10 Tips You Need to Know: A Guide to Proper Motorcycle Riding Etiquette
As a motorcyclist, it is necessary to abide by the regulations of the road and to be respectful of other drivers. Following are ten motorcycle riding etiquettes that everyone should be aware of. No matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned rider, these tips will ensure that you and your fellow riders have a safe and pleasant ride. From avoiding weaving through traffic to respecting other riders and pedestrians, these etiquettes will guarantee an enjoyable riding journey for all. So, let’s discuss a few of the most critical motorcycle riding etiquettes.
Obey the traffic laws
Riding a motorcycle doesn’t give you a free pass to break the law as some riders think car road rules don’t apply to motorbikes. It’s essential to obey the same traffic rules as cars. This includes keeping to the speed limit, staying in your lane, and signalling when necessary. By doing this, you help yourself and other drivers to have a safer journey on the road. Drivers may not be as aware of motorcyclists, so it’s critical to stay attentive and follow the rules of the road. This will help you to be seen by other drivers and decrease the chance of getting into an accident. Also breaking road rules could have drastic results such as heavy fines, license suspensions, even losing your motorcycle for 30 days or more.
Respect other drivers
Motorcyclists often face less caution from other drivers. To maintain a safe and pleasant journey, it is essential to show courtesy towards other drivers. If another driver is being careless or inattentive, you can report them to the police. To politely indicate when another driver is being dangerous, honk your horn or flash your headlights. If the other driver is extremely reckless, dialling 000 to report it to law enforcement is a viable option. It is best to avoid confrontation when you on a motorbike as safety is quite important when you are on a two wheeler.
Avoid weaving in and out of traffic
Navigating through traffic should not involve weaving in and out of lanes. If you wish to pass a slower driver, follow them and signal your intention to pass. Once you have moved ahead, return to your lane and keep moving with the traffic. Weaving in and out can lead to accidents and is against the law. Some Countries are changing laws and allow under curtain speed such as 20km/h to between two vehicles, but it does takes a lot of practice and if you are a novice rider it is not recommended.
Use your turn signals
Motorcyclists are more exposed than drivers in cars, so being aware of the environment is crucial in order to remain safe. It’s essential to pay attention to the surroundings while on the road, and not to focus too much on the car in front, as it can lead to hazardous circumstances like sharp break by the front car would cause an accident (you would not have enough time to react, always look ahead few cars and check your side lanes and be aware what is around you). Additionally, it is important to be aware of potential hazards like potholes and road debris.
Turn signals play a very significant role in driving. They inform other drivers of one’s intentions, which can help to prevent an accident. Additionally, using turn signals is both a legal requirement and a sign of proper etiquette. It is necessary to remember to signal when slowing down, switching lanes, turning or stopping. Doing this is a simple way to follow the law and ensure safety. If another driver forgets to use their turn signal, a gentle reminder can be given with a honk or a flash of lights. It is essential to stay calm and not be overly aggressive, as this could turn into a dangerous situation.
Don’t ride under the influence
Operating a motorcycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and highly hazardous. Unfortunately, many riders are killed by driving while intoxicated, so it is essential to abstain from consuming alcoholic beverages when riding. If you find yourself inebriated, it is safer to take an alternate form of transportation. It is a must to never take a chance of riding while intoxicated. Moreover, riding while intoxicated can lead to a serious accidents. Therefore, it is always safer to obey the law and not ride if you have had a few drinks. If you are stopped by police or authorities for suspected driving under the influence, you can be subject to fines and your license can be revoked temporarily or permanently, depending on the severity of the violation or even jail time.
Respect your fellow riders
Experienced motorcyclists often express their gratitude when other riders are courteous and give them space. This helps to prevent hazardous circumstances and promotes pleasant rides, as well as foster relationships between different types of riders. For instance, one should be respectful of both sport bike riders and Harley riders, and not tailgate scooters or weave in and out of them. By being polite to other riders on the road, everyone can have a safe and enjoyable ride.
Be aware of your surroundings
Be mindful of pedestrians
Many drivers are aware of the dangers of driving with motorcycles, but they may forget to be mindful of pedestrians. Pedestrians may be less cautious when they see a motorcycle approaching, as they may not be as vigilant when they perceive a motorcycle coming. Therefore, taking precautions such as driving at a safe speed, slowing down, and being watchful can help avert a hazardous situation. Additionally, if you see someone walking nearby, it is advisable to let them know you are there by honking, quick rev or making eye contact. Being mindful of pedestrians when operating a motorcycle can help ensure a safe drive.
Be mindful of weather conditions
When driving in severe weather conditions, it is quite important to be aware of your surroundings and take extra precautions. Visibility may be reduced and it is necessary to ride with care. The right gear, such as a helmet, gloves, and boots should be worn in advance. Additionally, driving with caution and according to the weather conditions will help ensure a safer journey and reduce the risk of accidents. Also it is a good habit to check the weather forecast before a riding journey.
Maintenance of your motorcycle
When riding a motorcycle, it is your duty to confirm that it is in proper working order before you set out. Check the oil, tire pressure, signals lights, horn, any damages on tires, fuel level and chain condition. This will help keep the ride secure and also help avoid costly repairs. If you suspect something is wrong with your motorcycle, take it to a mechanic without delay. Driving a motorcycle with faults can lead to hazardous situations, so take the time to look over it before each ride.
Ride with the flow of traffic
No matter where you are, it is essential to abide by the flow of traffic when riding a motorcycle. This is due to the fact that riding in the opposite direction can be hazardous. You may understand why it is illegal but perhaps do not realize why. Motorcycles are much smaller than other vehicles, so it can be hard for other drivers to spot them. Even if they are in their rear-view mirrors, they may not be able to see you. Furthermore, when you ride against traffic, people driving in the opposite direction will not be expecting you, which can lead to traffic jamming, particularly in urban areas.
Ride smart, not long
Finally, It is not necessary to ride a motorcycle very far. Rather, it is suggested to start small, such as on your regular commute. This will help you with getting used to operating the motorbike and will also help with developing confidence for longer rides so you could cover great distances without much of a discomfort. For those new to riding, the concept of short-distance rides in a secure environment is strongly recommended before attempting a longer ride.