Knowing what to wear or how to dress for the weather is the first thing that you do before preparing yourself for a ride on a pleasant day. Protective gear has several purposes, including providing comfort, increasing visibility, and offering protection. When purchasing motorcycle gear, make sure any piece is protective, flexible, breathable and comfortable. When choosing to a helmet, the key is to make sure it is secure but not too tight, or otherwise it may cause headaches. Make sure you buy a helmet that is DOD certified.
Be sure to have eye protection so that your eyes will be safe from any debris from the road or keep your eyes from getting too dry from the wind. Gloves are option but they help keep your hands warm. The jacket is also an important part, because it keeps you warm in cold riding situation, your arms are protective, and your torso is protective. Make sure you wear a jacket with a zipper because it is less wind resistance. The most important about thing about motorcycle protective gear, is that nothing should be hanging down loose that could flap in the wind or get caught in the bike.
There are several basic controls that you should become familiar with. On the left handlebar is the clutch lever. Mounted on the right handlebar is the front brake lever. This is also it is where the starter is located as well. The throttle is part of the right grip of the handlebar. Near the drivers left foot peg is a gear shifter, which changes the gears by moving it up or down. The concept of how motorcycles are driven is similar to that of a car with a manual transmission which requires careful coordination between the clutch, throttle, and brakes.
The first thing a rider must master is clutch control. When the bike is cranked and in first gear; the clutch lever must be engaged or the engine will stop. Slowly let out the clutch lever until you can feel the motorcycle pulling forward. This feeling of the bike being pulled is often referred to as the friction zone of the clutch. Once you get acquainted with clutch, you can now learn how to switch gears for faster speed or what you can handle. The gear shifter should be moved usually by pushing up with the left foot to the next gear.
While gaining speed, this should be repeated until it has reached the top gear. You should also learn the role that both the front and rear brake take in slowing and stopping a motorcycle. The front brake tends to stop more abruptly while the rear is typically used like a car brake in order to gradually slow the motorcycle. Never squeeze the front brake to fast because this can cause the tire to skid, causing you and your motorcycle to go down hard. It is best to use them both when making stops so that the stop is smooth and more gradual.
The most important thing about riding a motorcycle and being safe is your awareness of the road. Always assume other drivers may not see you. To increase your visibility, ride with your headlights on and change lane positions frequently. Always be prepared to change lane position due to road hazards, to increase your visibility, and to be more visible to other motorcyclists. Avoid excessive speed when riding; this will limit reaction time and space to lane position. Being aware of the road involves other considerations as well. Slow down at night and in different weather conditions.
Alcoholic beverages, drugs and fatigue can slow down your senses and reaction time. Do not ride in the blind spots of larger vehicles, because you are not visible in their mirrors. Always look ahead of traffic just in case of road closures, detours, accidents, and so for. Search for factors that might lead to risky situations. Evaluate how the factor might interact to create risk. Execute an action to maintain a margin of safety. Stay within your skill limits, stay within your motorcycle limits, and stay within the available time and space to respond to traffic situations.
Motorcycles are quite challenging, not just in learning the controls and maneuvering skills, but also in finding a safe way through real world traffic. Motorcycles do not have the stability of cars because they must be balanced. So in order to stay safe and out of harms way, know what protective gear you need, know how to operate a motorcycle properly, and maintain awareness of the road. Another thing that may help is enrolling in a motorcycle safety course that will teach you everything you need to know about riding motorcycles and being safe.