sport bike safety Tips

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How can I avoid an accident on my new sports bike?

Be aware of the vehicles and pedestrians' around you.

Motorcycles are often not looked for or seen by other motorists even if you have loud pipes on your bike.

Many motorists do not understand that motorcycles do not react in the same way a vehicle does when it comes to breaking or stopping.

As a sport bike rider it is crucial that you be aware of the vehicles around you as well as any pedestrians' that could potentially run or walk into your path.

Make sure you have a working horn on your bike and do not be afraid to use it. S

tay out of vehicles blind spots.

Watch for flying trash that motorists may toss out of their window and allow yourself enough room to safely swerve and miss it.

Do not tailgate the vehicle in front of you, if they stop suddenly, your bike will not be able to.

Stay at least a car length behind them and watch for other motorists who might see this as an invitation to cut in front of you.

Signal well enough in advance that motorists will be able to see what your intentions are rather they are changing lanes, stopping or turning.

Defensive driving on a sport bike and always remaining mentally alert is your best bet for safety.

   
Is mental preparation really needed before beginning to ride a sports bike?

Use effective mental strategies.

Effective mental strategies can greatly increase your chance of a safe ride.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has a strategy known as SEE(SM) that every motorcycle rider should become familiar with. SEE(SM) stands for Search, Evaluate and Execute. Keeping an eye on the road ahead of you as well as knowing what is happening around you, from other motorists to weather conditions, will allow you time to increase your safety margins, slow down and possibly avoid a potentially hazardous situation.

Just as you need time to respond to a situation you need to remember that other motorists need time too.

Other good effective strategies is to avoid weaving in and out of lanes, ride you're your headlight on, day or night and signal your intended move well enough in advance that others can react.

Exercise your option of lane positioning and ride in the part of the lane that allows your bike to get the most visibility.

The more defensively you ride, the more you follow the rules of the road and obey the speed limit the more prepared you will be to respond to the unexpected actions of others'.

Finally, do not drive a sports bike under the influence of prescription medication until you know how you react and never drive one under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

   
What kinds of conditions should I be prepared to ride my sports bike under?

Know your sports bike and how to handle it under a wide range of conditions.

Learn everything you can possibly learn about your bike and how to ride it.

Read the motorcycle drivers' manual for your location.

Find out where the local motorcycle safety courses are being given and sign up for one.

If you have taken the initial motorcycle safety course and it has been a while, take a refresher course. Most of all, practice riding your bike so you know how it handles under different conditions such uneven surfaces, wet pavement, loose gravel, sand and high winds.

The more you know, the better off you will be should the unexpected happen. Read as much as you can about motorcycle safety, potential hazards and how to handle inconviences such as flat tires, barking dogs and wild animals such as deer that come out of nowhere. Then practice, practice, practice.

Practice riding with someone on the back of your bike who is experienced.

As you gain confidence and ability you can begin to instruct other people how to be a good passenger and gain experience riding them.

If your bike came with a users' manual, sit down and read it.

If it did not come with one, order one so you can become familiar with the way your particular bike works and how to handle break downs such as flat tires.

Finally, make sure you have a biker's tool kit that you know how to use in your tool box on your bike.

   
What kind of protective clothing should I buy for riding a sports bike?

Use Protective Riding Gear

Protective riding gear such as gloves, boots, jackets, riding pants, helmets and eye protection is an individual choice.

It is extremely important that bikers, especially those who are just learning, purchase good protective riding gear.

Buy the best that you can afford.

Snell-approved helmets have been through rigorous testing and have been proven to withstand quite a bit of force that other helmets do not.

Leather jackets, gloves and riding pants can save your skin – quite literally.

A quality leather can take quite a bit of abuse before it will begin to tear, unlike skin.

A good pair of riding boots is essential.

Look for boots that are reinforced and protect the toes, ankles and shins. Do not allow the boot laces to dangle as they could get caught on your bike. Some of the most common injuries in motorcycle crashes are to the hands and feet.

When choosing riding gloves get ones that fasten at the wrists.

Remember the better quality protective gear you buy the more protection your body will have in the event an accident happens.

   
How can I make my motorcycle more visible?

Make sure your bike is visible.

The fact that motorcycles are just not seen cannot be stressed enough. I

t is crucial that you make sure your headlight, taillight and turn signals are all in working order and that you use them.

A headlight should be on anytime, day or night, that you are riding.

Spend the money to buy lots of reflective strips and decals for both your bike and your clothing. Choose a helmet that is light colored and is reflective.

Although leather, the best clothing to wear on a bike, is often black, lighten it up with reflective decals, tape or a simple vest that will go on the outside of your jacket.

If you have an option to purchase a light colored bike, do so, because they are easier to see. If not, get a paint job done on the bike or add the reflective tape and decals.

Do not ride in a motorist's blind spot, they will not see you.

Choose the best lane position by riding where you can see and where you will be seen.

If you must make an unexpected stop on the side of the road, get as close to the edge of the grass as you can and use your flashers.

Even after doing all of this, remember you still need to drive defensively and know what is going on around you.

Your quick reaction to an unexpected situation could stop an accident.

   
How do I safely pick up my sport bike if it is on the ground?

Learn how to safely pick up your sport bike.

Learning the safe way to pick up your sport bike from the ground if it goes down is something you should learn and practice doing now so if that fateful day ever comes you are prepared.

The first two things you need to do before attempting to move your bike is to hit the kill switch so your bike is off and then turn off the gas. You will want the bike to be in gear if it is not already as this will make it easier to move.

Next, position yourself so your butt is facing the seat of the bike.

Once you are positioned, stoop down and grab the left grip with your right hand.

Pull the left grip towards the tank of the bike, then find something sturdy such as the underneath of the bike seat to grab a hold of.

Keep your left hand as close to your body as possible.

Next, you will want to sit on the edge of the seat about mid-way and make sure there is nothing under your feet that will cause you to slip.

The positioning of your butt on the seat is what gives you leverage. You are going to push the bike up with your upper legs and butt and pull up a bit with your arms. Do not use too much force when doing this or the bike will fall the other way.

Once you have the bike in an upright position be sure to put the kick stand down.

If the bike falls on the right side, you will reverse these directions. If the bike is not easily moving, check your body position to figure out what is wrong.

   
How do I decide on which sports bike is right for me?

How to Choose the Right Sports Bike

It takes years of practice to successfully learn how to maneuver a sport bike and no matter how well you do on the driving test it is not the same as being in traffic.

It is best to learn to ride on a small bike and then move up to a larger bike as you gain experience.

A smaller bike, with less power, is easier to handle.

Choose one that is not heavy so in the event that you lay it down you will be able to pick it back up.

When deciding what type of sport bike to get try several of them out.

Choose one that feels right when you sit on it and that allows both sides of your feet to be flat on the ground.

Do not choose a bike that has been modified as your first bike.

If you choose a used sports bike to learn on, check the mileage to see that it is low. Remember, you can always sell your first bike after a couple of years of driving it and get a newer, larger model.

Smaller bikes are often easier to sell then larger ones, especially if someone is looking to learn to ride.

   
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Sherril Steele-Carlin