Motorcycle rider holding checklist for beginners

10 Motorcycle Safety Tips for New Riders

People usually decide to try motorcycling because it’s fun, exciting, and thrilling. However, riding a motorcycle can be equally as dangerous unless you’re careful.

 

Specific safety precautions are critical for your wellbeing while riding a bike, regardless of your skills and experience. Still, this is something new riders tend to oversee, usually only going for the fun part of riding.

 

Overlooking safety precautions can be fatal, so taking some time to study them is always a good idea. We’ve prepared a list of 10 safety tips for new motorcycle riders that you should implement as soon as possible.

Tips For New Motorcycle Riders

Choose One Bike That Fits You

While it’s quite tempting to go for a big and robust bike, it’s better that you start with something less heavy-duty.

 

As a beginner, you must choose a bike that fits you. When you sit on your motorcycle, you should be able to reach the ground with your feet without being on tiptoes. Your handlebars should be within reach and comfortable.

Train Your Skills

Find a riding course in your area and dedicate some time to it. This is a great way to learn all the basics of riding if you don’t already know them. 

 

Traveling long-distance as a beginner is never a good idea, especially if you intend to travel alone. Instead, be patient and take some time to train your skills around your neighborhood.

Buy Antilock Brakes

Antilock brakes are now a standard on many high-end motorcycles. It’s a feature that can literally save a life because locking your brakes in a panic can take away all steering control. 

 

ABS helps you retain that control because locking your brakes can lead to a crash and severe injury. This is especially important during wet weather when roads are usually slippery.

Don't Forget Your Helmet

There’s hardly a more important piece of safety gear than a helmet. Several different types are available, depending on your needs and preferences. And, although some models are safer than others, any helmet is better than none. 

 

Head injury is the number one cause of death in case of an accident, so it’s pretty clear how wearing a helmet can make a difference. Sadly, beginners love riding without it to have their faces visible.

 

Get the scoop on helmet safety ratings.

Illustration of Motorcycle Helmet

Be Alert

It’s always better to stop when you feel like stopping and having a second glance on the road ahead. Sometimes, new riders feel pressured to ride better in order not to stop or disturb the traffic. However, this can often lead to a lack of alertness.

 

It’s vital to be alert and look at things twice if and when needed. In other words, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Wear Proper Gear

Apart from a helmet, you should also wear other protective gear like riding gloves, jacket, pants, and shoes. This might seem a lot, but it can make all the difference in how comfortable and safe you are.

 

All the safety gear comes in different styles and sizes, so it’s really easy to fit it to your style preference. It’s something new riders tend to overlook, although it’s critical, especially for long-distance travel.

safety gear for motorcycle riders

Take a Motorcycle Course

As we said, taking a motorcycle course can make all the difference in how well you ride. It can also affect your overall confidence on the road. 

 

These courses usually cost up to $350, although this largely depends on where you live and the kind of bike you ride. Nonetheless, it’s a worthy investment because it can help you familiarize yourself with on-road rules and tricks.

Slow Down On Road Hazards

Pebbles are usually harmless for cars, but they can tip a motorcycle over quite easily. Things like wet leaves and sand can also be hazardous because bikes have less contact with the road than cars.

 

For this reason, you should always try to avoid pebbles, wet patches, leaves, sand, and other similar things on the road. If you can’t avoid them, make sure to slow down as you approach them.

Assess Your Bike Before Every Ride

Try to always check your motorbike before hopping on for a ride. Check if the lights, signals, and horn are working correctly, but also check the tires.

 

Take some time to check the belt, chain, and brakes to see if they’re also working without issues. It’s something you might want to do as a more experienced rider as well, mainly because worn-out brakes and underinflated tires can easily cause an accident.

Maintain a Safe Speed

Although motorcycles can go quite fast, it’s essential that you maintain a safe speed at all times. It’s tempting to go at high speeds, especially when you have a new bike you want to show off.

 

In 2010, 48% of fatalities involved speeding, which is just one of many reasons to slow down. As a beginner, you’re still learning to react appropriately, and that’s much easier to do at a safe speed.

Avoid Riding During a Bad Weather

As a beginner, you don’t have as much experience and skill to handle different road and weather conditions. Heavy rain and storms might seem fun to ride in, but they can be unpredictable, changing how the road feels and how your bike performs.

