With a small but statistically significant increase in motorcycle accident deaths over the last decade, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) advises bikers to take precautions when hitting the open road.
Due to the small size and lack of enclosure, motorcycle accidents are about 28 times more likely to end in a tragedy than a vehicular accident. Biker culture remains prevalent and plenty of experienced riders go their whole lives without experiencing a severe injury, but the risks are inherent and should be taken into account regardless.
Drivers are required to multi-task, certainly, but the brain power demanded of a motorcyclist versus a driver is much higher. At least in North America, motorcycles are rare in comparison to cars and trucks; drivers are not always prepared to see one on the road and react accordingly, which means that bikers have a greater responsibility to be aware of their surroundings. It’s easy to see why those who ride motorcycles over a long period of time increase their cognitive functioning overall.
Avoiding and Preventing Accidents
There is a common misconception that only the most careless motorcyclists wind up in the hospital with broken arms or road burn. It can happen to veterans who follow every safety rule in the book, too. Experienced riders are sometimes just unlucky, if they head out on a bright day and get blinded by the sunlight or a driver fails to take notice of them out of their rearview mirror.
Unfortunately, due to the nature of riding a motorcycle, occasional injuries are to be expected. However, there are plenty of ways to ensure maximum safety on the road, from functional and practical attire (leather jackets and worn-in jeans, anyone?) to helmets.
Motorcyclists take many precautions to decrease the chances of getting into serious accidents, but one of the first things on your checklist if you’re planning to hit the road on your bike should be tire safety.
The Importance of Tire Safety
If you’re testing the waters of motorbiking, you might have heard some of the typical advice: don’t wear open-toed shoes, don’t go on demon rides, stay alert at all times. You’re probably less inclined to worry about your bike’s tires, but according to the NHTSA, tire safety is one of the most important facets of motorcycle maintenance. It might not rank extremely high on the list of priorities of a new biker, but it should definitely become standard practice over time.
You will learn quickly that veteran bikers are familiar with the right PSI (pounds per square inch) of air pressure for their motorcycle, and have probably read their manufacturer’s guidebook cover to cover to learn about the standard inflation guidelines. It might not sound like the most fun way to spend an afternoon, but we recommend familiarizing yourself with the PSI recommendations specific to your motorcycle’s model.
When to Buy Replacements
Not only should you learn about air pressure guidelines and recommendations, but you should be willing to invest in replacement tires whenever you need to. Inspect your bike’s tires regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as groove cracking, punctures, blisters, cuts, cracks, and dry rot.
Experts recommend replacing tires whenever tread wear becomes noticeable, in order to ensure you are riding as safely as possible. This means that at the very first sign of tread wear, you should be seeking out your local motocross shop where you can find high-quality, durable motorcycle tires for sale. Remember that even barely used tires can become sun damaged and harden over time, so even if riding is only an occasional hobby, you shouldn’t opt out.