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Four Tips For New Motorcyclists

by Jamie Nichols

For motorcycle aficionados, not much beats the idea of hitting the open road on a gleaming bike, cruising down the highway, and the wind blowing across their face. Motorcycles are fun to drive and they are fuel efficient. Unfortunately, no matter how safely you drive your bike, other motorists are always a potential danger. Here are four tips to keep in mind to give you the best odds when your on the road..

Don't Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Like every area of technology, motorcycles just keeping getting better and more efficient. That power and performance can be surprising to even seasoned riders, though, and in the hands of an eager novice, they can be downright deadly.

When shopping for a bike, make sure you "try it on" before you buy it. Your feet should be able to be planted firmly on the ground when you are seated on it. The handlebars and controls should be easily reached. Don't buy a bike that is too heavy for you to maneuver off of its center stand.

If you are looking for a bike that is good for easy commutes, choose an engine size that is no larger than 300 cc. For highway driving, consider a maximum of 750 cc. While a Harley-Davidson may be your dream bike, its massive power doesn't make it the ideal bike for beginners. Start small and trade up as you gain experience.

Buy Anti-lock Brakes

If you are driving down the road and a deer is suddenly standing there, slamming on the brakes can cause you to skid and lose control of the steering. Anti-lock brakes only cost a few hundred dollars more on most bikes and they can save your life. They allow you to maintain control of steering. They are also good if road conditions are slick or wet.

Take A Safety Course

State laws vary on what is required to get a motorcycle license. Some states don't even require a course for smaller bikes, like mopeds. But taking a course such as those given by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation can significantly boost your confidence as well as your defensive driving skills.

Wear The Right Gear

Helmets aren't required in all states, and they are a controversial topic. While proponents say they statistically save lives, opponents insist they can also impede vision and reduce rider enjoyment. Regardless, if your state doesn't decide the issue for you, give careful thought to the potential consequences of being in an accident without one.

A motorcycle is no place for shorts and sandals, no matter how beautiful the summer day. Full leather gear and boots should be worn regardless of weather. Even a simple skid can cause severe road rash if you aren't dressed appropriately.

If the unthinkable happens and you are involved in an accident, make certain you exercise your rights and contact a law firm that specializes in motorcycle accidents.