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May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, so we thought we'd get share some advice on safe riding.

Motorcyclists know how much skill is required in riding. You have to be aware of your bike, the road, the traffic around you, and most importantly, yourself, when you get behind the handlebars.

But even the safest, most experienced riders can still make mistakes. That’s why we’re presenting a series of articles on motorcycle safety, because you can never be too safe.

Rider Education, Injuries and Fatalities
Time for a reality check
Whether you have decades of experience or are a newbie, it pays to realistically size up this activity called "riding a motorcycle," and to look at yourself as a lifelong learner.
Insurance Basics
How much coverage do you need?
Are you and your motorcycle insured well enough to satisfy your state's legal guidelines, as well as your own risk tolerance? You owe it to yourself and those who care about you to be sure you are up to date.
The Truth about Drinking and Riding
Some sobering statistics on a dangerous problem
While no one will publicly declare alcohol consumption and motorcycling are OK, there remain definite problems in a culture offering mixed messages.


More: Rider Safety articles on Motorcycle.com
 

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motorcycle safety tips

5 good motorcycle safety tips

1. Buy good tires before you pay your rent. Maintain your chain, brakes, and tailight.
2. Scan with your eyes rapidly and constantly.
3. Hard acceleration can get you out of trouble just as fast as get you in trouble. Be able to downshift and hammer instantly.
4. Wear eye protection and gloves. Have enough clothing to stay warm and dry. Have enough money on hand in case you crash or get thrown in jail. Have your medical ID card.
5. Instruct your pillion to hang on tight especially from a standstill or downshift, to stay still, neutral, and calm. I've lost two passengers because of their negligence.
 

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Hi I have also passed the test and have been riding hundreds of miles so far here's what I have learned.

1. SPEED IS LIFE
If you go too slow its dangerous and if you go too fast its dangerous. Always be asking yourself if the speed you are going is safe...too fast or too slow?

2. FRONT BRAKING DISASTERS
Many new riders crash due to using front brakes around corners. Do not do that but instead try not to brake at all in corners. As you learned in the msf course, always slow way before the corner and add a bit of throttle going through it. The tires grip better that way rather than coasting through the corner. If you have to brake going through a corner I suggest light rear braking only but not too hard or you can lock the tire and crash. Don't forget to check your brake and lights.

3. EQUIPMENT
I strongly suggest 4 things
1. Helmet of course
2. Gloves
3. Riding jacket WITH ARMOR
4. Protective riding pants


The rule here is ask yourself if you are prepared to crash while riding 80 mph. If the answer is yes then you are protected.

4. AVOID BEING STRANDED
I would get a magnetic gas tank bag ( Or until then wear a back pack) and put some spair oil in there and also a kit called STOP AND GO TIRE PLUGGER which can be found on the internet. If you get a flat you can use that to fix the tire.

5. Handling a flat tire while driving
First off it is rare to get a blow out if your tires are good so make sure you have very good tires. When it comes to riding TIRES are everything. They really make a difference in how good the bike rides. Anyways, you can tell your rear tire is going low if you start to fish tail a bit while driving. I had this happen to me on the freeway and it was terrifyingly scary as hell. Lol but it was seriously. In that case as you probably learned, DO NOT BRAKE but rather cautiously pull over to the side. I was prepared with my kit and here is how I fixed the tire and drove off.

a. I found the damage. It was a dull bolt! Huge bolt. I pulled it out and then used the kit to add glue to the plugs. The plugs are in shape like a mushroom. I put it in the tire and then aired it up with the co2 cylinders that come with the kit. It was awesome! The cylinders get like ice in your hand (Good because on the freeway you cant hear the air going in) so you know the tire is airing up. The tire got hard as a rock and it was fixed! I drove off happy I had the kit. I got a new tire later and some more co2 cartridges.

