With spring already unfolding across Connecticut, motorcycle enthusiasts are watching the weather carefully to determine whether temperatures and precipitation will soon allow for their first ride of the season.
Although some individuals do continue to occasionally ride their motorcycles through the fall and winter months, most motorcyclists will winterize their bike in late fall and then get it back out of storage in the spring.
Regardless of whether you have occasionally ventured onto the winter roads or haven’t been on your bike since autumn, there are some safety rules to review to make sure that your spring ride goes smoothly.
Inspect your bike or have someone else check it for you
If you do your own maintenance and repairs on your motorcycle, now is the time to check all of the critical systems for functionality. The lights, brakes, engine and tires should all receive inspection and necessary maintenance.
Dewinterization may be the priority, but it should not be the only thing you focus on. Making sure everything is ready for a safe ride is also quite important. If you don’t have the ability to thoroughly check the systems on your bike, take it into a shop that you trust, as mechanical failures could drastically increase your likelihood of getting injured.
Regardless of the weather, dress for optimal visibility
You probably already know that despite only representing 3% of the vehicles on the road, motorcycles are tied to roughly 14% of all traffic fatalities. One of the biggest risks is the potential for someone in a bigger, enclosed passenger vehicle not to notice the motorcycle next to them before merging or turning in traffic.
Making sure that the electrical system on your bike is in the operational condition will ensure that your headlights and turn signals grab the attention of people nearby. You also want to make sure that you have reflective or brightly-colored gear, from your boots to your helmet, so that other drivers can’t claim they didn’t see you if they cause a crash.
It’s also important to remember that the earlier in the season you go out for a ride, the less vigilant drivers are likely to be. A safety refresher can help, but nothing can protect motorcyclists from the negligence of other drivers.