27 Feb Who’s ready to ride?
We’ve had some unseasonably warmer temperatures in the Ozarks as of late. While old man winter might not be out the door quite yet, these warm and breezy days can’t help but make us think about the upcoming riding season. Excitement is building in the minds of motorcycle enthusiasts across the country. However, there can be a dark side to warmer temperatures showing up early.
With so many bikes out lately it got us thinking; how well prepared are other drivers for the 2017 riding season? Warmer temperatures mean motorcycles are out and about in February and March, and the general public might not be used to seeing them so early. It’s easy to tell other drivers to share the road and watch for motorcycles, but what can we do as riders to help protect ourselves and create awareness?
Ozarks On Two Wheels has compiled a list of the top 5 tips for riders to increase their awareness on the road:
Use a high beam headlight during the day
This is an easy solution that is often overlooked. Remember, the angle of the high beam light is supposed to throw the light further out down the road, to allow for more reaction time when it’s dark. That means it should be the perfect angle to inform people of your presence during the daytime, too. You can also add a headlight or break light modulator, which will flash and be more noticeable.
Replace your stock horn with a louder one
Loud pipes can only do so much, and they are pointed in the wrong direction to warn people in front of you. The best use of sound to alert others is a horn. There are plenty of after-market horns that will increase shock value when needed. Consider doing some research to replace your stock horn with a louder, more attention grabbing horn.
Ride in groups when possible
The more motorcycles there are, the better. Our eyes are trained to see formally paired headlights, like on 4-wheel vehicles. So, other drivers are sure to notice multiple high beam headlights traveling together in staggered form. Riding at night in a staggered formation allows for a broader spread of light, which means you will see further as well.
Wear bright colors
As a biker, black leather is the usual go-to for a riding uniform. However, fashion isn’t everything when it comes to safe riding practices. Consider buying bright colored clothing and helmet, and take advantage of reflective materials. Also, consider purchasing a brightly colored bike. Studies show that riders in brightly colored gear have significantly fewer accidents. Reflective tape on your bike, clothing, helmet, and wheels are another way to stay visible, regardless of day or night time riding.
Pay attention to lane positioning
Where you are positioned in a lane can say a lot about your coming actions. Staying towards the left or right side of the lane when making a left or right turn, staying out of blind spots, and even simple hand signals can communicate to other drivers what your intentions are. You can also focus on putting your headlight in the mirrors of other cars to announce your location.