Riding Motorcycles Safely

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Motorcycle Safety Tips

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MOTORCYCLE SAFETY

Motorcycle safety is all about more riding enjoyment.

The rider in the photo above may define that enjoyment as freedom, relaxation, exhiliration, or perhaps simply as "undefinable." Riding pleasure is invaluable beyond words to motorcyclists of all kinds, and is often incomprehensible to non-riders.

But what about the risks of motorcycle riding?

The fact is, you can get hurt or killed riding a motorcycle.

And the rider in the photo above is more apt than some of us to become one of the following statistics:

According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, nearly 80% of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, as compared to 20% for automobiles. Stated differently, you are 400% more likely to get hurt or killed if you crash on a motorcycle, as compared to a car.

COULD IT HAPPEN TO YOU?

If YOU were to become involved in a motorcycle mishap, would you rather be wearing a helmet, jacket, gloves, pants and boots, or like the rider above, merely being protected by a t-shirt, sunglasses and boots?

Before you click away, realize this is no rant against motorcyclists of any kind.

There is no purpose to be judgemental here. I am a long-time lover of motorcycles and motorcycle riding and I respect the tremendous diversity of motorcycle viewpoints that accompany the vast variety of motorcycle segments and subsegments that encompass our global riding community.

When I was considerably younger, I sometimes rode around like the guy above -- and enjoyed it!

Having survived two serious motorcycle wrecks in my life, I do not pretend the risks are not real. In each case, both my bikes were declared “totaled” by the insurance companies: but I was back on the road immediately with severely crippled machines (that should not have been on the road) and shortly thereafter was riding borrowed motorcycles until I had my replacement bikes at hand.

Even though I can directly attribute my survival to good motorcycle gear, I am also aware that there is no substitute for rider skill.

Having said that, even the best and most experienced riders respect that they "could" go down. DO YOU?

LARRY GRODSKY

For example, let us not forget the beloved Larry Grodsky, who was widely regarded as a leading motorcycle safety expert in the United States. Larry taught thousands of riders to better handle themselves on their bikes by way of his Pittsburgh-based company, Stayin' Safe Motorcycle Training.

He was also a motorcycle safety columnist writing "Stayin' Safe" for Rider Magazine since 1988.

He died on April 8, 2006, while riding his bike through Fort Stockton, Texas, on his way home to Pennsylvania from a Motorcycle Safety Conference outside of Los Angeles.

Larry collided with a deer at night and left a tremendous hole in the motorcycle riding community by his departure.

Poignantly in retrospect, he remarked a few weeks earlier, "That's how I'm going to go, it's going to be a deer."

Indeed, the deer population and roadways are a dangerous threat to all motorists, just more so for motorcyclists who are not ensconced in a protective metal cage.

THE POINT IS...

Motorcycle-specific riding apparel, including helmets, jackets, pants, boots and gloves can be what determines an outcome as either merely inconvenient or terribly tragic.

Even so, the best gear and the most experience cannot prevent a mishap or a tragedy.

So should one just hope to never crash, like the rider above?

Click To Read Motorcycle Crashing