Safety Tips

The following are some good riding tips that new riders and maybe some seasoned riders may not be aware of. Nothing magic here, just common sense.

Here is a nice piece of information to ponder.

85% of motorcycle accidents involve riders who are self taught; studies show that most motorists initially perceive a motorcyclist as a bicyclist and don't realize until it's too late otherwise; and balance is 90% visual.

Reading Road Conditions

When I attended my advanced riding class one of the safety tips I found extremely essential was when entering a corner always look into the end of the turn. This is not necessarily an automatic reaction when entering a  turn. Often riders will lean into the turn but keep their head pointed strait. This can lead to miss judgment in balance, speed and depth of the turn. I searched for a better explanation then I could provide and found the following  article by motorcycle  instructor Bret J. TkacsIn fact, this article covers determining texture and color changes that may lead to changes in traction an road conditions.  

Watching for changing road conditions and road direction is essential to our survival. Color and texture are the two biggest indicators for changes in traction. Color can help identify hazards such as water, oil, antifreeze or a change in pavement. Texture can clue us into other traction changes like gravel, sand, or broken pavement. The second thing we need to do is learn to read the road for directional changes. One of the most precise ways to do this is by using the vanishing point in the road. When we look through a corner we are looking for the next entry point (corner). When we are unable to see completely through a corner what we find is the vanishing point. As we look through the corner it will appear as if both sides of the road come to a point (the point at which the road vanishes), this point tells us what the road is about to do. If the vanishing point appears to move away from us then we know that the corner is an increasing radius (opening up) and we can apex early and roll on the throttle. If the vanishing point moves closer to us then the corner is a decreasing radius (tightening up) and we will need to late apex the corner. The last thing to watch for is if the vanishing point remains constant (no movement) this indicates a constant radius corner. Next time you go for a ride try practicing these skills.

Bret J. Tkacs
Motorcycle Instructor

Puget Sound Safety
10720 Woodland Ave E
 Puyallup WA 98373
Phone: (253) 770-8888
 www.pugetsoundsafety.com
Advanced Street Skills at Pacific Raceways
www.advancedstreetskills.com

 

Pre-Ride mechanical Inspection

Always take time prior to your ride to give your motorcycle a good check out. Tire pressure, correct fluid levels, good brake functionality and smooth operations of all controls are critical to a safe ride. I have found it to be best for me to perform all but checking tire pressure the night before. Just prior to riding is the best time to check tire pressure when the tire is cold.

T-CLOCS Pre Ride Inspection Checklist

Do Not Exceed Your Riding Ability

Under no circumstances ride beyond your ability. You may find yourself riding with riders with a much higher riding ability. Attempting to follow these riders through turns or at speeds you are not 100% comfortable with could lead to a tragic experience.

Protective Riding Gear

Often due to weather conditions such as hot weather, riders will ride with inadequate protection. Full faced helmets are swapped out for shorty helmets. Protective jackets and  boots are not worn to reduce heat. In some cases short pants are worn leaving bare skin exposed. I personally am guilty of removing my jacket when it gets hotter then 85 degrees. If at all possible use the gear. You will be thankful if the time comes and you are forced to lay the bike down. I have had to  twice years ago and this is why I ride with a full face helmet (Modular), Jacket and riding boots. 

Ride Defensively

Riding defensively at all times is a must. Avoid riding in blind spots of all vehicles. Avoid riding near tractor trailers at all cost. When picking a lane always pick a lane location that provides an optional way out in the even a driver in a parallel lane fails to see you and merges into your path. Never follow too close. Quick stops on motorcycles to not present the same stability as a car. Last but not least... Don't be one of those riders that appears to possess riding skills above all and 9 lives to boot. You've seen them, darting in and out of traffic. Cutting across 3 lanes of traffic to take an off ramp or merging on to the freeway the same way.

Rest When Needed

Long rides may induce riders fatigue. Wind noise, exhaust noise, weather conditions and inadequate road conditions as well as poor ergonomics of your bike, at some point, could lead to rider fatigue. Before a ride discuss this with riding buddies and plan for frequent stops and or signals that allow you to communicate to the other riders that you are due for a rest. Find a safe location to exit the roadway and get off the bike and stretch your legs. This is a great time to take in some liquids and maybe a bite to eat.

Take  A Motorcycle Safety Course.

The following is a list of Washington motorcycle safety programs.

