If you are a new motorbike rider and have just got your driving license, you will be itching to take your motorbike for a spin. There is a genuine urge to drive for long distances that too at high speeds due to the youthful adrenalin rush. But there is a caveat, be responsible while driving as it’s not just you on the road but the whole world around you that gets affected.
For the new rides, especially the young motorbike riders, we have listed out some tips that can help for safe driving and have some fun.
As a responsible motorbike rider, you need to be conversant with all the traffic rules while driving. Be city roads or the highway if you know the rules and follow them driving will be fun. Some of the most common traffic rules are right of way, always giving way to emergency vehicles like ambulances, police jeeps, or fire engines. You never know what and where the emergency has occurred. Be conversant with the road signs as they give you information of the road ahead, be it speed breakers, rumble strips, or slow down for accident spots or schools and human habitations or the stop sign at traffic signals. Take care of adequate distance between you and the vehicle ahead or behind you, and obey the signal. If you are cautious and drive safely, it will boost your confidence and keep you from getting into awkward situations with other drivers out there. The bonus is you will not get hauled up by the traffic cop for a rules violation and won’t get penalized for the same.
If you are young and restless, you will always have the urge to speed up while driving. Traffic surveys show that teens are more likely to drive at high speed than old drivers. Data also points to a higher rate of accidents due to overspeeding and unnecessarily driving at high speeds. At high speeds, your reflexes get slow, and you have very little to react to in emergencies. The distance between your motorbike and the neighboring vehicle is much low when overspeeding, causing accidents—even the impact of collision when speeding is higher than at average speeds.
Maintain your motorbike
The condition of your motorbike determines its roadworthiness. Better it is maintained, and services at regular intervals lower are the chance of a breakdown or an accident. Keep 2-3 points in mind whenever you get your motorbike serviced. Get the oil checked and replaced if necessary. Get the tire pressure checked for the correct air pressure. Also, get your brake oil checked and the clutch tuned for a smooth driving experience. Get your headlights, taillights, turn signals, handlebar, and horn fit. And make sure your fuel tank is complete before you embark on a long journey, or you may get stranded.
Put on your motorbike gear
While riding on long journeys, you witness harsh weather, wind, sun, etc. Proper motorbike gear helps protect you from all this and keeps you safe. Be sure to buy BIS-marked helmets, wear your goggles, use leather jackets, leather pants, and ankle-length boots if you are accustomed to them, else at least wear good sports shoes for comfort and proper protection. Also, wearing motorbike hand gloves gives you a better grip while riding.
Rule number one of motorbike riding is always to stay focused on the road ahead while riding. Do not get distracted by using your mobile for chatting or texting. Don’t turn back to your pillion to continue your conversation. Never eat while riding.
The best way to ride a motorbike is to get settled into the rider’s seat, gear up, set the location on Google maps, set your favorite music on Spotify, put your mobile on do not disturb mode, and then start the motorbike. You will be less frustrated, and the drive will be peaceful and without any incident.
Check your mirrors
The safest way to drive is to make sure you adjust your mirrors before starting your drive. Adjust your side view mirror to get maximum visibility of the road and vehicles behind you. Also, keep these mirrors in a position where you can view any vehicle overtaking you and can adjust your speed and distance from it. Do this before you start your journey and not while you are moving. This will make your ride a safe ride.
Never ride too close to the vehicle ahead of you. You never know when it will hit the brakes due to emergency conditions, and you could ram into it. If this happens, you will damage your motorbike the car ahead and will land with a laundry list for repairs and penalties from the traffic cop.
You can’t assume your visibility on the road while riding your motorbike, especially at night. 90% of the time, road accidents happen as vehicle drivers don’t see you or your motorbike when you ride past them. Some simple tips for being visible while riding a motorbike are to wear bright apparel, wear reflective clothes if possible, don’t ride in the other rider’s or vehicle driver’s blind spot. Always use your turn lights or hand gesture while taking a sharp turn.
Be careful of road hazards
Sometimes it’s best to be defensive than being an aggressive rider. Such motorbike riding gives you enough time to foresee road hazards. Best tires can’t provide a safe riding condition if the road is littered with pebbles, oil, water, or sand. Frequently going over potholes and huge speed breakers will make you lose your balance. If you are at a railway crossing, please wait for the rain to pass, and the level crossing open don’t be hasty.
Keep a first aid kit handy
Always keep your motorbike documents current. Keep a copy of your motorbike registration, insurance, and the PUC valid. Also, keep an emergency kit in your motorbike, including mist wipes, band-aids, sanitizers, bandages, and sticking tapes.
If you are driving for long, keep some snacks, water bottles, and blankets in your haversack, which will come in handy.
Check the weather before you leave
Do read up on the weather before you start your journey. It becomes difficult to ride your motorbike in extreme weather conditions like heavy rains, heavy wind, and snowfall. Try to slow down while riding when it rains, since as the roads get wet, it becomes difficult for the tires to grip slippery roads. Do keep more distance between the vehicles ahead and behind, use the headlamps during heavy downpours and switch on the parking lights, so you are visible to the vehicles behind you. And there is no shame in taking your motorbike off the road and waiting for better driving conditions if it gets too rainy. Also, you can choose a different day to ride out on a long journey if the weather forecast is gloomy.
Do brush up on advanced riding skills by taking authorized motorbike riding lessons. These will help you manoeuver the motorbike better and read up on advanced braking techniques.
So practice these safe motorbike riding tips, be on the road, and have some fun.
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