 

Lousy weather reduces the overall margin for error, so you might want to avoid it. Do so for a while, practicing your skills during nice weather and in daylight only.

motorcycle speedometer

Bring a First-aid Kit

Although storage is relatively limited on a motorcycle, you should always have room for a first-aid kit. This can save a life in case of an accident while it can also be useful during long-distance rides.

 

Carrying a first-aid kit is even mandatory by law in some states, so make sure to respect the rule if that’s the case in the area you live in.

first-aid kit for motorcycle riders

Make Yourself Visible

Motorcycles are smaller than cars, and most crashes happen because car drivers didn’t see bikers on their vehicles. For this reason, you should make yourself visible, especially during nighttime rides. 

 

Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can do this. Opt for safety gear that has reflective stripes that are visible at night and when pointed at with lights. It’s never too much when it comes to reflective stripes.

Pass on Safe Lanes

As a rider, you’ll have to change lanes several times, depending on the situation, so it’s hard to tell which is the safest.

 

Think about which lane is the safest in the situation you’re in. This usually depends on what’s around you as well as what you’re riding through. In other words, the safest lane is the one that offers visibility so that you can see the road ahead. 

Obey Traffic Laws

The last thing you want to do as a new rider is to overlook a sign or traffic law. Obey and respect all rules in order to keep yourself and other people on the road safe. 

 

Choosing to go against a single law is often enough to cause a crash that can result in fatal injuries. As you gain experience, you’ll get comfortable with all the rules in your area.

Ilustration of most common traffic signs

Helpful Techniques That Newbie Riders Must Know

SHIFTING

Upshifting is done by rolling the throttle until you reach the speed that the engine needs for a higher gear. Roll of the throttle and pull in the clutch lever. Use your foot to click it into the next higher gear and let the clutch out while still rolling the throttle. 

COUNTER-STEERING

Counter-steering can be a bit confusing to beginners. It’s turning the handlebars in the opposite direction than the direction you want the bike to go. Push the left handlebar if you’re going left, and push the right one if you’re going right.

LEANING

Leaning and keeping the bike balanced is a bit tricky and requires exercise. It requires a corner speed so that the bike can remain stable. 

 

Your body position should be inside the seat, counter-steering to start the lean. Too much speed and too little balance or vice versa can lead to a fall.

BODY POSITION

Your position on a motorcycle will continuously change throughout your trip. You’ll rarely ever just sit and ride without leaning and adjusting your arms. 

 

Body posture is something you’ll likely learn if you sign up for a riding course. Your arms should be comfortably positioned, and your elbows bend.

BRAKING AND TURNING

New riders should keep the two actions separated. You should brake before you enter a turn in order to compress the front suspension. The force will push down on the front tire, and you want it to end before you turn for cornering. 

 

You might also want to use both front and rear brakes in a straight line.

RIDING IN PROXIMITY

Try to stay in front of or behind cars to avoid being in a blind spot. 

 

If you’re following a car, make sure you’re not too close to them, keeping at least two seconds between the two vehicles. This gives you enough reaction time to stop or adjust your position.

ESCAPE ROUTES

An escape route is the path of travel you take when you need to go somewhere immediately. If something comes across your way and you need to avoid it – you take the escape route.

 

This is something to always think about, so make sure to keep your options open.

DRIVING IN INTERSECTIONS

Intersections are where most crashes happen when other drivers fail to see a motorcycle. For this reason, you should slow down when approaching an intersection. Do this even if you have the right of way.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the motorcycle safety statistics?

You should check motorcycle safety statistics as they can be beneficial. It’s the data collected over a certain period that shows plenty of insight into motorcycling.

 

It shows the number and cause of most crashes and other similar data that can help you stay alert.

What's the importance of motorcycle insurance for new riders?

New riders are more likely to crash their motorcycle than riders with more experience. For this reason, it’s critical that you have insurance that would cover potential damage.

 

Plus, insurance usually also covers for theft and other similar unfortunate events.

 

What can you expect? See our insurance cost guide.

Conclusion

Yes, riding a motorcycle is fun and exciting, but it’s also quite dangerous unless you approach it with care and attention. You might want to sharpen your skills before going out to do tricks and show your new ride to friends. 

 

You should always have safety as your top priority because the margin for error is usually quite small when it comes to motorbikes. Wear safety gear and slow down near intersections to avoid a possibly fatal outcome.

 

While it’s vital that you enjoy riding, you can only do so when you’re safe. Once you gain more experience and are more comfortable with your bike, you’ll notice that riding is essentially really fun.

Road Racerz