Motorcycling has always been about fun and without a doubt it can be a blast, but itís not a video game, or a trip to an over-safety-engineered amusement park.
Like a lot of higher-stakes adrenaline rushes, riding is a measured gambit, and one to always maintain a healthy respect for. But most people know this already, so what is there to talk about right? Wrong.
Even the best riders crash. Sometimes it is their fault. Sometimes not. Does it really matter if you or someone you care about goes down and gets hurt? Sure it matters on one level, but even more important is ensuring it does not happen in the first place Ė or if it does anyway, you are as prepared as possible.
Unlike automobile driving, motorcycling involves far more variables to pay attention to. These include details involved with protecting yourself, improving your ability and focus, making sure your machine is in good working order, and watching out for the other driver.
Riding takes more skills and focus than driving a car, and the penalty for getting it wrong is usually more severe. As such, weíll hit some of the high spots to stay mindful of.
Though most states don't require you to wear one, we can't think of a good idea not to put on a helmet when you ride.
Nearly two-thirds of American states now require no helmet for most riders, or certified motorcycle-specific clothing. It may be your right not to wear these, but never is it a good idea.
All sanctioned racing requires full coverage helmets that meet minimum certification standards, and head-to-toe protection. If the pros know the gear serves a life-saving purpose, doesnít that suggest everyday riders should follow their example?
True, it can be tempting on a hot day to forget the leather or textile, but why take that chance? There is gear made for every climate from cold weather to super hot.
Road rash and broken bones are serious business, as many an experienced rider can tell you. With no crash cage around you, and the increased likelihood of one day hitting the ground or another immovable object, why risk it?
More: Motorcycle Safety Primer