Spring has come early in Southern Nevada and that means several things. First, most of us are dealing with pollen allergies a month too early. Second, it means motorcycle riding season is here! If you’ve layed up your bike for winter, now is the time to pull off the cover, check the tires, fluids, and battery, and plan out that next road trip. Here are some motorcycle riding safety tips to keep in mind before you head out on the highway:
Tip #1: Check Your Tires Before Every Ride
The first items on the T-CLOCS Inspection Checklist are tires and for good reason. The only thing that keeps your bike upright and stable is a small contact patch of rubber. Tire pressure and condition are critical to your safety. Before every ride, take a moment to check your tire pressure and inspect the condition of the tires. Tires that are worn, have cuts or other damage, should be replaced. Tire pressure is not only critical to your safety but it also dramatically affects tire life. Tire pressure should be checked cold – before the bike has been ridden. Also, consider the age of your motorcycle tires. Rubber deteriorates with age and environmental exposure. Motorcycle tires that are several years old may show signs of dry rot and the rubber compound will begin to harden. Regardless of tread depth, if the tires look questionable replace them before hitting the road.
Tip #2: Wear a full-face helmet rated by Snell and DOT
We know full-face helmets are not as comfortable in warm weather as other styles. However, nothing protects your head and face better than a quality full-face helmet. There are good helmets and there are cheap helmets. It’s worth spending the money on a good helmet. Consider a full-faced helmet that has both a Snell and DOT rating. The Snell Foundation conducts rigorous testing on helmets before certification is given. DOT, in contrast, only provides a set of standards that helmet manufacturers self-certify as compliant.
Tip #3: Dress for the slide, not the ride
Riding in shorts and a t-shirt is an invitation to injury. Proper motorcycle riding attire is critical to your safety. Quality motorcycle riding gear is padded in strategic areas to absorb an impact. It is also made of material designed to provide abrasion protection, such as leather, kevlar, and nylon. While better than shorts, even blue jeans are not great for abrasion protection. The best choice would be motorcycle specific riding pants that offer reinforcement and padding in specific areas. Proper footwear is also critical to prevent broken ankles and toes. Choose quality boots with padding around the ankles and a sturdy sole. Make sure you wear gloves meant for motorcycle use, not just any old pair of leather work gloves. Motorcycle gloves have reinforced and padded palms designed to absorb impact. They generally also have reinforced knuckle guards to protect from road debris and impact.
Tip #4: Buy quality motorcycle insurance
Lastly, make sure you have motorcycle insurance that fits your needs. A good Nevada motorcycle insurance policy provides adequate limits of liability coverage, uninsured motorist coverage and physical damage on the motorcycle. Consider adding the following coverage to your motorcycle insurance:
- Replacement cost coverage. Generally available for bikes purchased brand new, provides you with a new motorcycle instead of the depreciated actual cash value.
- OEM parts coverage. Ensures that only factory parts are used to repair your motorcycle
- Roadside assistance. If your bike is disabled due to a mechanical breakdown or covered loss, this pays for towing and labor.
We have several motorcycle enthusiasts that are part of the Safeguard Insurance team. We’ve also been providing motorcycle insurance for over 20 years. During that time we’ve seen our share of unfortunate motorcycle accidents and we hope these motorcycle riding safety tips keep you, and your bike, safe on the roads.
At Safeguard Insurance, we understand the insurance needs of motorcycle riders. When shopping for motorcycle insurance, give us a call for a no-obligation quote. Let us find you the right motorcycle insurance, at the right price.