Your goal is to have a safe, fun ride. If motorcycle riding were a sport, like football or basketball, then defensive riding is how you’d win the game. Riding defensively does not mean you have to drive extra slow, but it does mean that you should use extra caution at all times and remember that other vehicles are not just other cars and trucks, they are people. A few basic tips will help keep you focused on the road, raise your awareness of your surroundings, and prepare you for a fast reaction to avoid a crash – and play another day.
Mobile phones, iPods, and other distraction devices, even with hands-free functionality, can divert your attention. Of course, staring at the cheerleader in the car next to you doesn’t help either.
…when looking out over the handlebars at the road. Remember to SEE (Search, Evaluate, and Execute) to stay out of risky situations.
Avoid Lazy Eyes
Keep your eyes moving, don’t just stare at what’s in front of you. Check your mirrors and other views frequently so you don’t get blind-sided. I’m sure Peyton Manning would agree.
Leave yourself an out
Anticipate what would happen if you had to swerve or slam on the brakes and have a plan to execute your escape.
Keep good posture
Position both hands firmly but comfortably on the handlebars. Your hands should be even with or below your shoulders – sorry ape hangers, but yours is the worst position. Shoulders and arms are key, this way you’ll be using the proper muscles that allow for precision steering. This is hard to do with some tricked handlebars, but practice makes this easier. Also, you’ll avoid fatigue when you keep good posture.
Never drive while feeling drowsy or sleepy. When fatigued – STOP. Pull over at a rest stop or other safe place to take a break and get some real rest. Sitting the bench is better than being carried off the field on a stretcher.