While I bid a fond farewell to the Northwest Territories in the next week or so, my wife tells me she has seen her first motorcycles on the road already in Edmonton! Now that has me a little excited as I finally received my Class 6 license last year and bought myself a 2002 Honda Shadow 750 as a starter bike. So, this seems as good a time as any to have a quick talk on motorcycle safety!
Basic Motorcycle Safety Tips
A motorcycle needs to be treated like any equipment, maintenance and inspection are key! You would not run a 40-ton rock truck with worn-out breaks, a broken mirror, or missing headlights, would you? Of course not! The same applies to your motorcycle.
Inspect your bike before every ride. Make sure all lights work, your brakes are in good condition, your tires are good, etc. Your owner’s manual should highlight the info you need to make sure you are ready to go.
If you are newer to riding or it is the first ride out of storage from winter, it is recommended to take it to a professional for a full inspection. In my case, I took it into Riverside Honda in St. Albert to give it a once over. They did indeed find some things that needed attention and had me fixed up and ready to ride safely.
Do not forget your PPE. Ensure your gear is in good condition, appropriate for your riding condition and that it still fits. Many of us tend to gain a couple of pounds over the winter!
Be Aware of Your Riding Ability
I am not going to pretend to be an expert here as I was just licensed last year. What I do know, is that I am still a learning rider. So, take that into account when going for a ride. To start, I will only ride in pleasant weather conditions and will not take a passenger until my experience and control have improved, which may not be until next season.
It is important to understand your level of skill, your strengths, and your limitations. If you are new to riding, I would also highly recommend taking a motorcycle training course. In my case, I did it at TNT Motorcycling and was incredibly happy with the level of training that I received.
For Other Motorists
I think we all understand that motorcycles are vulnerable on the road. They are small, harder to see than other vehicle types and the rider is not protected in the way a driver of a car is. Please keep an eye out for motorcycles, and for that matter, cyclists, and pedestrians too! Also, please stay off your cell phones while driving. I have not seen a lot of people talking on them, as most people have Bluetooth now, but it is amazing how many people are reading or texting while driving. This is an extremely dangerous practice that could potentially cause a collision.
That is all for this week. I am sure everyone is looking forward to warm temperatures as much as I am so happy cycling and happy motoring, I wish you all a great summer!