After you ride long enough, you’ll have to deal with riding in the rain. Being prepared with the right motorcycle rain gear can help make these rides more tolerable. However, it’s important to know all your options so you can make the best choice for you and stay safe in unforeseen road conditions..
Motorcycle Rain Gear: Keeping Dry
Not all motorcycle rain gear is created the same. In fact, there are several different options and materials to choose from. For example, PVC is very common for waterproof jackets and pants. However, these days, more breathable waterproof options like Gore-Tex are becoming popular as well.
How breathable your gear is is also important. PVC gear is the cheapest option, but it also builds up heat and moisture. This could leave you just as wet after your ride if the heat isn’t vented out properly. This is why Gore-Tex materials are becoming more popular, but they do cost a bit more.
Visibility is also important to consider when picking out motorcycle rain gear. Rainy weather lowers visibility on the road, making it harder for other drivers to see you. Combine this with the tendency for drivers to focus less on what’s around them, and you can be at serious risk.
It’s always good to make sure your gear has reflective patches or stripes. These should be on places which will be visible to other drivers too, like your back or arms. Many rain gear manufactures also offer high-intensity color options which can help with your visibility.
Boots and gloves
It’s important to not forget about your hands and feet as well. Rainy weather could loosen your grip on your bike and cause your hands or feet to slip. That’s why you should make sure to get some good boots and gloves for rainy riding.
Recently, many rain gear manufacturers have started making their own boots and gloves. Gore-Tex, for example, has begun making gloves and boots for motorcycle riders. Still, any good kind of waterproof material will work. These boots and gloves often will come with additionally straps or lacing to help increase their waterproof seals.
Just like when riding in the cold, it’s important to have the right kind of gear for riding in the rain. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there for you to choose from. You can find the right combination of style and protection that will best suit your needs are a rider.
With springtime in full swing and the winter weather long gone, you might think driving will be a bit easier. However, spring driving comes with it’s own hazards that you’ll want to watch for. Being mindful of these risks will help keep you safe and enjoy the spring weather while on the road…
Spring Driving: What To Watch For
Rain & floods
If winter is a time for snow, then spring is a time for rain. Springtime rain will make the roads wet and slippery, making your spring driving much more dangerous. Rain itself accounts for almost 50% of weather-related accidents. This rain could even cause flooding, which could completely block off roads and water-log your car. That’s why it’s important to know how to handle this kind of weather. You’ll want to watch your speed and give plenty of following distance when driving in the rain. This will allow you to slow down and stop safely as well, preventing potential hydroplaning. If the rain really bad, it’s probably best to just stay off the roads until it passes.
Road wear & tear
Winter weather can cause some serious damage to roads. Ice can cause cracks and holes to form in the asphalt, which remain well after the ice is gone. Snowplows, salt, and sand can also tear up the roads, causing potholes and other problems. As a result, your spring driving could be taking place on some pretty worn-out roads. Due to these less-than-ideal roads, you’ll want to pay extra attention to the roads ahead. Try to be on the look for any potholes or cracks which could cause problems for you. If you can, try to avoid these hazards. When you can’t, slow down and drive over them slowly to avoid serious damage to your tires and suspension.
Spring also brings about some increased activity on the roads. Bikers, cyclists, and even animals will be much more common on the roads now. That’s why you’re going to want to be extra attentive when doing your spring driving. Make sure to share the roads properly, and avoid any distractions which could lead to accidents.
Despite a recent decrease, biking still remains quite popular in America. Because of this, it’s important for drivers to know how to handle cyclist safety. Knowing how to properly share the road can make things safer for both you and the cyclists….
Cyclist Safety: How To Share The Road
Keep your eyes open
Bike riders can sometimes be hard to spot on the road. This is especially true if you’re trying to check for them in your mirrors. Due to the fact that they aren’t as big as cars, they can slip into your blind spots pretty easily. This is why a large part of cyclist safety is keeping an eye out for them.
Make sure to fully check behind and beside you when you’re turning or switching lanes. Also, pay extra attention at intersections or when parallel parking on the street. Double check that a cyclist isn’t coming when you open your car door too!
Reduce your speed
Of course, cyclists can’t go as fast as cars. This means that being stuck behind a bike rider is often a point of frustration for drivers. However, it’s important for proper cyclist safety that you slow down when approaching one on the road.
Slowing down when getting near a cyclist does two things. One, it lets the biker know they don’t have to worry about you potentially hitting them. The other thing it does is alert drivers behind you that there’s something they need to be aware about. This prevents them from trying to speed up or go around and potentially cause an accident.
Pass when appropriate
It’s important to think of cyclists as you would other drivers. That means you should only try to pass them when it’s safe to do so. Trying to quickly pass them can just cause huge risks for them, you, and other drivers. Make sure there is plenty of space between you and the cyclist before attempting to pass. If you’re on a two-lane road, make sure there aren’t any other cars coming down the opposite way as well. Additionally, pass cyclists slowly to avoid causing them to lose balance and to avoid accidentally clipping them. Cyclist safety should be a priority on the roadway for
In the United States, distracted driving is the cause of over 1,000 accidents every day. In fact, many drivers aren’t aware of the different ways that they can get distracted on the road. Knowing the different ways a driver can be distracted can help one make sure they take the proper steps to fully focus when driving….
