Should I Buy a Motorcycle?

We all know that every form of transportation, even good old fashioned walking, comes with some type of risk, and motorcycles are no exception. But to people who love motorcycles, there are plenty of benefits. It’s an exhilarating experience of the outdoors. Plus, it’s fuel-efficient. Here are a few things to consider before you purchase a motorcycle.

  1. Should I Buy a Motorcycle, TJ Woods Insurance, Worcester, MAJust because you know how to drive a car does not mean you’re ready to ride a motorcycle. The setup is very different. You’ll need to learn a lot about the unique aspects of posture, shifting gears, and especially braking. Breaking too hard could cause you to go into a skid and you’ll need to practice recovering. Remember: ride within your skillset.
  2. You should take a motorcycle safety course. It’s required by law in some states. You’ll learn about state motorcycle laws, maintenance, how to avoid dangerous situations, how to handle emergencies, and practice in environment.
  3. Motorcycles are practically invisible; you can never assume a driver sees you. The number one cause of death is when unobservant motorists make a normal left hand turn. You will need to learn tactics including your horn, lights and clothing to get drivers’ attention.
  4. You need the right gear – and that includes shoes. The stereotype of a biker clad in leather has a purpose behind it–to protect. Your footwear should also include sturdy soles with traction that protect your ankles and have a low heel.
  5. You definitely can’t multitask. No phone, no radio and no headphones should be used when driving a motorcycle. You need all of your senses to be hyper-vigilant. Plus, it’s much more dangerous than taking your hands off the wheel of a car because the handlebars control gears and brakes.
  6. Passengers need to follow the same rules. Your passenger should not distract you, should wear protective clothing, and needs to physically move with you to maintain balance.
  7. You really experience the outdoors. You will get hit with all the exhaust, bugs, rain, etc. of the outdoors. Can you recall small rocks on the road that get flung up by other tires dinging on your windshield? On a motorcycle, you do not have this much protection.
  8. You might stink. And probably sweat. While it’s possible to have an air conditioning system, protective gear can’t be washed too often, so it can hold on to body odor, which can transfer to your clothing.
  9. You can’t ride in bad weather. The impact of rain on asphalt brings up oil and residue on the surface of the road that’s especially dangerous for motorcyclists.
  10. You’re joining a club. Motorcyclists are friendly and wave to each other. It can also mean getting into friendly debates about the best motorcycles.
  11. Prepare to deal with wildlife. Parking outside can mean wildlife (especially spiders, occasionally wasps) will get into an open vehicle, including the seats, tailpipe, or helmet, if left uncovered.
  12. You can use the HOV lane! Even as one person!
  13. You still owe tolls, but you can pay electronically, just like a car!
  14. You might wait more/less at traffic lights than you’re used to. If a traffic light is triggered by the weight of vehicle instead of timed, you will have to wait – depending on state laws. Some states allow motorcyclists to treat red lights as stop signs.
  15. You might reduce your travel time – but be careful. Lane-splitting is when a motorcyclist rides between lanes of slower moving traffic on the dotted line, while moving or at a red light. It’s illegal only in California, but many warn that such a practice always puts the motorcyclist in a dangerous blind spot.

If you’re ready to take on the responsibility of owning a motorcycle, you should continue your research. It is important to educate yourself about motorcycle insurance as well. Contact TJ Woods Insurance agency for more information.