Staying Safe

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This article has been kindly provided by classic-motorbikes.net. classic-motorbikes.net are a specialist UK motorcycle insurer and provide hundreds of classic bike insurance quotes every month.

Staying safe on the roads: protecting yourself on your motorbike

Motorcycle riders know more than most about the dangers of using their vehicle to get from A to B. The combination of two wheels, unpredictable traffic, poor drivers and damaged roads means that being a biker in the UK may not always be as enjoyable as you want it to be, and so you must take every chance to ensure that you protect your health and motorcycle, all the while avoiding any claims on your insurance policy.#

Prepare for anything

The first thing to remember when you're out on your bike is that you always ought to expect the unexpected. Drivers often fail to look out for motorcyclists, so it's always best to expect that you often won't be seen. On top of this, bikers are more susceptible in blind corners and junctions. With this in mind, a gung-ho bike-riding attitude is simply not an option, unless it's in a controlled environment like a racetrack.

Road positioning priorities

With the aforementioned lack of visibility of bike riders on roads today, it's important that you position yourself on the road correctly. Aim to get in the most visible place you can - the middle of the lane is important, as many drivers do not rely on their wing mirrors as much as they ought to. Make any turns you make as clear as possible in the lead-up to each one, showing others what you aim to do with both indicators and arms when possible.

Making yourself as visible as possible

While road positioning is a fantastic way to establish yourself as another road user, it's worth making sure that you cover all bases to make yourself as noticeable as possible. Clothing is one of the most direct ways; wearing a light or brightly-coloured helmet in tandem with fluorescent clothing is good, while reflective strips are perfect for both daylight and night conditions.

Buying the correct safety clothing

If you do end up coming off your bike, remember that your choice of clothing will be extremely important. To protect yourself properly, wear the correct outfit for travelling, such as leathers, boots, gloves and - of course - a safety helmet that fits your head properly. If weather is not working in your favour, respond in kind with waterproofs and visor wipes if a sudden downpour is likely, or already happening.

Watch the road for imperfections

Always keep an eye on the road. Potholes are a nightmare and plague cold environments, especially after a big frosty spell. Hitting one of these will often certainly spell a major accident. However, sudden undulations in the road can also lead to a temporary loss in balance, while trusted obstacles like cobbled streets and dirt tracks will be even more unpredictable on two wheels.

Braking etiquette

While you may understand your bike very well already, time should still be dedicated to working with your brakes to find the best combination of front and back brakes when stopping quickly, or in an emergency - after all, the last thing you want to do is go over the handlebars.

Check the bike regularly

You must regularly check the condition of your bike, as overlooking a simple fault could put your life in danger. Inspect the frame, forks and shocks every time, keeping an eye out for chain tension, lubrication and general wear and tear. Tyres must be properly inflated and inspected for cuts, embedded objects and tread depth. Oil and fluid levels ought to be addressed to avoid leaks, while lights and electrics must be clean and working - dodgy wiring needs to be addressed straight away, if it is found.

Stay fit!

Finally, it may seem like an obvious point to make, but you must be fit, healthy and strong to ride a bike. If you are injured or recovering from an illness - even a common cold - you could find yourself unable to control the vehicle properly. Ride with confidence and comfort at all times and you will stay sharp and responsive to any developing issues!


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