As the snow and ice of winter starts melting and spring sunshine becomes more common, your attention might turn to climbing onto a motorcycle and making the most of those lengthy road routes. However, for your own benefit, there are various factors for which you should first account.
Sadly, there are many myths about motorcycling – and, if you too readily buy into them, you could be putting money or even your life on the line. So, what is myth and what is truth?
“Bikers wear leather just to look cool”
It can’t be denied that leather has long been an indelible part of biker culture. However, as motorcyclists’ attire, it serves a much more significant purpose than just keeping the fashion police at bay. The material has various unique properties that help to protect bikers’ safety.
For example, leather’s very high abrasion resistance helps prevent riders picking up scrapes or cuts. Furthermore, leather “acts as a great insulator” when the weather is chilly, HuffPost explains.
“Loud exhaust pipes save lives”
This myth springs from the theory that, due to the significant amount of noise emitted by these pipes, nearby motorists will be alerted and so become more aware of the bike and its rider.
However, this theory isn’t supported by physics. Though exhaust pipes are indeed responsible for the loudest sound a motorcycle is capable of making, the sound will still be in a rearward direction – meaning that, on the road, a driver ahead of you would be unlikely to hear your arrival.
You should also keep in mind that drivers habitually have their radios on and windows closed – meaning that, for safety purposes, you should primarily aim to be seen rather than heard.
“About to crash? Then lay your bike down”
Wherever this myth came from, the little time you would have to make a decision when a crash looks imminent means that you should have your priorities elsewhere.
To be more exact, you should primarily just brake and endeavor to swerve around that approaching obstacle. Better still, try to avoid collisions in the first place by driving safely and defensively.
“Other drivers don’t care about motorcyclists”
It would be more accurate to say that they can’t always see motorcyclists and, therefore, can’t always avoid hitting them as easily as they could vehicles larger than motorcycles.
Even if you drive just ahead of another driver, you could be concealed from their view by glare, their own vehicle’s roof pillars, or other objects – like, of course, other traffic – on that road. It also doesn’t help that not all drivers remember to make special efforts to look out for motorcycles.
Therefore, it would be in your interest to follow Motorcycle Cruiser’s advice that you increase your visibility by wearing bright colors when on the road.
“Helmets prevent you seeing or hearing danger”
This belief isn’t borne out by research which reveals that riders using helmets don’t crash as frequently as those forgoing helmets. Perhaps this finding could be attributed to the helmet-wearing riders being more realistic or safety-conscious in their attitudes to riding.
The saying’s status as a myth could, alternatively, be cemented by another possible factor: that a helmet protects the eyes and reduces wind noise for better vision and hearing during riding.
Even if a rider wearing a helmet does crash, damage to their vehicle or personal injuries could be rectified more cost-effectively if that driver has insurance. An insurance broker like the UK-based Call Wiser can offer various forms of motorcycle insurance – including temporary and, if you have collected numerous motorcycles, multi bike insurance.