Included in this area will be items of interest to members regarding the SAFE operation of their motorbike. Subjects will include articles and references to safe riding techniques and tips, group riding, mountain riding hazards, city riding hazards, personal medical suggestions, and everything about the gear you may want, and why.
We urge you to submit items of interest that may benefit club members. For the most part, we will point to some of the many excellent sources of information on the internet, but with the experienced riders we have in the club (several RTW riders, international tour leaders, multi-continent riders, and Iron Butt Association members) there is no reason we should not have a top notch safety section on our top notch club web site. Won't you help build it? Thanks!
Read some riding tips for commuting - Urban Guerrilla
Everyone in the BMW Motorcycle Club of Colorado rides at their own pace and still arrives in time to uberstuff themselves at lunch. This article has been used and reused and ignored and then ignored again since 1991 when it was first published by Motorcyclist Magazine. The author, Nick Ienatsch, has gained motorcycle community icon status with this tome, and went on to author two excellent riding instruction books that should be on every motorbiker's table top, and commited to memory for use on the street, on the track, and on your neighbor's cow path. They are very good. Please read and take this article to heart. It is a recipe for enjoying your bike here in Colorado and with your fellow club members. Ride on....
Protecting your ears is as important as any other safety item on your checklist. Hearing damage is real and it is insidious. It is cummulative. It is time-weighted, as the higher the noise, the less time it takes to cause hearing damage. Once damage has occured, it is irreversible. Here is an article that gives good insight to why ear protection is so important while riding your motorcycle.
This paper mentions that most noise is helmet induced wind and vibration to the tune of 90db at 60 and 110db at 95.
Wear your earplugs!!
This article is a good read and refers to a Windjammer helmet air curtain, and other resources.
A good one page document.
When someone rides in your car as a passenger, you may have to tell them to buckle up, but not much more than that. However, when you're about to take someone for a ride on your bike, someone who's never ridden as a passenger before, they will need considerably more instruction.
Why the difference? Because the passenger becomes part of the motorcycle's geometry. We've seen too many back-seat occupants leaning in the opposite direction as the rider through a sweeping turn. They appear to be trying to keep the motorcycle riding at a 90-degree angle to the road. We've also seen too many passengers bang their heads against the riders when the brakes are applied. And we've seen all too many passengers put their feet down when the bike stops in traffic.
So how do you instruct a new passenger? First, tell them to keep their feet on the pegs at all times until you signal them by turning off the engine. Next, tell them that if you're going to make a left-hand sweeping turn they should look over your left shoulder; right turn, right shoulder. This will bring their weight mass in line with yours and allow you to lean the bike with considerably less resistance. As for braking, or warning the rider of bumps or potholes, we suggest a set of signals. For example, if you see you're about to hit a speed bump, tap the passenger's left knee once. You might tap their knee twice if you want to call attention to something on the road or something you'd like them to see.
When riding in heavy traffic where breaking and accelerating occur often, it's best to have the passenger sit more upright, and if you have a "grab bar" on behind them, ask them to hold onto that. Tell your passenger to tap you on the shoulder once if they need you to stop, twice if they feel you're going too fast, three times if they wants to call your attention to something.
Riding is an adventure and is even more of an adventure when you can share it with someone else, especially when that someone else is right there behind you.
Courtesy Chicago BMW
Motorcycle Safety Resource Guide
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs placed the need for safety on a high level. For sure, the need for man’s safety and physiological well-being are essential for his existence. Yet, today, newspaper headlines splashed gory accounts of people dying or being injured in motorcycle road accidents.
There are many reasons why people use motorcycles. In 2006, the sales of motorcycles rated 1.1 million. But reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) stated that the rate of motorcycle accident is going up in the USA today. Knowledge of the Motorcycle Safety Resource Guide may have prevented most motorcycle road mishaps.
Reasons why people ride a motorcycle – There are many reasons why motorcycles are fast becoming the favorite transport of many people.
How to Buy a Motorcycle – Buying the right kind of motorcycle will guarantee the joy and safety of riding.
Fatalities from motorcycle accidents have been on the rise for the past years. Based on the NHTSA report, there were 5,290 motorcycle drivers who died in 2008 increasing the 2007 rate by 2%. Around 96,000 suffered severe injuries. There were 4,810 motor riders who died in 2006, more than 5% higher than the previous year. The rate of fatalities in 2000 was 2,897 which increased by 78% to 5,154 in 2007.
World wide, motor vehicle mishaps continue to be the main causes of death and disability. In 1998, 1, 170,694 deaths were the result from direct injury in a motor vehicle accident.
Statistics of Motorcycle Accidents – These statistics reflect the risks motorcyclists are facing today. The prize for reckless driving is either life or severe injury.
Awareness of Motorcycle Accidents – Statistics awake people to the life-threatening results of motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle Safety Resource Guide includes the following:
1. Awareness of the importance of proper training. Training is the best way to minimize these threats. There are many organizations throughout the U.S. offering United States Motorcycle Safety Education. These groups ranked from state agencies to non-profit orgαnisαtions to corporations. Designed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), the courses covered Basic Rider Course, an Intermediate Rider Course and an Advanced Rider Course.
