Foolproof Guide For First Time Riders

By Michelle Arzaga | May 5, 2017

There are over 700,000 motorcycles on Canadian roads every year. This number keeps growing year to year, and so do the number of accidents and fatalities.

Over half of all motorcycle accidents occur among riders who have been on their bike for less than 5 months. In other words, new riders are the ones most at-risk. Often it is other drivers on the road who do not see motorcyclists and put them at risk. This, mixed with little experience can often result in a catastrophic injury such as a brain or spinal cord injury.

If you are driving a motorcycle, it is important to drive defensively – especially if you are new to this two-wheeled lifestyle. Other things to consider when riding include:

  1. Increase your insurance coverage
    You shouldn’t even feel the vibrating rumble of your ride unless you’ve become insured. But the next step is also increasing your insurance benefits. Did you know that on average, insurance benefits only cover you up to $400/week or 70% gross of your income earnings (whichever is less)? It’s true, and that’s simply not enough in case of an accident. Without increasing your benefits, you will find yourself without proper back up.
    The good news is that increasing your benefits is not complicated. Almost all of our motorcycle clients are shocked to know they could have greatly increased their benefits for a small extra sum per year.Call your insurance company and ask them about this addition before you hit the open road.
  2. Maintain your motorcycle
    Ever hear of where the rubber meets the road? As a rider, your bike is literally the only thing between you and unforgiving pavement. Before you start riding this season, adopt these good habits:

    • Check tire pressure after ever ride and during stops on long rides *Tip: For your ideal pressure don’t look at the tire sidewall, check the vehicle owner manual.
    • Check wear indicators by running a penny across the grooves. When you can see the entire penny, it’s time to change.
    • Check your suspension and shocks
  1. Protect your brain
    Traumatic brain injury and other serious head injuries are very common amongst motorcyclists. It’s crucial to wear a helmet…but not just any helmet. While wearing a helmet is 37% effective at preventing fatalities, full-face helmets offer 61.4% more impact coverage. Keep this in mind when shopping for your next skull protection.
    Along with the helmet, adopting this all the gear, all the time mantra will be your safest policy as a motorcyclist. Abrasion-resistant materials like leather will help protect your skin, but to protect against serious injury there are even airbag suits that inflate when an accident is detected. Look into your options and dress up before you ride.
  2. Train
    Many new riders take to the road after a short lesson from a friend. This leads to these riders never developing the skills and awareness needed to protect themselves and those around them. Motorcycle training has the efficacy to prevent roughly 46%of rider fatalities. If you’re a new rider, look into extra options to learn before you ride.
    The average Canadian motorcyclist is in 13.5 times more danger than a car driver. But statistically, an “average” motorcyclist isn’t doing it right. They’re not 100% familiar with their ride, they’re not 100% sober, they’re not 100% within speed limits, nor are they 100% decked-out in safety gear after proper training.At the end of the day, the only person who can provide you 100% coverage in all areas is you.