This article will discuss the preparation necessary for riding your motorcycle. We are mainly addressing what a rider must do to prepare him or herself before they go out on a ride. Area such as choosing the appropriate ride gear, as well as, basic routine motorcycle inspection will be addressed.
We all assume a level of acceptable risk when we ride a motorcycle. Part of this risk deals with what type of motorcycle riding gear we choose to wear. Some choose not to wear a helmet or protective clothing. This is the risk that rider has chosen to accept. The saying goes, dress for the wreck you are going to have. So if the rider choose to not wear a helmet and other protection. That is his choice and hopefully he has enough medical and life insurance to cover his accident. Again life is full of risk. It is up to each of us to choose how much of that risk we are willing to accept. We can minimize the risk of riding motorcycles by wearing protective gear and doing regular routine inspections on our motorcycles.
The purposes of motorcycle riding gear are for a rider’s comfort, protection, and visibility. Proper personal protective gear consists of the following:
The principal function of the helmet is to protect the head and brain from injury. The four basic components that make up a helmet are:
Outer shell - keep sharp object from penetrating,
Impact-absorbing liner – cushion and absorb shock,
Comfort padding – comfort and fit,
Retention system – keep the helmet in place on the head.
There are several types of helmets. The full-coverage helmet differs from the three-quarter-coverage helmet in that the full-coverage helmet has a chin and lower face protection. Head injuries account for the majority of motorcycle deaths. A well-made helmet will have the DOT and Snell stickers.
For eye protection do not wear ordinary glasses or sunglasses. These are not shatterproof and do not keep out debris. Two types of motorcycle eye protection are the face shield and goggles. You can also get Doggles for your motorcycling dog. These are special goggles for dogs.
It is important to wear appropriate footwear. Proper footwear protects you from road debris, exhaust pipes. They also help with traction when your feet are on the ground. Boots also protect your feet and ankles.
When choosing riding gloves, follow these considerations: Fit, sturdy, outside seams, naturally curved, full-fingered.
The value of motorcycle-specific clothing is that it is made to fit a person in a motorcycle riding position, longer sleeves and arms, fuller shoulders, non-flap design, some built-in protection – leather or kevlar.
When choosing proper motorcycle clothing, consider the following: Fit, comfort, snug cuffs and arms, snap and button collar, durable material.
Considering the appropriate ride gear is important. It is always wise to dress in layers. This is so clothing can be removed and put back on as weather and temperature changes. You want to prevent hypothermia while riding in colder temperatures. Hypothermia is a subnormal body temperature and is indicated by shivering.
Motorcycle ride gear can also make you more visible in traffic. You can add a vest, add reflective material, and wear clothes that are reflective. White helmets are the most visible to other drivers. Bright clothing stands out. Dark clothing blends in and makes it harder for others to see you.
Now that you have prepared your ride gear for your upcoming ride, you now want to turn your attention to inspecting your motorcycle before you start out. The best place to find out about information in regards to proper routine motorcycle maintenance is by check with your M. O. M – Motorcycle Owners Manual.
Following your M. O. Ms routine maintenance ensures trouble-free riding and prevents expensive corrective maintenance.
There is an acronym I learned while taking my Motorcycle Safety Foundation riding course. The MSF calls it T-CLOCS. T-CLOCS is an inspection routine acronym. It stands for:
Tires and Wheels,
Lights and electrics,
Oil and other fluids,
Hopefully after reading this article, you have gained some insight into how to properly prepare for you ride. One other are to prepare is your mind. Are you healthy, awake, not under medication, not under the influence? If you are clean and sober, awake, aware and feeling good. Then you will have an enjoyable ride. Ride straight and stay alive.