How to Ride Your Motorcycle Safely (and Still Have Fun!)
Living in a city is generally great, but unfortunately it’s not always the best place to ride a motorcycle year-round. Now that spring is in the air, you may be looking forward to getting your motorcycle out of storage and getting out on the road. While we don’t want to discourage you from riding your motorcycle or having fun, we want to encourage you to ride it safely.
These are the most important things you can do to make sure that you’re riding your motorcycle safely:
- Inspect your bike.
- Have the essential protective gear.
- Check the weather forecast.
- Be aware of driving hazards.
You also need to make sure that your motorcycle insurance is up-to-date and provides the coverage you need.
Inspect Your Bike for Any Issues
Whether you haven’t ridden your bike in a while or are out on it regularly, it’s essential to inspect your bike for any issues before you take it out on the road. You should:
- Check that your tire pressure is good.
- Check for any issues with your mirrors or lights.
- Make sure there are no issues with leaks or loose bolts.
Regular care and maintenance are essential to keep your bike in good working order. Don’t put off things like oil changes, checking your tires and brake pads and making sure there are no issues with your chain or suspension. If you do find problems, have the affected part repaired or replaced promptly.
Make Sure You Have Essential Protective Gear
While it may be tempting to just hop on your bike and go out in whatever you’re wearing, it’s not a great idea. If you get in an accident or fall off your bike, there will be nothing to protect your skin.
Before you go out on your motorbike, you should put on:
- Leather or reinforced clothing and boots.
- Gloves to protect your hands.
- A full-face helmet. A full-face helmet ensures that your entire head is protected, not just some of it.
While it’s essential to protect your body, it’s critical to protect your head. Brain injuries can have a lifelong impact. So never leave home without a helmet.
Check the Weather Forecast
Another key to riding your motorcycle safely is to make sure you only ride it in fair weather. You may think that “just a little rain” can’t do any harm but, unfortunately, it can. What seems like a little harmless rain can be a lot different when you’re driving 100 km/hour.
Motorcycles are not as stable as cars: your motorcycle is far more likely to slide on a wet road than a car. Plus, car drivers have windshield wipers to help them see clearly through heavy rain, something you don’t have on a motorcycle.
Weather can also impact the cars around you. They will not be able to see you through torrential rain, nor will they be able to stop as quickly. So if you’re out and it starts to rain heavily, find a place to pull over until it passes.
Be Aware of Driving Hazards
While you may feel like you have more flexibility in how you drive than the cars around you, this doesn’t mean you should drive recklessly. If you are in an accident with a vehicle, chances are that you and your motorcycle will be far more damaged than the other guy. When you driving, you should always:
- Make sure you leave space around you in case you need to brake suddenly.
- Check your blind spot and your mirrors when changing lanes or turning a corner.
- Be aware of road conditions. Potholes are quite common in spring and you could be badly hurt if you hit one.
- Check for animals if you are driving at dusk. If you’re in an area where animals are known to be active at dusk, slow down and be vigilant for them.
How can Oegema, Nicholson & Associates help me with motorcycle insurance in Ottawa?
If you’re looking for motorcycle insurance, then Oegema, Nicholson & Associates is here for you. We can answer any questions you may have about motorcycle insurance, including:
- What kind of coverage should I buy?
- What level of coverage do I need?
- How is motorcycle insurance different from auto insurance?
- Can I use my existing auto insurance policy to cover my motorcycle?
We’re here to make sure that you know what a good motorcycle insurance policy should cover. At a minimum, it will cover at least some of the costs associated with damage to your bike if you are in an accident. In addition, it should also include liability protection.
If you are interested in additional motorcycle insurance, we can talk to you about the following optional coverage:
- Coverage for medical bills that go beyond what is covered by OHIP.
- Damages to your motorcycle that don’t happen during a collision – for example, from hail or an animal.
- Damages to any upgrades you made to your bike such as a sidecar.
We’ll make sure you get the motorcycle insurance you need at a price that works for you.
You’re All Set – for Fun and Safety!
Riding a motorcycle can be a lot of fun. The best way to make sure that it stays a fun experience is to make sure that before you set out on the road that you:
- Inspect your bike to make sure it’s in good shape.
- Have the essential protective gear.
- Check the weather forecast to avoid bad weather.
What’s more, once you’re on the road, you need to be aware of driving hazards — anything from careless drivers to potholes. If anything does happen, we’re here for you with motorcycle insurance to help you get quickly back on the road.
If you’d like to know more about motorcycle insurance in Ottawa, call Oegema Nicholson at 613-519-2030 or contact us here.