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.
There is a special connection between a motorcycle and its rider. Riding sparks joy. Not much is better than riding on a sunny day with a slight breeze. A good ride can enhance a good mood, but what can it do for a bad one? Avoiding emotional riding is important when maintaining safe riding habits. Your senses are out of line when emotional, which puts you at a greater risk for accidents.
Emotional Riding: Why To Avoid It
Maybe you’ve just received a sad call or gotten some bad news. Or perhaps you’re angry because you and your partner got in a fight. In these cases, to avoid emotional riding can help avoid accidents. These emotions can cause aggressive driving, which leads to 56 percent of fatal traffic accidents. Feeling distressed or under pressure can also cause this erratic riding behavior.
Avoiding emotional riding can come in different forms. In place of riding while upset or angry, you can try:
- Washing your bike, performing maintenance, or detailing it. Being physically in contact with the bike will give you the same connection but keep you and others safe.
- Listening to soothing music. Letting your mind relax and go to a different place will help your overall mood.
- Ride, but not right away. When avoiding emotional riding, it’s important that you take the time and let yourself calm down first. Once you’ve gotten to a more level head space, try going for a short ride. Make sure it’s at a time where traffic is light.
- Ride to a peaceful place. If you feel like you can’t avoid emotional riding, try riding to somewhere that calms you down. A nice overlook on a mountain or a waterfront spot might do the trick. Focus on getting there safely and not on your situation. Then, use your time at this scenic spot to calm down.
At the end of the day, the safety of you and others is important. If you ride while upset or angry, you are not just putting yourself in danger. Most of the time, situations that evoke these strong emotions are far less serious once fully thought through. Give yourself time to relax and breathe, and then enjoy your bike. Avoiding emotional riding also avoids accidents!
For most people, an ideal motorcycle ride is when the sun is out and the weather is nice. However, as a motorcycle rider, there might be some times when you’ll have to ride in less-favorable conditions, like the rain. Rainy riding can be challenging, but also very doable…
Rainy Riding: Maintaining Safe Travels
Prepare your gear
Rainy riding means you’ll be facing a constant downpour, and at high speeds. That means that your usual riding gear might not be a good choice for keeping you dry and safe. Instead, you’ll want to get some specialty rain gear to help you handle these special rides.
You’ll want to get some gear that keeps you dry and your grip secure when rainy riding, while also being comfortable. Try to find a good balance between comfort and practicality. Give special attention to your visibility as well. Helmet visors tend to fog up in the rain, so investing in a special clear, anti-fog visor is a good idea.
Ride smoothly & smartly
When you ride in poor conditions, you’ll have to change how you handle your bike to stay safe. Riding faster or more aggressively in the rain will increase the risk of you getting into an accident. That’s why rainy riding involves going more smooth and making smart decisions.
For example, try to handle your throttle more gently than usual, making gradual changes rather than more drastic ones. Also, try to brake more gradually and give yourself plenty of breaking room. Slamming on the brakes while on a wet surface could result in them locking up, and then sending you and your bike into a slide. It’s better to give increased following distance to avoid these issues when rainy riding.
Watch intersections more closely
Intersections can already be quite risky for motorcycle riders. Rainy riding further increases the danger of these intersections. That’s why you should give all types of intersections special attention when the weather is less-than-ideal.
Approach these intersections slowly and cautiously. Keep an eye on other drivers around you, and don’t try to do anything risky like making a yellow light. When you’re stopped, take stock of the cars around you and who might be behind or beside you. It’s important to be aware of what’s going on around you so you can act accordingly.
In a lot of pop culture, motorcycle gangs get a bad (or a bad boy) wrap. For example, Sons of Anarchy depicts an outlaw motorcycle gang. In other movies like the John Travolta movie Wild Hogs, some clubs are really just a few friends who get together to ride semi-regularly. What do these two clubs have in common? Biker communities are full of people who come together for the same purpose.
Biker Communities: Finding New Family
You don’t need to be an outlaw to join a club. Actually, it’s probably best that you aren’t an outlaw at all. Biker communities are a good way to feel at home when you’re on the road. Your friends from your local group become your family. This family will become someone you rely on throughout your biking days.
Biker communities are all over. They can be big or small, just a couple of people can be considered a club. The best part is, nothing has to be official. Just calling someone to join your ride will be good enough. You can have a destination or not, it’s up to you.
There may be scheduled rides some days, or impromptu “it’s beautiful outside, let’s go for a ride” rides. Either way, enjoy them when you can. If you decide a more formal club works best for you, try finding biker communities with regular rides. If you can’t, you can start your own! This way, you can add a new patch to your vest or jacket.
Lastly, do we really need to answer the why? Biker communities are a great way to feel more comfortable on the bike or on the road. They can give you confidence and a community of support. There are few other people who will give you the security that your community does.
You don’t need to be part of a gang to be a part of one of the plenty biker communities that are available. Joining the club will bring a new appreciation for your bike, the road, and the community it offers.
Most riders try to avoid rush hour. The amount of cars on the road makes for an unsafe ride, but also for a unenjoyable one. Because of the heavy amount of traffic on the roads at this time, motorcycle riders have an extra responsibility to themselves to be extra cautious of others on the road. Sure, everyone should be paying attention to their surroundings, but as we know, that sometimes doesn’t happen. We have a collection of helpful tips for rush hour riding.
Rush Hour Riding: Tips for A Safe Trip
Be Ready to Brake
Braking quickly is an easy way to get into an accident, small or large. If you are ready to brake at any moment, you will be much more ready for whatever happens. It’s not uncommon for traffic to come to a screeching halt. Rush hour riding means preparing for anything to happen.
Watch for People Turning
When people coming the opposite direction on a two lane highway want to turn left (directly in front of you), they will probably do so last minute. This could mean they cut you off. Like previously mentioned, being prepared and alert is the only way to stay safe in these situations. Rush hour riding requires much more thought and preparation, since the road is wide open for you!
Keep an Eye Out
Watch out for others on the road. If you see someone driving dangerously, try to avoid being near that car if you can. Many times drivers assume rush hour is a lawless time where rules don’t apply. You can also spot drivers who have distractions most of the time! If you see the driver next to you is on their cellphone, try to safely pass. Rush hour riding can be dangerous if you are not aware of your surroundings.
To conclude, the main thing you can do for yourself when you are rush hour riding is just watch out for others on the road. While, yes, they should be watching out for you, too, often times they are not. Keep your brakes ready and your eyes open.