I admit have not accorded the subject of riding motorcycles equal time in my articles as compared to cars.
Therefore, it has been decided that an article on it would be written on it today to correct the anomaly. To make riding motorcycle safely, a rider need only to remember to check a few important things. Some of the things which need to be checked from time to time are:
1) Remember to wear a safety helmet at all times.
The half helmet has been banned in Malaysia for quite some time now. However, the above is still very popular and used widely in the United States.
Ensure that a helmet is tied properly before a rider rides off. Straps have to be secured tightly and comfortably. Straps which are not secured properly will land a motorcyclist into trouble with the law.
The condition of a safety helmet has to be checked periodically. A helmet can undergo wear and tear. Its safety harness strap itself and the condition of the shell too can become weakened with the process of time. Riders are therefore advised to change this safety item after a period of time.
2) Wear suitable riding attire when riding a motorcycle.
It’s better when a motorcyclist remembers or make it a point to wear the correct attire when riding motorcycles. Amongst the correct and safety attire he should don are knee:
i) Knee high leather boots
ii) Leather jackets
iii) Leather gloves
v) Full face safety helmets
vi) Visor, if helmets are not provided with such item.
Riders are very proned to injuries to the ankles. Knee high leather boots provide the rider good protection especially to the legs.
3) Condition of both the front and rear brakes.
Brakes represent important items of the machine. See to it that the hydraulic fluid level most modern days machines use has its reservoir correctly filled.
Besides this, a good rider can easily determined if the braking capacity of the brakes are at its maximum. It only takes but a few minutes for mechanics at motorcycle repair shops to adjust both the front and rear brakes. All it needs is the riders own concern to rectify such anomalies.
The same also goes for the motorcycle chains. Chains which are either too tight or too elongated are dangerous for the rider’s safety. Have this important part of your machine adjusted.
4) Using both the front and rear brakes simultaneously.
Riders should be able to apply brakes in the correct manner. For safety purpose, both the hand and foot brakes have to be applied at the same time. Using only the foot brakes alone, will cause the machine to go into a slide or spin. During practical tests, not using the handbrake will obviously cause you to fail.
5) Putting up the machine’s side stand before moving off.
It’s very important for a rider to put up the machine side stand before riding off. Failure to do this might result in it causing the rider dangerous problems, especially when corners are executed.
So the very first thing riders are advised to do is to ensure that the motorcycle side stand is up before the rider rides off. This is one safety procedure which a rider should observe very rigidly for his own safety.
6) Avoid beating the red traffic light.
In Malaysia today, there seems to be a trend amongst motorcycle riders to beat the traffic lights. Motorcycles riders, I observe, tend to shoot off after waiting at the traffic light for a few seconds.
This is in fact dangerous. It is never encouraged at all. In case you are unaware, such action violates Circular K17 and 18 TS (LN 167/59) of the Road Transport Act 1987 and the courts under Section 119 (2) can fine you a sum of RM300.
Anyway, under the forth coming implementation of the Automated Enforcement System (A.E.S.) to be launched very soon in Malaysia, motorcyclists who behave in such a manner will have their days numbered.
7) Ensure that your front and rear headlights functioning properly.
The law in Malaysia requires a motorcyclist to put on his vehicle’s light during both the day and night as well. Failure to do this is an offense. As such, motorcycle riders should check that both the front lights and rear lights are in good working order to prevent getting summoned by the authorities.
8) Adjust your handle bar mirrors correctly.
The moment a motorcyclist goes astride a motorcycle and before moving off, he or she should in fact check and adjust the handle bar mirrors both the left and right.
These items are very important as they assist the rider while he is riding the bike. Ensure also that should either one of them be broken or lost, than they are to be replaced immediately. Not having either of them not only violates the law, it is in fact dangerous.
9) Make sure you possess your license when riding your motorcycle.
A rider who fails to show his driving license to the authorities such as the police of J.P.J. is in fact contravening Section 59 (2) of the R.T.O. 1987. The courts can, under Section 119 (2) fine a rider a sum of RM150 for this offense. The same also applies to one’s road tax and insurance. Ensure that the above two items are also in order prior to your using the motorcycle.
10) Check road tax and insurance validity.
As explained in the earlier paragraph, many people sometimes forget that their road tax has expired.
An expired road tax will automatically have its insurance coverage expired as well. To ensure that nothing of this sort should occur, make it a point the expiry dates of your road tax and insurance are well remembered by yourself.
11) Observe dangers on the road.
Riding a two wheeler machine compared to a 4 wheeler is without a doubt dangerous. You should therefore be on the alert to look out for oil spills on the road, sandy patches, water filled areas and most of all, slippery road conditions. These can cause a motorcycle to go into a slide. After a shower, road surface are normally covered with grime and oil which make the road surfaces very dangerous and difficult to control.
Taking a good note of the 11 things which normally confront a rider, it might one day assist you to avoid some mishaps which might befall you.
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