If you are the proud new owner of a motorcycle, you probably don’t have a lot of experience riding a device of this kind. Because being safe while riding is the most important aspect, we have decided to help you out by composing a comprehensive list of tips and tricks that you should remember before embarking on a nighttime adventure.
Make sure that you always have a clear vision of the road
According to the experts, the leading cause of accidents during the night is the lack of a clear view of the road. As you know, at night, your surroundings might look blurry, and the light of the other vehicles might blind you, which is why you have to be extra careful when riding.
In order to be equipped for riding in these difficult circumstances, it is often suggested that one takes the time to prepare his/her ride by wiping off the windshield and by inspecting it and making sure that the windshield wiper works properly.
What is more, you should verify that your headlight bulbs are new because, as they age, they tend to get dimmer. Because of this, it might be a good idea to replace them once a year.
Make yourself visible to other drivers
As seasoned riders point out, your bike should be fitted with powerful motorcycle headlights so that your presence will be easy to notice by the other traffic participants. However, keep in mind that, in some states, it is illegal to utilize auxiliary lights.
Therefore, before you make an investment, go ahead and check to see if by purchasing new lights you don’t actually break the law.
Even more so, it is warmly recommended that you wear clothes that have reflective elements integrated into their design. Although black jackets might seem cool, they are not very practical when used during the night, as they only contribute to making you less visible to other drivers. For extra safety, you should also move around your lane as this will definitely attract the attention of other vehicles.
Always wear protective equipment
No matter the time of day that you decide to go on a ride, it is vital that you wear protective gear. Apart from carbon fiber helmets, bikers should think about buying motorcycle airbag jackets and vests as they are known for supplying users with increased protection in case of accidents.
Another piece of equipment that you should bring with you while riding at night is a pair of yellow glasses. According to users, this kind of glasses can restore one’s ability to see clearly, and they can provide the biker with an anti-glare facility.
However, if you are a glasses wearer or if you already own a full-face helmet that features a dark visor that has been treated with an anti-glare substance, investing in yellow glasses is not necessary.
Respect the speed limit
Because during the night it is difficult to see the bumps and the holes in the road surface, it is advisable that you respect the speed limit. Consequently, you will be able to brake safely in case any obstacle gets in your way.
Another piece of advice that you should attend is to not run at blind spots. Furthermore, it is recommended that you don’t follow the front vehicle too closely as you might not be able to brake in time.
If you want to be sure that you won’t get into accidents, it is also vital that you keep an eye out on the other drivers. This is particularly important because, at night, the risk of running into a drunk driver is higher.
So, being on the lookout for those drivers that display an unpredictable manner of driving can help. If you happen to meet such a driver, the specialists recommend that you allow him/her plenty of room and that you always keep him/her in front of you.
Furthermore, you should pay extra attention at red lights, stop signs as well as in intersections. These are the places where inebriated drivers tend to speed up.
As a way to make yourself visible in these circumstances, be sure to flash your lights while stopped, to look in your mirrors and to keep your bike in gear. This way, you will be able to move out of the way in case an irresponsible driver decides to have no regard for the legislation.
Even less predictable than drivers are the animals. This is a problem especially if you happen to live or to drive through a wooded area, as animals might leap from bushes unexpectedly. If this happens to you while riding at high speeds, you won’t be able to use any type of evasive maneuvers.
Plus, the experts say that while on a bike, even small animals like raccoons can cause one to crash. Besides, hitting a large animal such as a moose or a deer can be fatal.
Prepare for the weather and technical issues
When riding at night in mountainous areas or in the desert, one should also protect himself/herself against the cold. For instance, if you are driving somewhere where the temperature is 50 degrees with a windblast of 55 mph, you will feel like it is 25 degrees out. Because of this, it might be best that you do your research about the weather and that you dress in appropriate clothes.
If you are not a good mechanic, you should not ride alone in places that are less populated, as you might happen to have to deal with technical issues. To avoid such situations in the future, it is recommended that you learn how to fix common mechanical problems by yourself. Also, be sure that you always bring your box of tools and your powerful motorcycle jump starter with you as you might need them.
Given that you cannot ride at night without any light, if you happen to use halogen lights, other riders also recommend that you bring a spare bulb with you so that you are prepared in case the one that you use stops working.