While we begin enjoying the milder temperatures and get our homes and vehicles ready for the nice weather, motorists are itching to get out on the road and in a lot of cases already have had their first ride! What an exciting time of year to own a motorcycle; long weekends ahead, day trips to visit family and friends, cruises down the highway at sunset; we could go on and on and might even be a bit jealous! With that said, we want to address some crucial safety tips we highly suggest for a fun and stress-free time on the road!
Always do a Once-over
If this is the first time busting out your bike since the winter season, then this is a no-brainer – do a once-over to check for the following: tire tread, air pressure, headlights, signal and lastly, break lights. If you’re likely due for a tune-up now is the time to schedule that in as well! Doing it now will save you the hassle in the middle of the summer when you won’t want to be without it!
Consider Purchasing Summer Gear
If you currently have heavy riding gear designed for cool nights, you probably don’t want to put this away necessarily, but what about those humid, sticky hot days that are sure to arrive at some point in the near future— you might feel as though you are melting with the gear you have. Purchasing riding gear that is specific to warm weather might be an idea worth considering. While it is necessary to wear protective gear when riding, there are lots of options out there for summer weather riding. Such items include your helmet, gloves, protective eye gear, and footwear. While it’s easy to tell yourself, you don’t need as much gear on in the summer, you should always think about your safety before anything else. If you’re concerned, simply pack summer shoes with you and wear light layers while you’re out on the road.
Look into Summer Accessories
As mentioned, there are several accessories out there you might want to purchase to make your trips more comfortable throughout the warmer weather. Tail bags, tank bags, saddle bags, handlebar bags, luggage racks, backrests, and drink holders are all features that might just provide that bit of extra convenience you’re looking for!
Check Your Insurance Policy
This is a big one! If your motorcycle insurance has expired, you need to get in touch with a trusted Insurance Broker to adopt a new policy before you get out on the road. Aside from ensuring that you have basic insurance coverage including liability, here in Ontario, you may want to investigate whether you’d like additional optional coverage available to you. At Will Marshall Insurance, we’ll work with you and provide you with additional optional insurance if it’s appropriate for your needs.
Take a Refresher Course
Summer is the perfect season to take a refresher course, especially if you haven’t been out on your bike since last spring. While new riders must participate in training and road safety courses to gain a licence, there are always refresher courses available to help with general confidence on the road as well.
Keep an Eye on the Weather
Just because it’s getting warmer out there doesn’t mean the conditions will always be perfect for riding. Evenings cool off quickly this time of year which means what you have on during the day might not be enough for riding at night. There is nothing worse than being cold and stuck on the road when you are underdressed! It’s a good idea to check the weather forecast ahead of time to see if there is extreme heat, wind, or rain calling.
Stay Completely Visible
As you prepare to hit the road this season, visibility should always a top priority. Always keep enough space between you and the other vehicles surrounding you on the road. Check that your day lights are operational, an consider purchasing gear that allows or greater visibility during the day and night, such as accessories that are bold in colour and gear that has reflective stripes.
Be Prepared for Passengers
If you enjoy riding with a passenger, make sure you are well prepared for them to ride with you. You’ll require a second helmet as well as secondary riding gear. You should also make sure any first-time passengers are well educated on how your bike moves so there are no concerns or unwanted surprises.
Drive Respectfully on the Road
The excitement of an open road, and unique maneuverability can tempt drivers to test their skills and limits. However, safety must come first and foremost. Be respectful of those around you on the road; consider both their safety and yours while driving. In other words, refrain from weaving in and out of traffic and always follow the rules of the road. If you’re a thrill seeker, find an off-road course where you can have fun in a controlled area.
Will Marshall Insurance Brokers in Orillia and Barrie can assist you in adopting a new recreational insurance policy for your motorcycle or help with adjustments/additional insurance options if you’re interested.
Have a fun and safe time out there on the road!