Through the long winter months in the Northland, Minnesotans dream of warmer weather and getting out in the sunshine. Motorcycles are a fun way to enjoy the back roads and scenic highways, but you must know how to stay safe on a motorcycle for the most care-free touring experience.
No matter what you’ll be driving this summer, the Lake Region Independent Agents can find the coverage you need. Visit our website today to schedule a free insurance review or consultation. Our agents are available in Cokato, Willmar, and New London, MN. We’ll help you select the best plan on the market for your needs.
How to Stay Safe on a Motorcycle at All Times
At Lake Region Insurance Agency, we want to make sure all our clients get out there and enjoy Greater Minnesota. But safety is paramount when you do it on your motorcycle. We’ve assembled several tips to help you enjoy your bike with confidence and care.
Start with the right bike for your body size and experience.
It’s critical to try several different motorcycle models before you make a purchase. You’ll need to determine how much bike is right for your body size and frame. And you need to learn what you feel comfortable supporting.
For example, it’s unlikely that a 6-foot-6-inch person will feel comfortable riding a smaller sportbike for long periods. On the flip side, a person of smaller stature may feel awkward atop a full-size motorcycle where their feet barely touch the ground.
There is another crucial bike-size factor for safety. You must make sure you feel confident in supporting and balancing the bike’s weight when you’re at a stop. If you try out a motorcycle and always feel like you’ll tip over, then it may not be the best fit.
To be safe, you need to be able to:
- Sit comfortably on the bike.
- Support the machine’s weight.
- Lift and lower your feet with ease when transitioning from a stop.
Engine size is another essential aspect of safe motorcycle riding. It’s a good idea to start with a smaller, less powerful engine as a beginning rider. Bigger engines pack more punch and require significant control.
For newbies and experienced riders alike, make sure you know the bike’s speed and acceleration capabilities. You have to handle the horsepower underneath you before you hit the road.
Take a class (or two or six).
Education and practice are two hallmarks of safe riding in Minnesota and beyond. Minnesota offers a comprehensive menu of safe rider courses all over the state.
When you sign up for motorcycle safety training, you receive a lot of valuable information. You’ll get online classroom instruction on safe riding practices, applicable laws, and defensive driving techniques. Plus, you will practice your skills on a suitable and dedicated course with a training bike. You’ll learn road skills like:
- Clutch and throttle control
- Straight-line riding techniques
Classes target beginners, intermediate riders, and experts. The skills taught in each course differ according to your level of expertise and experience.
Keep your riding skills fresh by taking a new course before that first long ride of the season, even if it’s a repeat. You’ll likely gain practice in an area where you feel less confident each time you take the class.
Grow an extra set of eyeballs.
Most motorcycle accidents occur because a car driver didn’t see a motorcyclist. You’ll need to hone your defensive driving skills to remain safe on your bike. Be sure to stay clear of other motorists’ blind spots on the road. And don’t assume that cars, trucks, and commercial vehicles can see you.
Get visible with your gear.
It can be tempting to kit yourself out in the classic black leather of the iconic rider. Leather can provide excellent skin protection and keep you warm in the elements. However, high-visibility gear is the way to go for safety.
When you wear bright yellows, greens, and oranges, you’re more visible on the road to other drivers. Visibility means increased safety. Motorists may notice you more quickly during turns, at intersections, or on the freeway.
With the increasing trendiness of high-vis motorcycle gear, you have a lot of options available. Now there is a wide array of state-of-the-art materials in styles for any preference.
Don’t forget your helmet.
Helmet laws are controversial in many states. But the fact is, motorcycle helmets significantly reduce the instance of head injuries and the risk of death. The statistics are staggering and illustrate the importance of helmet use. When wondering how to stay safe on a motorcycle, using a helmet is critical.
Make sure your helmet is DOT approved and no older than five years for the best protection. Inspect your helmet each season for signs of wear or damage.
If you purchase a helmet online, be sure the vendor has a comprehensive sizing guide. Quality vendors will have you take your exact measurements and submit them before ordering your helmet.
Your helmet fits properly when it’s snug but comfortable. When wearing your helmet, you should be able to shake your head gently and have the helmet stay put. This is especially important for young riders. Never put an adult helmet on a child. Kids should always have their own properly-fitted protection.
Get Comprehensive Insurance Coverage for Your Motorcycle
Of course, we hope that adopting the above safety precautions means you never get in a motorcycle accident. However, things happen on the road that you can’t control. Be sure you have coverage for every eventuality.
A motorcycle insurance policy from Lake Region Insurance Agency can increase your peace of mind when you’re on the road. Comprehensive coverage can help address medical bills, property damage, liability, and damage to your bike if there is an accident. It can also offer financial protection in the event of theft, vandalism, or fire.
Call or stop by one of our offices, and we’ll shop our extensive network of providers for the best deals. Ride easy knowing that Lake Region Insurance Agency has your back when you’re on the open roads of Greater Minnesota.