In an average year 166,000 Americans will be hospitalized as a result of a
motorcycle accident. 4,700 of them die. Many others will be crippled for life.
In some countries the death rate for motorcyclists is up to nine times higher
than that for persons riding in a car. Why is this the case? Three primary
reasons have been identified;
(1) A motorcycle is harder to see than a car
(2) A motorcycle offers little or no protection for its rider
(3) A motorcycle’s handling is tricky – if it skids, it often spills.
It’s not surprising, then, that many people consider motorcycles to be
dangerous. Yet, motorcycles do have definite advantages. The fuel economy is
hard to overlook, with 60 to 70 miles being achieved from one gallon of fuel
depending on your riding habits and type of bike.
Bikes are easy to maneuver, they allow ease of parking and they cost less than a
car. Not to be overlooked is the thrill that comes from riding a bike. The sense
of freedom and the feeling of control are difficult to emulate in a car.
Here’s how one rider puts it, “ It’s exciting to feel that machine beneath
you, to know that it will answer to your every whim or direction, to lean into
curves and know that it will carry you to your destination reliably.”
So, how can you have the best of both worlds? How can you enjoy the speed,
freedom and excitement of riding a motorcycle while, at the same time, reducing
the very real risk of injury? As with most things, a little common sense goes a
long way here. Treat the bike (potential killing machine that it is) with
respect and you will be able to enjoy it without mishap. Specifically, you
should adhere to the following points;
(a) Ride with Extreme Care. Steering, accelerating and braking require skill
and a high degree of coordination.
(b) Avoid the center of the Lane. That is where debris and oil droppings from
(c) Wear a Proper Outfit. Always wear a helmet (full face). Gloves, a jacket and boots
will also protect you.
(d) Ride with your Headlight On. If permitted by traffic laws, do this even
in daytime. It will make you more visible to other motorists.
(e) Apply Reflective Tape to your Helmet. This makes you more visible at
(f) Drive Defensively. Do not expect that car drivers will give you the
(g) Never ride a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
And if your taking any over the counter medication that makes you drowsy, leave
the bike in the garage and wait till you feel better.
Keep in mind, too, that - although it may be music to your ears – not
everyone will enjoy the sound of your engine revving in the morning. So, to keep
peace with your neighbors try showing a little consideration when it comes to
the noise factor. I do believe that a loud bike ( to a point ) can be a good
thing especially if it gets a drivers attention.
Maintain your bike regularly. Make sure the brakes are in order. Do routine
chain and engine checks and also very important check tire pressure before taking the bike out for a spin.
Apply these simple, common sense suggestions and you can safely enjoy the
sense of freedom and the feeling of control that can only come from riding a