Riding a motorcycle, without doubt is dangerous.
However, motorcycle riding can be made safer, provided a few important rules and regulations are followed.
It is recommended that those who intend to ride motorcycles, first and foremost should make it a point to use the correct gear or apparels which as extremely important for motorcycle riding.
Using the above would ensure the safety of riders whilst they are on the road. What essentially should priority be given to when one wishes to ride a motorcycle? It is none other than the safety helmets.
Safety helmets, first of all, should be Sirim approved helmets. Regarding helmets, riders should bear in mind that very recently, the authorities have banned the half-helmet version in Malaysia.
Nevertheless, the above helmet is very popular in the United States. It is reputed that half helmets are used mostly by lady motorcycle riders and traffic cops.
With regards to the wearing of motorcycle helmets, what important aspects should be given due consideration? Amongst the due considerations which should be accorded to it are:
i) Ensure that you wear helmets properly. Furthermore, it should also be comfortable. And obviously, helmets used should ideally be of a good standard. As stated earlier on, making sure it is Sirim approved one would be of great help.
ii) Some people may not be aware, but motorcycle helmets should ideally be brightly coloured. Why should helmets be of such nature, you may ask?
Brightly coloured helmets like yellow and white, have been found to be safer. It can be seen distinctly in the dark or gloomy weather.
iii) Another thing a rider should ensure is that a helmet should be laced with reflective bands.
iv) Safety helmets have a certain lifespan. Do make it a point to change your helmet if necessary.
v) When riding motorcycles, the use of visor or goggles or riding spectacles are of utmost importance. The above protect predominantly the eyes and face of a rider. Riders need to be protected from stones, insects and strong wind.
vi) Besides one’s face and eyes, other parts of the rider’s body also need protection as well. Leather jackets and jeans play an important part too.
vii) To protect a rider’s ankles and knees, motorcycle riders are advised to wear knee high leather boots.
Up to the point this article has only concentrated upon attire or motorcycle apparels.
Are these the only items or equipment that ensure the safety of a motorcycle rider? Certainly they are not!
To ride a motor safely, there are obviously other factors such as motorcycle maintenance.
A Few Simple Ways To Help A Motorcyclist Maintain His Machine In Good Driving Condition
Compared to a car, those who ride motorcycles can be said to be lucky. To maintain a motorcycle is much cheaper compared to a car.
Nevertheless, it does cost some money and time. Even though , a few articles have been written specially on the maintenance of motorcycle, I feel writing yet another article on this subject would be a good idea.
The following is 10 easy tips to help a motorcyclist with his machine maintenance.
1) Service the machine periodically.
To service a motorcycle at the petrol station would cost only a few ringgit. Dust, dirt and rust will all be rid of. Eventually, your motorcycle will be in a spick and span condition.
2) Check your foot brakes and hand brakes.
The above 2 brakes are essential items of the machine. Ensure that they perform well. Adjust the foot brakes and hand brake mechanism from time to time.
3) Checking of the throttle cable.
The throttle can get jammed. Spray some W.D. 40 oil on them. Throttle cable has to be smooth, easily manipulated and easily applied. Periodically, the entire cable has to be dismantled and oiled.
4) The inspection of tyres.
There are 2 things regarding tyres that have to be inspected. Pressure and its threads. Check them over periodically and your safety will then be ensured.
A word of advice though. A good and safe tyre should possess a 50% thread pattern.
5) The chains.
Chains can become elongated or sometimes they can be too tight. Adjust them from time to time. A good mechanic should be able to assist you. Tightening them can be rather easy. Learn how to do it yourself.
6) The lights.
Clean your headlamps and rear lights. Ensure that they are not covered with dust and grime. They should also function well.
Signals are important. Ensure that they perform well. Brake lights should also be checked. The horn is yet another important item. Make sure it is working properly.
7) The handle bar mirrors.
Some say the right handle bar mirror is required by law. While the left handle bar mirror is optional. My advice is you have them on both sides.
Adjust the mirrors properly before you ride off. Try to avoid adjusting the handle bar mirrors while riding. This can be dangerous!
8) Check engine oil and petrol.
Unlike previously, where meters did not exist, present day motorcycles have lubrication oil meter and petrol gauges on them. Check that they are up to the required levels.
A shortage of any one of the above will cause much inconvenience to the rider. Avoid using the machine until the reserve level. Unless you are riding to the petrol station.
A lack of engine oil will cause mechanical problems which will bring you lots of problems.
9) The air filter.
Many motorcyclists are unaware that motorcycles, like cars, have air filters too. This has to be changed periodically. It does not cost much. But it can cause a lot of problems to the rider.
10) The petrol filter.
Like cars, some motorcycles have this important item too. Like air filters, their cost is rather low. Ask your mechanic to change them for you and your vehicle will surely run better and smoother.
These are 10 things that are important to the rider of a motorcycle. Have them inspected when and as convenient to you. This would ensure you a trouble free ride wherever you wish to go.
How To Look After One’s Motorcycle To Keep In Tip-Top Condition (Part 4 of 4)
17) One important item of the motorcycle itself which should not be forgotten to be mentioned is the Exhaust Pipe System or The Silencer. This item has to be inspected from time to time.
The interior part of the exhaust pipe can deteriorate thus emitting excessive smoke and loud exhaust sound. Be it be known that the law reiterates that any vehicle which emits a more than 90 decibel sound into the atmosphere has committed an offense. This is known as “sound pollution“.
If you are unaware, the Ministry of Health will act on those responsible for the factories causing both “air” as well as “sound pollution”.
18) Another item in the motorcycle which needs our attention is the “gear changing mechanism” which is situated on the right foot itself. Its function is to facilitate the changing of gears. This item can very well become loose and cause gear changing difficulties. Have this part checked from time to time to prevent potential breakdown.
19) The throttle mechanism which is meant to accelerate a motor forward has a cable which can sometimes get jammed. Oil the mechanism with ideally W.D. 40 to prevent it from getting stucked or jammed.
If this mechanism is jammed, the possibility of not being able to control your motor is extremely high. Accidents can happen.
20) The engine oil of your motorcycle’s engine also requires periodic check-up from time to time. Ensure that the engine do not lack engine oil as this might cause the engine to be jammed up and eventually require your engine to be “overhauled”.
21) Some motorcycles have an item called the fuel filter. The fuel filter function is to filter out the impurities which are contained in our fuel / petrol. Have the filter changed often, which will then result in our motorcycles running smoothly.
There might be some minor items which has escaped my attention and apologies should therefore be rendered.
Finally, in highlighting the items which has to kept in view in order to “maintain the tip-top condition of a motorcycle”, it should be borne in mind that the blog’s intention is not to expect a rider or the owner of a motorcycle to do the repairs of the important items himself, but to be aware and thus bring his vehicle to the nearest motor shop for proper attention.
Hopefully highlighting the 20 or so important items of the motorcycle will eventually help to keep your machine in tip-top condition always. Keep riding!