Updated March 4, 2016 . AmFam Team
Taking to the road on two wheels offers an unrivaled sense of freedom. You’re no longer caged in by the steel frame of a car, and you can feel connected to the sights, scents and sounds of everything you roll past. You’re blazing your own path, and the possibilities are just about limitless.
With that freedom comes extra responsibility on the road. Adopting the right mindset will help you achieve a lifetime of safer rides.
Take a peek. Checking your chain, the brakes and your belt and shaft is a great way to reduce the likelihood of a mechanical issue on the road.
Blink better. Make sure your lights and turn signals are working properly. Drivers in cars have a harder time seeing motorcyclists, so the more visual you can be, the better.
Love your wheels. Inspect your tires for proper tread life. Check that they’re properly inflated so you have predictable control over the steering and handling.
Make it a habit. Testing your brakes is the perfect pre-ride ritual for any adventure.
It’s not personal. Understanding the fact that most drivers aren’t looking for motorcyclist will help you stay alert. Keep a defensive driving mindset.
Be unforgettable. Remaining visible to other vehicles around you will keep you on their mind. Ride where you’re easy to see in mirrors, and wear brightly-colored or reflective protective gear.
Find some pals. Riding with a different crew is a great way to learn more safe riding habits. You’ll see habits and riding styles that can give you fresh insights into your routine.
Forever a student. Enrolling in advanced rider classes is a great way to keep honing your skills. You can always learn something new, and often local motorcyclists clubs and even many manufacturers offer advanced motorcyclist skills classes to keep you fresh.
Whether your motorcycle is part of your dream, or simply the vehicle to get you there, you deserve to enjoy every minute of it. Staying alert and keeping up on your defensive riding techniques are part of a smart ride every time you take to the road.