Did you know that driving a motorcycle is 27 times riskier than driving a car? While there is no better way to enjoy the freedom of the open roads than a two-wheeled journey, unfortunately, a motorcycle is one of the most unsafe vehicles on the road today. In fact, according to MSI, the leading organisation on Motorcycle Safety & Risk Awareness in South Africa, lack of rider skills is the biggest contributing factor to motorcycle accidents on our roads today.
If you’re ready to feel the wind in your hair, it is of vital importance to put safety first. As the leading motorcycle rental agency in the Southern Hemisphere and as a registered local and international Travel Agency with Eagle Rider in the USA, we’ve recently become ambassadors for MSI and have put together a list of important safety tips that every rider should know before heading out onto the big open roads.
• Practice the brakes – unfortunately, sharp stops can result in nasty accidents, which is why riders must know their stopping distance at different speeds. It’s important to practice slowing in, stopping gradually, and learning to never hit the front brake first.
• Visibility is everything – in a car, you have your windscreen wipers, on two wheels you have nothing. For this very reason, be smart and don’t take your motorcycle out if the weather is bad.
• Ride motorcycles you’re able to handle – you will be amazed by the performance of today’s motorcycles. Of all vehicles, motorcycles accelerate the fastest and being more powerful than they were a few decades ago, riders are advised to choose a motorcycle that allows them to stay in their own comfort zone.
• Conduct a motorcycle safety inspection before each ride – just as one would take their car for a regular service, it’s of vital importance to take your motorcycle for regular maintenance check-ups to carry out the required maintenance routine. But that’s not all, before each ride, it’s imperative to make sure you check your tyres, brakes, lights, mirrors, and leaks.
• The right gear is imperative (no exceptions) – the motorcycle gear you wear should provide you with protection from the wind chill, debris, flying bugs and road rash. You cannot put a price on your life, so be prepared to spend quite a bit on the right riding gear and helmet.
There’s no doubt that riding a motorcycle is way more dangerous than driving a car. Thrilling as it is dangerous, riders need to take full responsibility for their safety and learn to anticipate any oversights that others on the road may make. With that being said, it’s totally possible to avoid road dangers while riding a motorcycle.
While there are a good number of riders out there that have never been involved in a motorcycle accident thanks to their proficient riding skills, if riders keep the speed within the reasonable frames, conduct motorcycle safety inspections before each ride, stay vigilant on the road, be dressed in the proper motorcycle gear and stick to the basic road rules, they will enjoy the incredible benefits their motorcycle has to offer, without any risk.
As the only active organisation that monitors Motorcycle Crashes in South Africa, collecting and analysing data for the sake of Risk Awareness and Safety among motorcyclists – along with GS Africa – MSI are asking that all our riders become Ambassadors for Motorcycle Safety. Join MSI and GS Africa and be the change you want to be! Ride to Live, and Live to Ride!