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Even the most experienced motorcycle rider understands the risk they take every time they get behind the handlebars. The sheer power and excitement of the open road is a calling to many. This thrill is where the biker lifestyle may grab you. When you ride often, you understand many critical factors in how to ride and stay safe. Below we have included some pre-ride safety tips to get you safely down the road.
Mostly, it’s important to weigh how to keep yourself safe on the road. It will also save you money in the long run when you are not dealing with various issues down the road. So this is something that every bike owner knows. How to get yourself in the right state of mind to check every time is vital.
Weigh all the potential issues your bike had and may have. Check for funny and unusual noises and whether or not the bike had its scheduled maintenance. Check to see if any fluids are missing.
Yes. This one is not only one of the biggest but also one of the most obvious. And this could be due to some factors, including poor seals or engine problems. Some old-timers can even diagnose the problem with the bike from tasting the oil. However, unless you have the same skill, this may be a sign you have to visit the mechanic. So yes, always check the area around and under the bike for oil. It could save your life.
Every time you ride! Believe it or not, the battery is a significant piece of the puzzle. Thus, it behooves you to check it before you ride. Check to see if it’s giving enough juice to the starter or if you’re clicking. This noise could be due to various issues, including matters with connections or with the alternator. Clean off the contacts carefully with a rag or piece of cloth.
Always check the tank. The gas tank could be a significant issue. Additionally, it could be due to a variety of factors. This problem might be due to a lack of quality gas or a filter issue. So keep an eye on the indicator lights in case of a problem. Because of this diligence, you can deal with an engine that requires immediate attention. Sometimes the light will even come on due to a gas cap not being completely shut.
Check it before or after your ride. The air filters are needed for your Hog to breathe. The bike’s air intake is essential for the engine to operate. Also, it could require cleaning. Dust, leaves, bugs, and more can help clog up a filter. Operators can sometimes clean the filter while out on the road; in others, you will have to replace it.
Yes. Spark plugs can cause a variety of issues. Cuts on spark plug wires can cause the engine to stop. They may also be screwed in improperly or lacking a blue spark. Changing the plugs or distributor may be the next step you take. So it’s better to replace these regularly rather than deal with a misfire or worse.
Teach passengers before letting them on your bike. Motorcycle riders not used to riding with passengers ignore shifts in the center of gravity or distractions. The operator must make sure and have the passenger lean into the corners along with the operator. Failure to have a system of instruction quickly leads to speed wobbles and results in the vehicle throwing or to toss the occupants into the air.
If so, then bodies may land in oncoming traffic. You and I both know this means curtains. For you, Millennials, this means certain death.
However, motorcycle passengers can take steps to avoid accidents too. Both parties have a duty and obligation to all fellow citizens to behave reasonably. For example, both parties must take precautions to protect others. So they must understand the fundamental physics and mechanics of two persons on a two-wheeled vehicle.
Most of all, occupants and operators must lean the bike together when traveling and cornering at high speeds. Passengers, of course, should make sure not to distract the driver or try to reach in front of them either.
The passenger should have a system worked out to tell the driver they need to pull over to rest. Also, passengers should sit as still as possible. And all involved should avoid sudden movement. Passengers must lean with the driver into turns to assist their activity.
Cold tires have no grip. We wrote a whole section about cold tire motorcycle accidents here. Make sure and check the tires and warm them up.
The bottom line is the passenger is left at the biker’s mercy and experience steering the horse. Even if the rider blames the passenger in California, the rider regularly holds a measure of liability. Because California is a pure comparative negligence state, someone gets paid something. Keeping track of the road means preparing for obstructions and bracing for sudden stops.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.