Whether you are a new rider or have been riding for many years, you may have heard – or maybe even believed – some of the most common myths about motorcycle safety. If you take action based on these myths, some of them could hurt or even kill you.
If you know a biker who believes any of these myths, be sure to point them to this article!
Myth 1: Bikers wear leather because it makes them cool
While the leather looks cool, that’s just a bonus. Leather, due to its unique properties, is very protective against abrasions, cuts and scuffs. It is also very hot, even with the wind chill caused by driving in cool weather. Biker leathers are generally made from cowhide because they offer more protection than buffalo hide or pigskin. We know of a biker whose front wheel slipped on new wet tar and he slipped just under the van that had stopped in front of him. Although he struggled to say “no problem” to the cop who showed up, and his shoulder ached for weeks afterward, all he had to show for his spill was an abraded black area. on the right shoulder of his brown leather jacket. Obviously, wearing leather is no excuse for recklessness, but it can certainly help minimize damage to the body surface.
Myth 2: Caged drivers don’t care about bikers
It’s not that they don’t care – it’s that they don’t see you. They are not looking for someone on a motorcycle. You can help these riders see you by wearing motorcycle safety gear, such as a lighted helmet and brightly colored clothing. Motorcycle helmets save lives, it’s a fact. You can hear and see very well even with a full face helmet. Also, have the proper safety gear on your bike, including lights brighter than the original ones or additional lights.
Myth 3: The louder the pipes, the safer you are
If you’ve ever ridden in a group, you know you can barely hear the bike behind you. And the bikes on your side aren’t that loud either, unless they’re right next to you. So no, loud pipes will not make car drivers aware of you, especially if they have their noses buried in their cell phones, eaten, put on makeup, read or are distracted.
Myth 4: put the bike down if you’re going to crash
It is the worst thing you can do. When you slip, you have a good chance of being burnt beyond imaginable by the exhaust or you could slip under a vehicle. Instead, learn how to brake effectively. The only time it might be best to put the bike down is if you are on an elevated road, like a bridge, and the only alternative is to fall over the guardrail until you die.
Myth 5: Surface streets are safer than highways
Many people believe that surface streets are safer than highways because of the slower speed. However, they are actually more dangerous because you have traffic on all sides, and often unexpectedly because it is so difficult for riders to “see” the motorcycles. You have people pulling back from back roads, parking lots, and driveways. It’s bad enough when someone turns right at red and cuts a car because they are in a big hurry, but when that person does to a motorcycle there is more damage than just a fender broken. Freeways are safer since you are all going in the same direction – unless a drunk guy is driving in the wrong direction.
Don’t Believe The Motorcycle Safety Myths!
You may have heard a lot of other motorcycle safety myths. Don’t believe them. If you hear something that sounds suspicious, do your research just to see how true it is. Having the proper safety gear will save your life more than doing something crazy like throwing your bike on purpose.