18 Jun 15

Things to Think About: Safe riding in summer

The experience of riding the open road under the summer sun is unmatched. As you prepare for the summer riding season, keep safety in mind. While summer is ideal for motorcycling, safety needs to be a central consideration for bikers.

Motorbike Selection

Select a bike that is comparable to your skill level and intended purpose. If you’re looking to enjoy the summer air during your commute to and from work, you’d be well served with a fuel efficient scooter. If you’re craving an adrenaline rush and are a skilled rider, you may opt for a high performance motorcycle. Bikes range from commuting models to racing models. Be sure you can safely handle whatever model you select before hitting the road this summer.

Wear the Right Stuff

It can be tempting to wear a t-shirt, jeans and regular shoes when going out for a summer ride. While this may win you style points, it’s important to wear apparel that will protect you from the elements and help minimize your injuries in the event of a crash. Instead of a trendy t-shirt, opt for a classic leather motorcycle jacket, gloves, sturdy pants and protective footwear such as leather boots.

In the UK helmets are compulsory for motorcycle riders but in some European countries they’re not. But you should always wear one for safety. Modern helmets are comfortable and stylish. Look for one that will give you a bold look on the road. Full face helmets are the safest, but if you’d prefer a style without a visor or chin, you should always wear goggles to protect your eyes from wind, bugs and debris.

In addition to being protective, your clothing and accessories should also make you more visible on the road. Wear reflective bands or brightly coloured clothing and protective accessories to enhance your visibility in busy summertime traffic.

Riding Skills

If you live in an area where you can only ride part of the year, you may want to consider brushing up on your riding skills with a motorcycle safety class. A safety class will allow you to reinforce your existing skills and maybe learn something new. Also, taking a safety course may earn you a discount on your insurance rates. You can often find free courses and others only charge a nominal fee. Taking a refresher course is good idea, especially if it has been a while since you’ve ridden.

Routine Maintenance

The summer heat combined with traffic can be hard on your motorbike. Before the season, make sure it is in proper working order. Each time you get ready to ride, perform a quick check of your lights, signals and horn. Check your tire pressure and inspect them for signs of wear. Inspect the brakes and chain, belt or shaft. Remember that before every ride you should take a quick walk around your bike to ensure that it’s in perfect working order.

Summer Weather

Watch out for hazardous summer weather conditions such. While being exposed to warm breezes and sunshine is the ultimate riding experience, summer also brings thunderstorms, heavy rain and strong winds. Monitor the weather, plan ahead and be alert. Storms can make maneuvering your bike challenging and dangerous. If you are caught in a storm, pull over if possible and wait it out. If you must continue to ride, avoid sudden movements and take it slow.

Summer Roads

Loose gravel, wet grass and leaves can make their way onto the roads throughout the summer months. Road construction can leave roads with uneven or grooved surfaces, and you’ll always need to keep an eye out for pot holes, bumps and other hazardous conditions. Traffic can also pose serious safety considerations. Be alert and slow down as you encounter these conditions.

Summer riding can be exhilarating. However, it can also be hazardous. Consider these safety measures as you gear up for the summer riding season ahead. With a little planning and safety at the forefront of your mind, you’ll have a safe and invigorating summer on your motorbike.

Enter your reg number to get a FREE valuation...

Don't know your bike's registration number? Click here »