equipment Tips | Fitness | Useful Advice And Information | Skills You Should Practice



There's a deep pool of knowledge where common sense and experience converge. Some of the wise words passed along to me:

49. Motorcycle Rider Courses - The way to improve complex skills is to perfect basic ones.
50. Experienced Rider Courses - Find out where the best instructors teach and make sure you get the supplemental course hand-outs.
51. Advanced Classes - There may be an academy that is run on a racetrack. What better way to explore your limits and those of your bike?
52. "You've Got to Go Slow to Go Fast" - I think it was Reg Pridmore who said that. Never ride in a hurry.
53. Buy a Dirt Bike - This is the very best way to unlock the mysteries of traction control. If you've never ridden off road, consider an organized dual sport tour and take off-road courses.
54. Warm Your Bike's Engine - A stalled engine in the wrong place can be a disaster.
55. Pack Lightly - It's hard to be smooth on an overloaded bike. Stay warm. Stay dry. Compromise on everything else.
56. Limit Group Size to Four Riders - Fewer delays, fewer bad habits and less chance of a serious accident.
57. Develop Simple Rules and Signals for Group Riding.
58. Find a Good Passenger - Passengers are the most perfectly balanced form of cargo. They also force you to shift smoothly, remind you to ride sensibly, keep you from making wrong turns and may reward you with a soothing massage after a nice ride.
59. Imagine Yourself "Down In" Rather Than "Atop" Your Bike - Total relaxation can actually lower your center of gravity, and that makes your bike handle better.
60. Organize Emergency Information - Phone numbers, insurance, medical information, etc.
61. Respect Unfamiliar Bikes - No matter how experienced you are, your risk is greater when you switch bikes. Give yourself more time and space to compensate for unfamiliar equipment.
62. Avoid the Causes of Speed Wobbles - Worn tires, loose bearings, accessories -- especially handlebar mounted fairings and windshields. These and other things can cause your bike to go out of control at high speeds. Got that? High speeds.
63. Be a Voracious Reader - Information is power –Try to find out more!.
64. Question What You Read - Motojournalists get theirs for free. Owners club news editors think there's only one brand of bike. Academics have to publish or perish. Safety instructors are, you know....
65. Read Road Surfaces - Look for composition, texture, camber, contaminates.
66. Go Sport Touring - Lots of great athletes train in the mountains, and these days there are numerous possibilities for organized tours and rentals.
67. Devise a Test Course - Take a loop you travel regularly and evaluate your braking, shifting, turning... especially tricky situations which require combination maneuvers.
68. Limit Night Riding - Bouncing, tilting motorcycle headlights can't equal the uniform illumination that car lights provide. Ride your challenging roads by daylight.
69. Choose Good Riding Partners - Avoid whiners, drunks and people who don't read motorcycle magazines.
70. Know Your Insurance Coverage Health, life and motorcycle; don't wait until you've had an accident.
71. Learn From Good Riders - Observe their actions and ask questions.
72. ...But Ride Your Own Ride - No matter how much you respect another rider, devise your own strategies and allow time to execute at your rate.
73. ...And Let Your Buddy Ride His or Hers - Be patient and don't wave him or her through anything he can't see for him- or herself.
[These tips are the brainchild of Mr Lawrence Grodosky and was originally published in the Feb 1996 issue of Rider Magazine]
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