Owning and operating a motorcycle is a lifelong goal for many people. From the affordable cost of getting from point A to point B to living a childhood fantasy and taking a road trip in the open breeze, it is easy to see the benefits of a motorcycle. Unfortunately, the initial purchase is not the only aspect to consider when making your dream a reality. If you are considering the purchase of a motorcycle, investing in the proper gear for riding and storage is essential.
As a licensed motorcycle driver, you most likely have some experience riding. However, no matter how much experience you have, taking precaution when on your motorcycle is imperative for your safety.
While surprising to hear, one in 10 traffic deaths in Canada involve a motorcycle. These accidents may be due to inexperience, fault of other drivers, or slick road conditions, but they can be prevented in many cases.
When you first purchase your motorcycle, be sure to have the following safety gear to reduce the risk of injuries:
- Clothing – Avoid wearing shorts and short sleeve T-shirts when riding your bike. Wind, sporadic weather, hot and cold outdoor temperatures, insects and birds can irritate your skin, resulting in rashes, irritation or even cuts and scrapes. Wear a good pair of jeans and shirt with a padded jacket to protect yourself when on the road. If possible, invest in a quality jacket and pants that have a breathable mesh lining, as well.
- Head and Eye Protection – Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes, so you must purchase a helmet certified by your local Department of Transportation may save your life. Make sure the helmet's face shield is impact-resistant for added protection in case you are in an accident. In addition, purchase a pair of safety goggles to wear under this shield. Not only will the added protection help protect your face and eyes in a crash, but many goggles or glasses offer protection against the harmful rays of the sun.
- Hand and Foot Gear – Wear a pair of weather-resistant gloves to protect your hands from the heat, cold, wind and rain. Many gloves offer extra padding in between the fingers. This reduces the risk of calluses and blisters, which are common when gripping the handlebars. Boots or shoes with rubber soles are also wise. Be sure the shoes cover your ankles since the surface will be near hot exhaust pipes of your bike.
In Canada, an estimated 20 motorcycles are stolen each day. After making the investment in a motorcycle to realize your dream, you may constantly worry about theft. However, preventing theft of your new motorcycle is possible.
Although obvious to many, park your motorcycle in your home's garage. Or ask your local storage facility if they offer parking spaces or rental units for motorcycles. Storage units or paid parking lots may not be convenient options, but the rental fees are a worthwhile investment.
When out on your bike, be sure to park in well-lit, open areas only. Do not park between two other vehicles. The lack of coverage will deter potential thieves.
Consider using a bike lock when out in public places. These locks allow you to secure your motorcycle to an immovable object. Be sure the lock is tight around your bike's handlebars.
Lastly, discuss the possibility of installing a kill switch with your motorcycle technician. Kill switches cut power and disable the engine, which will prevent a thief from driving off with your motorcycle.
Your dream of owning a Harley Davidson or other type of motorcycle can easily come true, but taking precaution is smart to protect this lifelong dream. Using this guide, you can cross this dream off your bucket list and enjoy riding in a safe, protected manner.