If you are an avid motorcycle enthusiast, you might be hoping to receive (or you might be buying) a new bike for the holidays. As an Atlanta motorcycle lawyer, I represent Georgia motorbike accident drivers and riders. As the holiday season is in full swing and some of our readers might be getting a bike that is new to them, we have some suggestions for staying safe.
We are fortunate that here in Georgia we have some great resources for bikers, such as the Georgia Motorcycle Operator’s Manual which includes a great deal of technical and safe driving information. In the manual, the Georgia Department of Driver Services has suggested that it is important for your safety to know your motorcycle. Georgia on Two Wheels agrees, as this is the season in which some of you might be landing a great new bike.
Statistically, many motorbike crashes occur with new bike drivers. But even a bike that is new to an experienced rider, is important to know well before you hit the road.
Strange as it may seem, we need to start with the basics. So the very first question any bike enthusiast must consider is whether the bike you want really fits your needs and you. To make sure you are getting a bike that fits, check to be certain that your feet can touch the ground when you are seated and that he controls are not difficult for you to operate. For new riders, check out a smaller bike for more ease of control.
Once you determine the right bike for you and have the bike, spend time with the owner’s manual before you ride it out on the roadways. It is very important that you familiarize yourself with your bike’s controls. In addition, just like a pilot does with his or her plane, check the bike before every ride to make sure that everything is in working order.
Motorcycle riders know that they love their bikes and want to make them unique. But it is important for your safety to make sure that you avoid add-ons and any other modifications that could make your motorcycle more difficult to drive or to handle out on the road.
Because motorcycles need attention to a greater degree even than a car, it is very important that riders check their bikes for such things as tire pressure and wear, oil and other fuel levels, headlights and taillights so that you can be seen by other vehicles, signals for turning and brake lights. Making sure your mirrors are clean and adjusted correctly for your best visibility of the road behind you and beside you.
When you are not using your bike, please ensure that it is kept in safe condition between rides. In other words, if you store your bike for the winter for example, make sure you check it thoroughly before riding it when the good weather returns.
One word of caution also during the holidays when families and friends get together — beware of borrowing a bike. Because more crashes happen when a rider is just starting to ride or is riding an unfamiliar bike, it is very important that the borrowed bike fits and is easy to operate. It is recommended that you try out the borrowed bike in a controlled location before taking it out on the road. Specifically, it is very important that you know where the signals, fuel-supply valve, headlights switch and the horn are on any bike you borrow.
Charles Scholle is a Gwinnett County motorcycle injury and accident lawyer, and he provides a free consultation to evaluate any motorcycle accident matter. Please contact our law firm at any time. Our law practice focuses on helping clients recover from catastrophic injuries due to motorcycle, car and truck accidents. We have offices in several locations around the Atlanta area, including Buckhead, Decatur and the Perimeter and serve clients throughout Georgia.