Springtime usually means the beginning of motorcycle season. As more bikers hit the road in warmer weather, motor vehicle drivers must once again get used to their presence.
But as motorcycle enthusiasts remove their bikes from storage, they must prepare those powerful two-wheelers for upcoming road adventures. Not only must they prepare their bikes, but they, too, must prepare themselves and, in some cases, shake off some of the cobwebs.
Prepare your bike and yourself
At the beginning of the spring motorcycle season, here is a list of things to do:
- Get your bike in top shape: After months of storage, your bike needs attention. If you know your way around a bike, check that everything is in operating order. This includes the tires, wheels, brakes, controls, battery and chain alignment. Check for leaks as well. You also may have an experienced mechanic check it for tune-up and repairs.
- Check your insurance policy: Make sure to update it, because you likely suspended some coverage while your bike was in storage. Contact your insurance carrier to reinstate full coverage.
- Protective gear is a must: Start with good clothing made from leather or denim, durable shoes and boots and gloves. It is a good idea to wear a helmet. In Kentucky, only certain groups must wear helmets. These groups include motorcyclists and passengers under 21; motorcyclists who have an instructional permit; and motorcyclists who have had their license for less than a year.
- Consider taking a motorcycle safety class: Experienced bikers, too, may benefit in a refresher course on safety and operation. Some insurance carriers may provide you with a discount upon completion of the course.
- Gradually ease into the initial rides: Get a feel for your bike by riding around residential streets. You will know if there is something that does not seem right with the bike. It is better to find out on neighborhood excursions than on the highway. Plus, you need to get used to the bike again.
- Ride defensively: Bikers need to always ride as if other traffic doesn’t see them. They probably don’t.
Safety takes priority during motorcycle season. A safe, uneventful ride is important, then enjoyment will follow.
Be alert and visible
Every motorcycle season, bikers perform the same rituals: getting their bikes and themselves into riding shape. At the same time, they also must be aware and alert of their surroundings, which includes many motor vehicles drivers – some of whom are reckless and negligent. Stay visible and stay safe.