Motorcycles are an easy and fun way to travel and even commute. Where you would be stuck in traffic for hours, a motorcycle can maneuver through it and save you a lot of time. Just like everything else riding, a motorcycle has its pros and cons. But there is no denying it makes a great daily commuter. Riding the motorcycle has a lot of other benefits like it can clear your mind and make your mood better etc. To make your riding safe and more enjoyable we have the following tips for you.
The best ride
The motorcycle you already own and are comfortable riding is probably the best one. Commuting motorcycles with larger engine capacity are not good anyways. If you don’t already have one or are finding it hard to choose, go for a modern suspension, middleweight, not bigger displacement, invest in good tires and brakes. You would not just enjoy but find this type of motorcycle easy to ride in the traffic.
Other important things to look for are seating and riding position, levers and handle control, and place to put on motorcycle riding bags if you want to. The type of bag to choose depends on your motorcycle style. Check out cafe racer tank bags and explore for other types of luggage you need.
What to wear
Never ride the motorcycle without wearing complete motorcycle riding gear. This includes a full face helmet, protective jacket, gloves, pants, and boots. The jacket and pants with CE approved on elbows, shoulders, chest, back, knees and hips armor is the one to go for. While leather is better at abrasion protection but textile can do a good job too. Just make sure you are investing in a quality and reliable one. For gloves, they should also obey the European standards having knuckle and palm protection.
Of course, wear the gear according to the weather. Internal thermal liners and body warmer base layers are good combinations for winters. Perforated leather or textile with ventilation vents on the chest and shoulder will flow air through keeping you cool during summers. For the rainy season I would suggest wearing a separate rain suit over your gear. If you like, go for waterproof gear.
Full-face helmets protect the entire head so go for those. DOT certification is a minimum requirement. For added convenience as you like, select a rising chin-bar and quick release eye protection. Don’t ride the helmet with the lid raised up and always wear motorcycle riding protective glasses. They will protect your eyes from wind and glares.
Think you don’t need storage on a commuting bike? Adding a saddle bag or tail bag will provide you with a lot of space which can come in handy when needed. For instance, you can put your helmet, riding gear, tools and repairing kit, first aid kit, and important documents in there. On top of that now you can easily bring the groceries on your favorite motorcycle easily.
Lockable hard panniers are safe, have quick release, and are sturdy too. However, you should go for the look and budget you have. There is always the option to change later. Whale soft bags like leather and textile are cheaper, with more storage easy to put on and take off but have their downsides.
Distracted drivers often do not motorcycle riders causing accidents. To be safe on your end, always look out for such drivers. Wear apparel with reflective stripes, panels, or patches. If your gear does not have that buy a hi-visibility vest and wear that on top. This is mandatory if you would ride at dark times.
You may also equip the motorcycle with reflective tapes. This way light from other vehicles will reflect off telling the presence of a rider there. See in the side mirrors of the vehicle, if you can see the driver they can see you too. Otherwise, they cannot be so careful. Don’t tailgate or ride close to other vehicles and keep a safe distance.
Cover the brake with two or three fingers controlling the throttle with others. This way your response time and ability to pull the brakes improves. It is just enough to save you from big accidents. But remember not to keep it squeezed, don’t pull it too hard too soon but go for a steady and slow squeeze. This is especially important for bikes without ABS braking systems.
Keep your eyes on the road where you want to go. Look for the escape instead of looking on other vehicles, potholes, and pedestrians. Once you follow your escape route, the mind will make your body follow its escape from the accidents. Keep safe distance from other vehicles, reduce or increase the speed when you have to, to keep the distance.
Look ahead and be aware of your surroundings than anticipate and slowdown in advance. Stay out of blind spots. Watch in the mirror to know what is behind you but don’t get fixated on it.
Slow down while riding between lanes, in traffic jams, near schools, crossings, and pedestrian areas. Look both ways before crossing a crosswalk and traffic signals. Follow the traffic rules and keep yourself updated with them. Keep important documents with you at all times. Get a helmet cam for your safety. Enjoy the ride and be patient.