6 tips to kick off the motorcycle season on the right foot
Published on February 20, 2017
When spring is just around the corner, motorcycle drivers are already dreaming of taking to the road on their bikes! But to get the season off on the right foot, it’s important to keep the following safety tips in mind. Time to do a few laps around the track with the L'Unique General Insurance team!
1. After winter: Make sure your motorcycle is in good condition
Here are a few important things to check after you take your bike out of storage and during the season:
- Tire pressure: Check at least 4 or 5 times during the season
- Properly functioning brakes, headlights and turn signal lights
- Oil: Change the oil at the start of the season and plan to change it a second time later in the year, especially if you ride often
2. Wear a safety helmet that complies with legal requirements and make sure it’s in good condition
In Quebec, it is mandatory to wear a helmet that complies with the Regulation respecting protective helmets (CSA, DOT, ANSI, SNELL, BSI, ECE). If you fell or were involved in a collision and your helmet sustained a violent impact causing damage, you must replace it. Even if damages are not visible, the helmet's shock-absorbing lining may have been compromised. You should also avoid second-hand helmets for the very same reason.
3. Wear protective clothing designed for motorcycles
When you ride a motorcycle, even a low-speed fall can cause scrapes and joint damage. When it comes to picking your jacket, pants and gloves, opt for abrasion-resistant materials (like Gore-Tex or Kevlar) that are designed for motorcyclists. Wear high shoes and if possible, shoes that are reinforced in exposed areas, i.e. close to the gear selector.
4. Don’t hit the ground running when the season starts!
At the start of the season, the road is full of sand and gravel left over from the winter, road surface imperfections and motorists are unused to seeing motorcycles on the road. According to some experts, the cooler, denser air results in greater oxygen intake. Motorcyclists may be surprised by the potential for more power. So take it easy at the start of the season to avoid falls!
5. Make sure you’re visible
Other drivers often have trouble seeing a motorcycle because of the small size of the vehicle. Furthermore, motorists are unused to seeing motorcycles because there are fewer of them on the road and they’re not there year-round. So make sure you’re visible when you take to the road.
- Choose light or bright colours, for both your motorcycle and your protective clothing and accessories.
- Add headlights or auxiliary lights close to the rearview mirrors and near the bottom of the fork, to help other drivers better see the motorcycle, the distance between them and the speed.
6. Always be prepared on the road
It's the best way to protect yourself. When you’re behind the handlebars, always remember to:
- Signal your intentions: Use your turn signal lights and horn
- Keep a safe distance: Consider the time you would need to brake in an emergency
- Adapt your speed to the speed of the traffic around you and to weather conditions.
Your insurance broker is there to help you prevent losses. Feel free to contact him or her!