High visibility is essential for anyone on the road but especially for motorbikes. Motor cyclists do tend to weave in and out of the traffic, trying to find the quickest route and as such, often find themselves in other road users’ blind spots. Reflective gear, such as a reflective vest must be worn on top of jackets to ensure that they are seen in conditions of poor visibility or at night. Reflective strips on helmets and bikes are also a good idea, even if you have chosen a high-viz helmet. Reflective arm and leg bands will also increase visibility and therefore safety.
A good fitting helmet is one of the most important purchases. Go to a reputable dealer and discuss exactly what sort of biking you do and what sort of helmet you want and they will send you away with the right one. Wear it for an hour before you go out on your motorbike, to check for any pressure points which will make your ride very uncomfortable and can literally give you a headache. Most stores will allow you to exchange your helmet as long as you haven’t used it on the road. Remember, if you crash, and your helmet hits the ground, you must replace it, as it is impossible to see what damage has been caused.
EYE AND EAR PROTECTION
Eye protection is a personal preference, some people like to wear sun glasses and others like to have visors built into their helmets. Ear plugs are a good idea, especially if you ride regularly, as a motorbike is exceptionally noisy and prolonged exposure to loud noises will eventually affect your hearing. In many countries in the world, some form of eye and ear protection is law. CLOTHING Proper protective clothing is a must. If you hit the road at speed without the correct clothing, your will suffer severe lacerations. A jacket must be worn, even in summer. Jackets for bikers have reinforced patches on the shoulders, elbows and spinal area. Some of the summer jackets have reinforced patches which are connected by a form of netting, to allow the air to flow and prevent the body from overheating. A waterproof jacket, which can be worn over your protective jacket, is also a good plan. Wear your motorcycle reflective vest on top. Protective pants, with padding on the knees and hips, will save you a lot of pain should you have an accident. A tough pair of boots, with a thick rubber sole which help keep your feet from slipping in wet or oily conditions. If you fall off your bike, you instinctively put your hands out to break your fall, that is why padded gloves should be worn. Gauntlet style gloves, with reflective wrist bands, are a good choice.
Go to a good training school and constantly update your skills. When you ride make sure you can be seen by other road users. Not only must you wear high visibility and reflective clothing, but remember to use dipped headlights, even in daylight. Take note that all vehicles on the road have blind spots, so no matter how much you ensured you can be seen, take care when overtaking vehicles. Remember to be constantly vigilant.