Highly Recommended

Puget Sound Safety

10720 Woodland Ave E
 Puyallup WA 98373
Phone: (253) 770-8888
 www.pugetsoundsafety.com
Advanced Street Skills at Pacific Raceways
www.advancedstreetskills.com

Other Motorcycle Safety Schools

Western Washington
Aberdeen
Grays Harbor Motorcycle Education LLC
PO Box 2156
Aberdeen, WA 98520-0355
Phone: (360) 533-5937
Fax: (360) 533-7214
Email: ghme@techline.com
Website: http://www.ghme.com

Bellingham
North Sound Safety
PO Box 2566
Mt Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: (360) 424-7136
Email: info@northsoundsafety.com
Website: http://www.northsoundsafety.com

Bremerton
Olympic Regional Motorcycle Program
131920 Lakeridge Circle NW
Silverdale, WA 98383
Phone: (360) 830-0117
Email: ormp@wavecable.com
Website: http://www.olympicregionalmotorcycleprograms.com

Everett
The Motorcycle Safety Company
625 Stander Blvd, Ste B
Tukwila, WA 98188
Phone: (206) 838-1010
Email: info@motorcyclesafetycompany.com
Website: http://www.motorcyclesafetycompany.com

Kent
Evergreen Safety Council
401 Pontius Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: 1-800-521-0778 or (206) 382-4090
Fax: (206) 382-0818
Email: esc@esc.org
Website: http://www.esc.org

Kirkland
Evergreen Safety Council
401 Pontius Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: 1-800-521-0778 or (206) 382-4090
Fax: (206) 382-0818
Email: esc@esc.org
Website: http://www.esc.org

Longview
Vancouver Parks and Recreation
PO Box 1995
Vancouver, WA 98668
Phone: (360) 487-7027
Fax: (360) 883-9440
Email: david.miller@ci.vancouver.wa.us
Website: http://www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/parks-recreation/sports/motorcycle/index.htm

Mount Vernon
North Sound Safety
PO Box 2566
Mt Vernon, WA 98273
Phone: (360) 424-7136
Email: info@northsoundsafety.com
Website: http://www.northsoundsafety.com

Port Angeles
Peninsula Motorcycle Rider Education
9805 NE 116th Street
PMB #7222
Kirkland, WA 98034
Phone: (425) 814-3020
Email: info@pmre.net
Website: http://www.pmre.net

Renton
Evergreen Safety Council
401 Pontius Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: 1-800-521-0778 or (206) 382-4090
Fax: (206) 382-0818
Email: esc@esc.org
Website: http://www.esc.org

Seattle North
Pacific Northwest Motorcycle Safety
PMB 120
Poulsbo, WA 98370
Phone: (360) 779-6378
Email: info@pnwmotorcyclesafety.com
Website: http://www.pnwmotorcyclesafety.com/

Seattle South
The Motorcycle Safety Company
625 Stander Blvd, Ste B
Tukwila, WA 98188
Phone: (206) 838-1010
Email: info@motorcyclesafetycompany.com
Website: http://www.motorcyclesafetycompany.com

Vancouver
Vancouver Parks and Recreation
PO Box 1995
Vancouver, WA 98668
Phone: (360) 487-7027
Fax: (360) 883-9440
Email: david.miller@ci.vancouver.wa.us
Website: http://www.ci.vancouver.wa.us/parks-recreation/sports/motorcycle/index.htm

Eastern Washington
Clarkston
Boise State University
IdahoSTAR Program
1910 University Dr.
Boise, ID 83725-2005
Phone: 1-888-280-7827
Email: ronshepard@sboisestate.edu

Moses Lake
Columbia Motorcycle Training
28 McElmurray Lane NE
East Wenatchee, WA 98802
Phone: (509) 884-6186
Email: columbiamoto@yahoo.com

Omak
Columbia Motorcycle Training
28 McElmurray Lane NE
East Wenatchee, WA 98802
Phone: (509) 884-6186
Email: columbiamoto@yahoo.com

Spokane
Westside Aries Northwest
PO Box 19227
Spokane, WA 99219
Phone: 1-800-233-7834
Fax: (509) 747-6507
Website: http://www.westsideracing.com

Spokane East
Boise State University
IdahoSTAR Program
1910 University Dr.
Boise, ID 83725-2005
Phone: 1-888-280-7827
Email: ronshepard@sboisestate.edu

Spokane MotorSchool
12928 E Indiana, Suite 5
Spokane Valley, WA 99216
Phone: (509) 326-6181
Email: info@spokanemotorschool.com
Website: www.spokanemotorschool.com

Wenatchee
Columbia Motorcycle Training
28 McElmurray Lane NE
East Wenatchee, WA 98802
Phone: (509) 884-6186
Email: columbiamoto@yahoo.com

Yakima
Clinard Hill
Motorcycle Training, Inc.
1601 Columbia Trail
Suite 103
Richland, WA 99352
Phone: (509) 539-8486
Website: www.motorcycletraining.ws


For Navy and Coast Guard personnel only
Command Navy Region Northwest
Bremerton and Everett
Thomas M. Reynolds
Building 1100 Hunley Rd.
Suite 203
Silverdale, WA 98315
Phone: (360) 396-4269 or (360) 396-4250
Email: thomas.m.reynolds@navy.mil

 

Email Author

Hit Counter


 

Tacoma, Washington - United States (USA)
Recommended Links

Sports-Vue.com
Capture the thrill of your own rides in 1080P HD with choices
of many different brands of high quality spanning a diverse price range.
Sports-Vue has a camera for you.


Northwest Motorcycles Adventure - Custom Paint By James Scott - Northwest Cycle Report
Oberon Performance - OES Accessories - NW Harley Blog
 

All donations go toward maintaining this site and improving the content.