I guarantee that sooner or later you'll get a flat. It was awesome to be able to fix it myself and it took about 9 or 10 minutes. You should or could also get triple a or AAA for motorcycles where if you get a flat they tow you free. This is a roadside service that you prepay for like insurance and that is more expensive than the kit but another good option.

6. ALL ROADS ARE NOT EQUAL
When driving on the street, not freeway or highways, you'll find that there are some roads that are all tore up and messed up with gouges and cracks. So its good to route out your commutes with the smoothest routes as it makes your tires and back last longer.

a. Freeways
If you ever drive freeways you will right away notice the road has a different feel to it. Sorta slippery compared to the black top types. Also if you look closely you'll see grooves in there which is to catch the rain and make it easier for car tires to grip...I say car tires because some motorcycle tires (especially if the lines on your bike tires are going the same direction as the lines on the freeway) react to these grooves by moving you all over the freeway.

You will also notice that a freeway lane really has 3 different areas to it. The middle area seems higher and the left side and the right side of that lane are lower. I suggest not riding in the middle side, although it may be smoother to ride on, but on the left or right side because crap and nails and debris "for the most part" end up in the middle. If it was where the car tires are some car driving in front of you has already picked up the nail. But car tires don't hit the middle lane. This is how I got the bolt in my bike on the freeway by riding the middle area.
b. Curves
When you are new and going around curves again stay away from the middle area as oil and coolant and liquid reside there and you could hit a big glob of that oil while turning and the chances of crashing are higher.

STAY AWAY FROM THE FRONT CAR!
When you are at a light do not pull up close in back of the car in front of you. Sometimes they realize they missed their turn and, I kid you not, they back up! They don't see you there and put it in reverse thinking they can back up and then turn down the street. A friend of mine got ran over like this and I remember what he told me and sure enough it happened to me. I was at a light and the sonof a b**** put his truck in reverse as he wanted to cut into the gas station. Thank God I had seen his reverse lights so I started pushing my bike back as fast as my legs could move while laying my thumb on the horn and he finally saw me....he was literally only 3 inches or so from my front tire. Ever since that time I stay a ways back. I was even in his mirror so I dunno why this dope didn't see me.

TIRES
Do not put armor all on your tires or anything on your tires. Wash them with water or mild soap and water. Not only does armor all or tire dressing ruin your tire but it makes it slick and dangerous.

I can go on and on as you can tell but the question you asked is a good one. There is so much more to riding a motorcycle than passing the course. I took that course too and you notice how they never taught you about high speed lessons?

Well you'll find that speed is life. 90% of safe riding is that.

Drive safe have fun and who knows, maybe we will low 5 each other while passing on the road!
 

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They don't hold on or are not paying attention and fall off ! Flip right over backwards,,,,,
Maybe something like: They have their head firmly inserted into ass.;) (edit part) Sometimes I have to remind my wife that she is more than just a passenger, she needs to ride too and be aware and alert,i.e. don't start wiggling around after I have set up for a good curve and half way into it, help watch side roads and things maybe she could see before me.
 

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Love your advice Harry06. I took the riders course also and there is a lot more to consider that what is taught in there. You made some very good points. Keep riding safe.
 

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I know this thread is old but its still a Really good thread that should be bumped to current (imo) for people new bikers and experienced bikers that need this as a refresher, and that are new to the forums.

But along with a jacket i wear a safety vest (class 2 level 2 non knitted(no holed vest solid only)) until i get my reflective armor jacket. so that not only my bike can be seen but so can I. I have seen armored jackets with no reflective pipes, stipes, and/or patches so its still hard to see the people at night especially when wearing a black jacket.
 

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It is very important to review motorcycle safety tips once in a while to refresh us on the things that we need to do. Sometimes, once we know how to ride we forgot the things which are very important.
 

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this is a myth. cars, on average, stop slower than motorcycles because they are heavier and have more inertia than bikes.

