5 Safety Tips for Motorcyclists in the SpringRequest Free Consultation
The sun is shining, the breeze finally feels soft and warm, and the air has the fresh, green smell of spring. After chilly winter weather, the rising temperature and green haze of new spring leaves are certain to lure you back onto the roads with your motorcycle to enjoy the exhilaration of a scenic ride through the open air. But along with the longer hours of daylight and the warmer sun rays, spring also brings a few dangers that a good motorcycle rider should address before taking the motorcycle out of its winter cave in the garage and putting it back on the road.
Make Sure Your Paperwork is Up to Date
Before you put on your helmet and chaps, take a moment to make sure your license is up to date and your insurance coverage is still active. Some riders switch to motorcycle storage policies to save money during the winter or they allow their coverage to lapse completely when the winter months are long and spring seems far away. Also, if you wiled away the winter months by accessorizing your bike, make sure your policy covers anything new you’ve added. Some safety enhancements may even help you to lower your premiums.
Give Your Bike a Checkup
Unless you live in a year-round warm climate, spring is the beginning of a new riding season. That means your bike deserves some TLC before you take her out on the road. After a winter in the garage, be sure to address the following routine maintenance points:
- Check your tire pressure and look for wear and tear on the treads
- Check headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and signal lights are working properly
- Check your belts and drive chain tension
- Check your brakes, air filter, and battery
- Check your oil and tighten your oil filter bolts
It’s a good idea to do a general check of your motorcycle while you clean it and get it ready for getting back on the road. This will help you to avoid car accidents and be as safe and prepared as possible.
Scout Out Your Route Before Hitting the Road
While you can’t wait to hit the road, you don’t want to literally hit the road due to an accident. If you want to take a scenic ride in the spring sunshine to look at the early wildflowers, it’s a good idea to first do a little reconnaissance in your car. Spring can bring unpleasant surprises like new potholes from snow and rain runoff, road debris, salt and sand deposits, loose gravel, and oily patches. The first spring rains sometimes lift months of buildup to the road’s surface causing slick spots. Scoping out your route ahead of time in the early spring is a good way to be proactive in your own protection.
Give Your Gear a Once-Over
Make sure your helmet is in good shape, including washing the liner and cleaning the visor. Then check all fasteners and straps. Make sure the tough, sturdy clothing and protective gear your wear on the road are clean and ready to protect you from road rash in case of an accident. In the spring, it’s also a good idea to make sure everything still fits after your winter hibernation in case your need to buy something new or shed a few pounds before getting on a bike.
Get The Feel Again Before Heading Out for the Day
Winter months can leave some of your motorcycling skills rusty no matter how many years you’ve been riding. It’s a good idea to take your bike to an empty parking lot to perform some practice maneuvers just to get a good feel of balance, counterbalance, and handling and to shake off any clunkiness with your clutch. Try doing some U-turns, quick stops, and tightening circles. This helps to warm up your skills and also ensures that your motorcycle is in top-notch working order before you head out for a long scenic ride.
While spring definitely gets the sap running, it’s important not to let the sunshine and warmer temperatures tempt you to get your bike back on the road before it—and you—are ready to ride safely. If you find yourself as a victim of a motorcycle accidents, contact our San Diego motorcycle accident attorneys for a free case evaluation.