May 21, 2011 - 12:11 am
Riding a motorcycle provides a freedom that few other activities can, but the rebellious nature of the open road can also be very dangerous. That’s why the motorcycle industry continues to develop innovative safety features to help protect riders no matter what happens.
According to The New York Times, the motorcycle industry has been adapting car safety features to help make motorcycles safer for riders. Developments have been taking place for several decades and some are now standard on certain models.
First, make sure you get motorcycle insurance in case something happens, but also choose a bike that has features that can help save your life and possibly lower your motorcycle insurance cost. Here are some of those important safety features to look for when shopping for a bike:
1. Antilock brakes
Antilock braking systems continue to be refined for motorcycles. Bikes that have antilock brakes can help the rider brake quicker no matter what they might run into on the road. This can help them avoid accidents and remain in control.
Everyone knows about airbags as a standard safety feature for cars, but some motorcycles also utilize this technology. Mostly found behind the windscreen, bike airbags are typically meant to help riders should they have a head-on collision. Leather motorcycle jackets have helped protect riders for years, but another developing technology is gear that has airbags built in them – such as suits, jackets and helmets.
A motorcycle is designed to be aesthetically pleasing, but the construction can also help the driver keep the bike in control. Some bikes are intentionally made longer or wider to help with traction and control. Another important factor in choosing a motorcycle design is its size and weight. Be sure to get a bike with a size that is appropriate for your strength and skill level. Weight and seat height figures are typically listed for new motorcycles on the manufacturers’ websites.
Some motorcycles come with anti-theft alarms and other technology to deter thieves. Ask about these when shopping for a bike. It’s smart to always take additional precautions, such as locking your motorcycle to an immovable object.
Lighting features on a motorcycle serve two important purposes: first they allow the rider to see when it is cloudy or dark out, and second, they allow other vehicles to see the rider and give them adequate space on the road. Many bikes have special lights that are reflective as well as provide near and far distance lighting so the driver can see well.
Gear and bike safety features are important, but nothing can replace wisdom and skill on the road. Be sure to take a motorcycle safety course and periodically brush up on your skills throughout the year.