While cars and SUVs are typically the standards you will find out on the road, it is not surprising these days to see more and more motorcycles taking up their spots on local roads and major highways.
According to a report from a few years ago, there were more than 8 million motorcycles registered to American private citizens and commercial organizations, with South Dakota (12 people for every motorcycle) ranking as the number one state for motorcyclists.
With that in mind, are you a current rider or planning to purchase a motorcycle in 2016? If so, remember a few items to make your journeys safe and enjoyable. For starters, buying the right bike is critical, especially given how many choices are out there for both men and women.
If you’ve yet to buy your first motorcycle, make sure you:
- Shop around and try out multiple bikes;
- Don’t overlook safety just for the sake of saving some money;
- Buy from a dealer that has been around for some time now. Dealers in town or nearby with a history typically are preferred over the new kid on the block. That said make sure that the customer service wherever you are thinking of buying from is second to none;
- Purchase from a dealer with a sound warranty, not someone who will nickel-and-dime you to death if things go wrong and/or when you need regular maintenance done on the bike.
It is also important that once purchasing the motorcycle, you make sure you obey all safety regulations out on the road.
Given the size disparity between motorcycles and regular vehicles (cars, SUVs, trucks etc.), the chances of you losing in an accident with any of these are rather high.
Among the safety practices you need to deploy are:
- Not speeding. It can be tempting on a motorcycle to try and out-race vehicles, but you’re only endangering you and other drivers when you do that;
- Not weaving through traffic. It comes as no surprise that motorcycle collisions with cars and trucks typically do not end well for the former. If someone behind the wheel doesn’t see your motorcycle trying to pass them on either side until the last minute, it can have very bad consequences for your motorcycle and more importantly you. Be sure to avoid sudden bursts of speed around vehicles and sudden stops;
- Being properly dressed. Besides the comfort-ability factor of it, being in the right clothing, be it tobacco Kevlar motorcycle pants or any number of other outfits, allows riders to better handle the bike. Always make sure you have supportive shoes, clothing that is not too tight or too baggy, and any required glasses;
- Wearing a helmet. While the laws in a number of states require motorcyclists to wear helmets, many choose not to in states without laws on the book. Not wearing a helmet makes you more susceptible to potentially life-threatening injuries in the event of a crash. Having a helmet on at all times while operating your bike also protects you from flying debris on the road, especially small pebbles/rocks and various other items that can be projected your way when someone in front of you or on your side runs over them.
Whether you are a man or a woman, getting out on your motorcycle by yourself can be fun, but doing it in a group setting is all the more enjoyable.
It certainly is not uncommon to be going down the road and seeing a few or even a dozen or more bikers passing you or going in the opposite direction. Oftentimes, these riders will be part of a biker’s club, some of which have been around for decades.
If you’re looking to ride with others after securing your first bike, use your immediate contacts (family, friends, co-workers etc.) to see if anyone in those groups’ rides.
In the event that doesn’t work, you can always go on social networking sites to announce you’re looking for riding buddies in your general area of the country.