A guide to safety for first time motorbike riders

A guide to safety for first time motorbike riders

Motorbikes effortlessly scream ‘cool’. You will have admired shiny Harley Davidsons that have appeared on the big screen and also the icons who have ridden them. This admiration might only have been from afar, but you may have dabbled with the idea of riding a motorbike. Someone might even have bought you some riding lessons as a gift. Either way, you need to familiarise yourself with some of the safety basics of learning to ride a motorbike.

Why you need to take motorbike safety seriously

The high power-to-weight ratio means even a basic motorbike will out-accelerate most cars. Motorbikes don’t have all the frills that cars do. All they essentially are is an engine, two wheels, a fuel tank, handlebars and a seat, so you’re not in the same protective auto-bubble as a driver. You need road sense to judge distances and speed, as well as an awareness of your surroundings to position yourself correctly on the road.

Compulsory basic training

Riding a motorbike often has the negative connotations of being extremely dangerous on the roads, but complying with safety means there is no reason why you cannot enjoy riding without coming to harm.

Because of the increased risk, compulsory basic training (CBT) was introduced in 1990 to reduce accidents among inexperienced riders. The CBT must be completed before a moped or motorcycle learner can ride on the road (still with a learner plate) in England and Wales. The CBT involves practical on-site and road training and riding.

Making sure you are kitted out for riding motorbikes safely

Riders of motorbikes and mopeds need to take extra safety precautions when on the road, which means ensuring they have the relevant protective gear for injuries, all-weather conditions and being easily seen by other road users. Without suitable clothing, there is the potential to get very wet and cold on a motorbike.

As well as the important safety aspect, your clothing will top off that trendy biker look. Without a sleek safety helmet, you can’t be considered a biker, and you are of course, required by law to wear one on the road. You should also consider wearing visors, goggles, gloves, gauntlets, protective clothing or leathers, boots and visibility aids.

You can’t be a real biker without the edgy leather jacket. Try and wear natural materials: if you have a rough fall off your motorbike, friction from the road’s surface may cause some synthetic materials to burn or melt into any wounds – that doesn’t sound great.

Safety helmet regulations

All helmets sold in the UK must either carry the BSI kitemark or comply with UNECE regulations, or carry an equivalent to the BSI kitemark as accepted by a member of the EEA.

Helmets that have sustained a serious impact should always be replaced with a new one. This is one reason why you shouldn’t pick up helmets off ‘the back of a lorry’ or at your nearest car boot sale: a second-hand helmet could be damaged even if the evidence of impact isn’t visible to the naked eye. And remember, a helmet could save your life, so no compromises!

Rhia is a freelance writer and journalist with a Masters in Journalism and has freelanced for a number of clients including the Guardian.

Article from articlesbase.com