A motorcycle ride is often a relaxing experience, despite the nature of the vehicle.
Partaking in a motorcycle ride can be a thrilling and exhilarating experience for anyone as long as certain precautions are taken. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, in 2008, U.S. sales of new motorcycles topped the million-dollar mark for the sixth straight year. The estimated total for 2008 was almost $1.1 million, which was down more than three percent from 2007 sales, but still high despite the fluctuating economy. With numerous motorcycles on the road, it is vital for riders to ensure a smooth, safe motorcycle ride, not only for themselves but for others on the road.
Even though motorcycles are produced in mass quantities, not every rider will fit the same way on every bike. Adjusting the motorcycle to fit the driver's body type, which would allow for a more comfortable ride, can help with a quality motorcycle riding experience. When it comes to certain bikes and riders, adjustments can be made without the need to purchase any additional equipment. Simply moving the handlebar angles or changing the span of the foot and hand-control levels can make enough of an adjustment that the driver feels more comfortable driving the motorcycle.
A rider should take his or her bike out on the road to determine if the motorcycle needs any additional adjustments. However, if the weather does not cooperate or it is wintertime and the roads are covered in snow or ice, motorcyclists can hop aboard the bike in their garage and imagine driving down the highway. From there, the riders should gauge how the bike fits his or her body. If the saddle does not offer much support, perhaps they should purchase a new saddle; if the handlebar position feels too low or too high, the motorcyclists might need to purchase a different handlebar or simply rotate the existing one. After making all the necessary adjustments, drivers should be able to have more control, precision and comfort, which can allow for a smoother ride.
During a collision, motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured than car drivers. Motorcycles are also less stable than cars in emergency braking and are not as visible to other drivers when compared to automobiles.
Helmets are a necessity for riders, as they decrease not only the severity for permanent head injuries, but also the possibility of death and the overall cost of medical care in case of an accident. In 1967, the U.S. federal government began requiring states to enact helmet laws. By 2009, there are 20 states along with the District of Columbia that possess helmet laws pertaining to all riders, while 27 states have laws covering some riders, which usually include riders under the age of 18. Only three states Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire do not have helmet laws.
Perhaps most importantly, however, is that motorcycle drivers should be licensed and properly trained. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2007, nearly 25 percent of motorcycle drivers that were involved in a fatal crash did not have a valid license. By passing the proper classes and obtaining a license, motorcycle drivers can make the road safer and smoother for themselves and others on the road.
Since driving a motorcycle is more physically demanding than driving an automobile, motorcyclists should be careful when driving long distances. According to Motorcycle Cruiser, fatigue is more a factor for motorcycle riders when the trip lasts three days or longer. In order to ensure the motorcyclists are well equipped for the trip, certain factors should be taken into consideration, which include:
Getting enough rest is a requirement for any type of trip, but especially if the motorcyclists are driving for extended number of hours per day. Most riding experts remind drivers that they should expect to feel fatigued during every 12-hour cycle, most often between the hours of 3:00 and 5:00, both during the early morning and afternoon. During that time, it is best for drivers to consider stopping to eat, take a break or catch up on their sleep.
As mentioned, when riders properly set up motorcycle to fit the contours of their body, the bike can ride much smoother and more comfortably. Since motorcyclists are in the midst of all nature's elements, it is imperative for them to wear abrasion-resistant jackets and pants, as well as a DOT-certified helmet. It is best for the helmet to contain a windshield to reduce the amount of wind the drivers encounter.