For passionate bikers, the inherent risk that comes with riding a motorcycle is part of the charm. In fact, the challenge is what makes the whole experience truly rewarding. But for your own safety and those of others around you, it is important to play by the rules.
We offer some tips to help you prepare for a safe riding season.
Get an Inspection and Tune-Up Before Every Riding Season
This is perhaps the most significant of all guidelines. At least once a year, get your bike professionally inspected for loose bolts, screws and cables. Also get your brakes and engine tuned-up, drivetrain lubricated and tyres inflated.
Get the Right Gear
A motorbike offers little protection in the event of a crash. In such a case, the rider’s gear is a part of the crash defense system. Invest in good quality reinforced riding jacket, elbow and knee pads, riding boots, gloves, safety glasses and helmet. Also, make sure to replace your helmet every three to five years or as recommended by your manufacturer.
Drive What You Can Control
Never drive a motorbike that is too powerful for you to control or requires handling that is beyond your skill level. Knowing how to ride a motorcycle is one thing but maneuvering your bike on public roads with confidence and poise requires another level of proficiency.
Drive Within the Speed Limit
Speed limits are fixed by traffic engineers keeping road, traffic and environmental conditions in mind. Beyond the limit set for a particular road, it usually becomes difficult to control a vehicle. Therefore, in order to preserve your safety and of those around you, the speed limit must always be adhered to.
Never Lose Your Focus on the Road
Distractions compromise safety. Always keep your eyes and ears open on the road. The fact is, answering calls even over Bluetooth diverts attention and is dangerous since it cuts your reaction time. If something really important comes up, consider taking a pit stop.
Keep Weather and Road Conditions in Mind
While road conditions are not a major issue in the UAE, care should be taken in relation to weather which can change quickly. Sandstorms and lack of visibility are a concern in this region. Check the forecast before taking your bike out on a long drive. If the weather gets bad while you’re out, stop and wait it out. Bikers driving over rough terrain or those involved in off-road activities should also be extremely cautious.
Ride in the Proper Position in a Lane
Bike riders are more vulnerable on the roads than any other drivers. They should keep to their position in a lane and refrain from swerving between lanes. Zigzagging and overtaking is unsafe for bike riders because this puts them in the blind-spot of other vehicles.
Always Be Seen
Make sure your position on the road allows you to be seen by other drivers. Also, safety neon vests and reflective neon taping on riding gear can increase a motorcycle rider’s visibility on the road.
Educate Your Passenger
Your passenger needs to be aware of road safety guidelines as much as you. They also need to have complete protective gear on.
Make Frequent Stops
Frequent breaks keep you from tiring out. Don’t ever push your limits. Stretch, refresh and hydrate yourself every time you make a stop.