There is always something to learn when you ride a motorbike but there are some golden rules of the road that new bikers should remember before setting out on their bike.
Here, the free-wheeling team at Bikesure, the specialist motorcycle insurance company, provide their 10 golden rules of the road.
10 tips to keep new bikers safe
- It is important to have your machine serviced regularly but the care doesn’t stop there. Before every journey new bikers should walk around their machine and inspect it. Look out for tell-tale signs of problems such as under inflated tyres, cracked light lenses, fraying cables and oil leakages. Check your lights and indicators are working and make sure you have sufficient fuel for the journey you plan to make, and finally make sure your chain is sufficiently tight and lubricated.
- New bikers should never ride if they are over-tired or under the weather. They will need their mind to be in full focus to stay safe on the road.
- Before setting out new bikers should familiarise themselves with the motorcycle controls and ensure they have lots of practice using them, and the bike, in a quiet place before setting out on the road.
- Avoid riding in groups or with friends or with pillions (with a full licence) until you have a good few miles of safe riding under your belt. New riders probably won’t have the same ability as a friend who has been riding for a longer period. That may mean you will need to ride at speeds in excess of your comfort zone through peer pressure or simply to keep up as well as taking passengers changes the way the bike handles, accelerates and brakes so is a shock in comparison to normal riding. If you do want to ride with someone, find someone you can trust to travel at your pace and if you ride with a pillion brief them beforehand on what you expect from them (lean with you etc).
- Ride according to your surroundings and be prepared to react to unexpected circumstances that may arise, that could be someone pulling out in front of you in a town or a deer or other animal crossing your path in the country also changes in road surfaces particularly in the wet where you need to look out for manhole covers, white lines and potholes).
- Even new bikers should invest in good riding gear that is appropriate for the weather and the season and conform to British Standards (BSE) standards of safety.
- Get some more training. CBT and basic rider training equips new bikers with riding knowledge needed to pass a test but it is up to you to hone your skills, develop confidence and capability. You can find approved motorcycle training providers on the Government website.
- Give the vehicle in front plenty of room. Following too closely is hazardous as it leaves you with less time to respond if they pull up suddenly because of a hazard that you can’t see. The distance you leave will vary depending on the time of the day, visibility, road conditions and your speed.
- Keep your helmet visor closed and keep it regularly cleaned whenever you are on the move. Grit, flies and other debris will make a bee-line for your eyes and can cause you all sorts of problems. An unclean visor can cause streaking of lights and reduced visibility particularly at night.
- Make sure you have the right insurance cover. Whether you are a new biker who has just past their CBT or an experienced one with years of safe riding under their belt, Bikesure will search for the perfect personalised insurance deal for you. Our best deals are always over the phone so call 0808 503 7855.