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Riding Skills and Safety

Ride Your Motorcycle Smoothly – Breathe

Everyone wants to be a smooth rider, and everyone wants to feel like they are in control when they ride. I have met so many former riders that quit riding, because they simply never felt comfortable or safe.  A close call, or the thought of one, eventually puts them over the top, and for the rest of their lives they will talk about the motorcycle they "used to have". Long time riders know how to ride well, and feel comfortable on the bike.  They can ride for hours, take turns with so... Read more

Motorcycle Riding Tips: Getting A Knee Down

Racing season is upon us, and as street riders, one of the big challenges seems to be getting a knee down. Don't ask me why, or what the benefits are. The biggest advantage of dragging a knee is to feel where the ground is, using a knee puck on your racing leathers. What does this have to do with the street? Nothing! That said, here is the big secret to touching a knee. First, back to basics. Pretend that you are looking down at a motorcycle going in a circle. The circle made by the tires ... Read more

Where Should A Motorcyclist Look

Oh, boy! Really? Talk about a controversial topic. As Keith Code says, look where you're going is grade school. Now we're in college. We know that motorcycles lean. After all, that's the reason we ride. If you think about it, this means that if we ride in a circle, the center of mass (that's us) rides in a smaller circle than the contact patches on the tires. {What?? OK, to explain. since you are leaning, you are to the inside of the motorcycle tire contact patch. Therefore, if ... Read more

Do Daytime Running Lights Make Motorcycles Safer?

We all know how often I have to listen to a careless driver claiming that they didn't see the motorcycle. This ridiculous claim is made by drivers who are texting, deep in discussion with passengers, practically asleep, or simply not paying attention. In reality, if you look at a motorcycle, you can't help but see it. They aren't invisible. The most visible part of a motorcycle, at least in the day, is the daytime running light that has been required for the last 30 years. Every time the... Read more

Motorcycle Safety Tips for Riding in the Rain

All motorcycle riders should take precautions when riding in any weather conditions. Motorcycles are smaller than the other vehicles on the road and are often overlooked. In a perfect world, riders as well as other motorists would be responsible and focus completely on the road. This is not a perfect world and riders must take special precautions. They need to pay attention to everything around them when riding, especially other motorists. It is important that all riders gear up properly befo... Read more

Low Speed Tight Motorcycle Turns

Okay, so this blog post is off to a bad start. Why? No glove. A few years ago, I had my mind blown by a two day private police motorcycle course with a great instructor. It really opened my eyes, and I came away with an appreciation for a part of my riding that I had ignored - low speed maneuvers. Jerry the Motorman Palladino makes a business out of teaching the police techniques that make motorcycle cops so comfortable with the low speed stuff. By low speed, I mean walking speed. By ma... Read more

How ABS Brakes Avoid Deadly Motorcycle Crashes

My last post pointing out that ABS brakes on motorcycles save many lives, was met with some skepticism.  This is not surprising when you are talking about a 41% decrease in rider deaths.  It's a HUGE number.  Of course, this explains why virtually every motorcycle manufacturer now offers ABS as an option, and many make ABS standard equipment. Every decent study shows that accidents between motorcycles and other types of vehicles involve a lot of crashes where the vehicle cuts off the moto... Read more

The Ultimate Motorcycle Safety Guide: Tips for New Riders

Table of Contents: 1. Motorcycle Maintenance 6. Types of Injuries 2. Pre-ride Motorcycle Checklist 7. Constant Vigilance 3. Helmet Safety 8. Ride with a purpose 4. ATGATT 9. Be Seen 5. Training 10. Eye Contact 1. Stay safe with a well-maintained motorcycle It's wise to consider the motorcycle itself as a part of your plan to stay safe on the road. Motorcycles have much tighter tolerances than automobiles. Motorcycles require fastidious and consis... Read more

Safer Motorcycling: With or Without Helmet Laws?

Motorcycle Helmet laws are a great source of contention among motorcyclists all over the United States. Arguments about helmet laws often devolve into fights about individual rights vs. the forces of collectivism. On one hand, many people believe individuals have the right to choose between wearing a helmet and not wearing a helmet. On the other hand, who foots the bill when a motorcyclist cracks his skull open and has to live in a hospital bed for the rest of his life? His insurance comp... Read more

How To: Choose an Aftermarket Exhaust

Photo: Maurizio Zanetti CCLike almost everything else in the motorcycling realm, loud pipes are a subject of great contention among motorcyclists and the driving public. Some bikers and aftermarket exhaust manufacturers proudly claim "Loud Pipes Save Lives!" Others just like the sound. Crash statistics indicate that only about 3% of road hazards come from behind. The rest come from the front. With most of the noise exiting from the rear of the bike, the statistics don't support the popular ... Read more