As of 2012, there were an estimated nine million motorcycles registered in the United States. And yet, in spite of that popularity, motorcycles have a terrible reputation when it comes to safety: motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to be in a deadly accident on the road than the driver of a passenger vehicle. For this reason, it is vital that bikers follow motorcycle riding safety tips, and also ensure that their motorcycle parts and accessories are in perfect working order.
In the United States, only a small percentage of bikers report using their motorcycles as a form of transportation year round. More often than not, motorcycles are a seasonal endeavor. Therefore, the first step that a motorcyclist should follow is to thoroughly check and test their bike before that first annual ride. Check your motorcycle over, paying special attention to the brakes: a 2013 Consumer Reports survey found that the most common issues motorcyclists had with their bikes were related to their brakes.
Make an annual visit to one of your local and trusted motorcycle parts stores to pick up anything you may need to make repairs. Or, alternatively, consider researching aftermarket motorcycle parts, or parts that can be purchased online, usually for more affordable prices. However, if you buy motorcycle parts online, you should be prepared to wait to ride your bike until you receive your shipment and get the parts installed.
Once you have done your annual check, bought any necessary parts from motorcycle parts stores or online retailers, and installed them, you will be ready for your first ride. However, once you are on the road, remember to be cautious: according to the NHTSA, an estimated 49% of motorcycle crashed in the U.S. are the result of a bike coming into contact with another vehicle. Check your motorcycle for issues before each ride, and then avoid tailgating and other unsafe behaviors while on the road. Moreover, while only 28 states have partial helmet laws for motorcycle riders, make sure you and any passengers wear proper protective gear in case of a crash. By following these safety tips, you will be significantly safer on the road.