Riders with little or no experience must take the beginning courses. Lessons are based on extensive data, research, and field tests which are combined with on-bike experiences
Motor Safety Foundation – The purpose of motorcycle rider education is to insure their safety on the road.
Motor Safety Site – This site offers the best information to safeguard your motorcycle ride.
Education for Motorcycle Riders – Education and training are important for the safety of the riding cyclists. Get more information from this site.
2. Awareness of the proper equipment will insure safe and enjoyable motorcycle rides. You need this essential and proper equipment.
(1) Helmet: By law, you must wear a safety helmet when riding a motorcycle on the road must fit properly and adhere to the DOT standards – be full face, ¾ or ½ in design. Defective helmets, as those with no lining or defective thin straps are disallowed.
(2) Visors and goggles: You need this important eye-protection from wind, rain, insects and road dirt.
(3) Protective clothing: For motorcycle riders, clothing is made from man-made material or leather. Choose clothing that gives additional protection for the shoulders, elbows and knees. The legs of your pants should cover the top of your shoe, preferable made from denim or leather. If you wear long-shirt sleeve in lieu of a jacket, it must be made of durable materials and cover the shoulders.
(4) Gloves and gauntlets: These are important in a motorcycle ride. Always wear gloves as it is a protection if you fall off. Full-fingered leather gloves are good choices.
(5) Motorcycle boots Boots are perfect protection for riding a motorcycle. Sandals offer little protection. Shoes material must be made of leather covering the ankle bone. You may also wear high top athletics shoes that meet the standards.
Types of Helmets – There are basic styles of motorcycle helmets. This link will give you their descriptions.
What you should know about Helmets – Wearing or not wearing a helmet might mean life or death for a motorcycle rider.
Motorcycle Riding Gear – This link contains information of proper motorcycle gear and equipment.
3. Awareness of drivers on the road or SMIDSY is one of the most common causes of accidents on the road. It is an acronym of a driver’s common response which means: Sorry mate, I didn’t see you. Most road accidents  are due to the drives that are not able to see an oncoming motorcycle or insufficient time to avoid the mishap.
Most often drivers fail to see an approaching motorcyclist for the following reasons:
(1) The tendency of drivers to watch for oncoming cars not motorcycle.
(2)The size of a motorcycle is much smaller than that of larger vehicles. It makes estimating the distance between them difficult.
(3)Motorcyclists performed frequent land movements due to changing road conditions
Creating Driver’s Awareness – When drivers do not watch out for motorcycle but cars, road mishaps tend to happen.
Motorcycle Safety Awareness Planner – The purpose of this planner is to provide riders all the materials and tools for safe driving.
4. Awareness of unsafe roads/weather conditions can be major causes of motorcycle accidents. There are dangerous road conditions and road obstructions. Many mishaps occur due to potholes, fallen tree limbs, rocks & gravel, small animals, standing water or railroad tracks may be minor problems. It is wise for motorcyclist to decrease speed or change lanes to avoid these obstacles. The weather condition is a touchy factor for wet or icy roads may impair motorcyclists' braking and handling abilities. Strong gusty winds can lift a motorcycle if the rider isn't prepared for it.
Road Conditions Causing Motorcycle Accidents – It is important to be aware of those conditions that bring about these road accidents.
Motorcycles and Weather Condition – These are tips to help motor riders deal with weather conditions in their trip.
5. Awareness that your equipment is well-maintained so it will be given the highest pleasure from your motorcycle. A certain amount of maintenance helps to keep it running in tip top condition and plays a big role in the longevity of your ride.Basic tips:
(1) Checking your fuses and bolts.
(2) Keeping up with oil changes on a schedule.
(3) Cleaning or changing your air filter about once a month.
(4) Checking your battery terminal and wires.
(5) Making sure all of your cables are well lubricated to ensure a smoother drive.
(6) Checking your tire pressure and add air as needed.
You might think your motorcycle does not yet need servicing but it will save money on repairs to check if your bike is in good running condition.
Maintenance of Motorcycle Batteries– Proper maintenance of motorcycle batteries will insure a safe and smooth motorcycle ride.
How to Care for your Motorcycle – This is a link to videos illustrating proper motorcycle care.
Proper Care for Motorcycles – Tips to help look after the proper maintenance of your motorcycle.
6. Awareness of laws affecting motorcycles which are applicable to those who are granted license to drive a motorcycle. In the United States, there are motorcycle laws but basically laws differ from state to state.
The motorcycle helmet laws require all riders to wear a helmet however only 27 states agreed to legislate this law. The rest do not have this requirement.
Current Motorcycle Laws and Helmet Laws – This site show the States where the Helmet law is applicable.
Current Motorcycle Laws by State – get an overview of current motorcycle laws by viewing this site.
Motorcycle Helmet Law Facts – Know more about the motorcycle helmet law in this site.
You will experience joy and excitement in every motorcycle ride. It is the kind of freedom you do not enjoy riding on other types of vehicle. But full enjoyment is incomplete, you may not see the end of that journey. There are dangers along the way. Make use of a Motor Safety Resource Guide, so you will you reach your destination safely.