Distracted Driving: Cognitive, Visual, and Manual
The three types
Distracted driving comes in three different forms: cognitive, visual, and manual. Cognitive is when a driver’s mind isn’t focused on driving. Visual is when the driver is look at things other than the road. Finally, manual is when the driver has one or both hands off the steering wheel. Even the simplest things can cause one or a combination of these distractions. Talking to a friend, checking a GPS or reaching for something can all cause these distractions. Additionally, texting and driving is so dangerous because it combines all three at once.
Understand the risks
Each form of distracted driving comes with risks. Mental distraction increases the chance of making mistakes and accidents. Visual distractions can prevent you from seeing changes on the road. Manual distractions can cause you to not react to these changes in time. All of these increase the risk for both you and other drivers. Unfortunately, many drivers don’t understand these risks. However, taking your eyes and mind off the road for just a few seconds is all it takes for something to go wrong.
The largest factor for staying safe from distractions is avoiding them in the first place. Turn off your phone and other devices so they can’t potentially distract you. Keep your focus on the road and not on your passengers as well. If something needs your attention, then pull over first. Additionally, there have been many attempts to crack down on distracted driving. 46 states have banned texting and driving, along with heavy penalties for those that do. Many companies have run ads and created programs to encourage drivers to pay attention to the road. Also, insurance companies have begun offering special rewards and rates for drivers who aren’t distracted.
Distracted driving is something all drivers can prevent. Knowing that the road takes priority is important for staying safe on the road. Your phone, food, and other things can wait until your ride is over.
Many motorcycle riders tend to opt for using Bluetooth units while they’re riding. In fact, many modern helmets come designed with these devices in mind. But what is it about them that makes riders choose them? As it turns out, these devices have many features which help with both convenience and safety…
Bluetooth Units: Why They’re Useful
Practically every smartphone these days comes with Bluetooth options. These allow for them to easily connect and pair with Bluetooth units. This means that you can make use of features on your phone without having to ever pull it out while on the road.
For example, connecting your phone to Bluetooth units will let you get directions from apps like Google Maps or Waze. You’ll also be able to answer any potential phone calls you get while riding. All of this can be done without taking your eyes off the road or your hands off your bike, giving these units a nice added safety element too.
Listen to music
Another nice advantage of Bluetooth units is when using them to listen to music. It can be quite loud when you’re riding on a motorcycle, and standard motorcycle speakers just might not cut it. However, instead of investing in a sound system, you can chose to listen to music through one of these devices.
Streaming services make it easy to just open up a music app, connect your devices, and start listening to music. Also, most of these Bluetooth units have a “priority system”. If you have a GPS app open while playing music, your GPS will always take the priority and cut in to let you know when you’re coming up on the next turn before continuing your music.
Talk to other riders
Motorcycles being loud doesn’t just make it hard to listen to music. It can also be hard to hear or talk to other riders. This can be especially frustrating if you’re riding in a group. However, Bluetooth units can help solve this problem.
Older devices use Bluetooth connections between units to usually allow about 4 riders to remain in touch while within a few hundred feet of each other. However, newer devices use networking, which let’s your Bluetooth connection stay free and increases the amount of riders and distances you can have. While they are a bit more pricey, the added convenience can make them well worth it.
Most motorcycles are good to go out of the box. However, there are a lot of different options out there to customize your ride with. Some of the more popular motorcycle accessories can help you add some personal flare. Not to mention, additional safety features that could become essential in unexpected situations.
Motorcycle Accessories: Keep Your Bike in Order
Audio systems are some of the most common motorcycle accessories riders choose. A good radio and speakers can help you better listen to your favorite music while riding. Furthermore, this means you won’t have to wear headphones to listen to your music, which can be quite risky while riding.
It’s important to know how your new system will mount to your bike. Some will easily allow you to swap the existing system for a new one. Others might need to be mounted elsewhere, like on your handlebars. Make sure to look for a system that won’t be in your way while riding.
Extra lights are another example of motorcycle accessories with an additional safety benefit. For example, driving lights and light bars help add a bit of extra light reach to your bike. These can be mounted on your handlebars or near your headlight depending on the type.
There’s also cosmetic lighting, which can be mounted just about anywhere on your bike. These lights come in a wide variety of colors, and can be individual or full strips of lights. Some come with the ability to cycle through different colors, or flash and blink. Not only do you get some added flare, but you also improve your ability for other drivers to see you.
Motorcycles are often a large investment. Like any investment, you’d want to make sure you keep it protected. That’s why security systems are some of the most recommended motorcycle accessories. Security systems help ensure that your bike stays with you where it belongs.
Additionally, you have a good amount of options here as well. Motion detectors, for example, will sound an alarm if someone is tapering or moving your bike. However, there are also more advanced options, like RFID keyless ignitions and GPS trackers. These give you some added control over your bike, but come at a higher price point.