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Can_a_car_stop_faster_then_a_motorcycle
Partially true and false. Cars can stop faster in the since you can slam on the brakes and not lose control like you can on a bike. But safe quick stop car vs bike at same speed and braking force then yes bike stops faster than car. That is brake setup being the same, e.g. disc, drum, non abs bike vs disc, drum, non abs car.

Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Yes, cars have more mass and thus inertia, however with 4 wheels being anywhere from 9-25" wide, and 3-6" deep stopping distance. This gives them 2-3x the surface contact per wheel as a bike has on both wheels.

The only data I could find was a vstar 250, which listed 131ft from 60-0, compared to a camry at 123ft, bmw at 107ft, or even the Acura MDX suv at 123ft. The Ninja 250r is 120ft.

However every site I've seen says cars stop faster due to increased contact patches on the ground. Also, virtually every car on the road is ABS equipted, where-as most bikes are not. And if a car locks hteir breaks, they skid. If you lock the brakes on a bike, you fall or let off to much and are now going faster than you want to be going again. It's easy to slam the brakes on a car, but on a bike it takes tons of practice and you have to be able to keep your calm in the event of an emergency.

Call it what you will, I leave 2x the distance on my bike as I leave on my 9200lb diesel suv.
 

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http://www.cla.purdue.edu/communication/motorcycle/documents/answers.pdf

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Motorcycle-Safety-Driveability-790/Motorcycle-Stopping-Distance.htm

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2011/06/02/learning-to-ride-your-first-motorcycle/


i can't believe this is turning into a debate. and i had no idea this would become overcomplicated. yes, everything has variances and no 2 things are alike. different bikes and different cars with different setups and different roads and different drivers and riders will all have different stopping distances. but all things being equal, on average, a car will take more distance to stop than a motorcycle.
 

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bevo i wasn't trying to start a debate i was just stating the truth from both sides. you just simplified what i said tho lol
yeah i didn't mean to make it sound jerky. i actually found some sites with competing opinions on the issue. i was saying sincerely that i didn't know this was a debate.
 

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I could care less who stops sooner I just dont want to be plowed stopping... I always check my mirrors at stop lights alone and stay in first gear if someone isn't paying attention I can grap throttle and move. There are way to many distracted drivers now with cell phones, blue tooth radio, nav and more they just play while they drive. I bet most of the accidents car vs bike are because of this.

When coming to a stop I brake early way early I have a friend that hates riding with me because he says I am way to slow at stop lights... Guess what I have been rear ended on a motorcycle and don't want to have that again. I verify that the person behind me sees me and they are slowing as well. If they get pissy whatever I let them pass if they wish.

A smart rider is a living rider period. My wife still hates to drive me in the car period as I am overly cautious driving as well. But she will admit that I see at least 90% of the crap she doesn't.

Also, always keep the 4 second rule into play and even if the car does stop faster you have plenty of time to react to it.
 

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Never make an excuse to riding with no gear.

use a motorcycle boot, a cheap motorcycle boot will work better than any expensive fancy boots . I am not even talking about crashing. at stop light on real hot dates, drillze or rainy wet roads. you boot will not slip and cause a leg trap.
 

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Never make an excuse to riding with no gear.

use a motorcycle boot, a cheap motorcycle boot will work better than any expensive fancy boots . I am not even talking about crashing. at stop light on real hot dates, drillze or rainy wet roads. you boot will not slip and cause a leg trap.
here is proof of riding with equipment looks like
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5ceyo6wldqsbb4i/xB-q0VVOby (i will post pictures of my bruises later if people want) but if you look at the pics of the helmet. now imagine what that would look like on a skull. not a pretty picture. i survived my crash due to 2 reasons: 1. i was wearing proper riding equipment,even a simple lightweight all weather jacket with thick, strong shell and ankle high workboots will do the trick of keeping you from getting major road rash and from slipping. 2. experience, imo new riders should learn how their bike handles either in an abandoned parking lot or on the road when there is very little to no traffic for a while till they are comfortable and willing to ride safe.
 
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