When spring weather arrives in New England, motorcycle riders can barely contain their excitement. After months of snow and ice keeping us off the roads, the temperature is rising and the pavement is drying – it’s time to ride!
Before you head out, be sure to keep the following safety tips in mind for spring.
Perform Routine Maintenance
For your own safety and the safety of others sharing the road, never assume your motorcycle is ready to ride. If your bike has been in storage all winter, it likely needs some work. Be sure to check the following components before rolling out:
- Test the brakes in your driveway or take a quick spin around the neighborhood.
- Refill the gas tank and change the oil. Also have the fluids flushed and replenished.
- Check the tires for proper inflation. Months in storage can lead to air loss.
Review Insurance & Registration
Before planning your first motorcycle trip, make sure your license and registration are up-to-date. You should also contact your insurance carrier to make sure you’re sufficiently covered in the event of an accident. Motorcyclists who are caught on the road with an expired registration or no insurance policy can be fined and have their bikes towed.
Update Your Gear
Although the weather is getting warmer, it’s important to keep your body protected in the event of a spill. Durable riding boots, gloves, a helmet and leather jacket are recommended to prevent damage to your body. Riders should never hit the road wearing sneakers, a t-shirt or shorts – even on the hottest of days – or they risk road rash. This occurs when skin makes contact with the pavement after a spill off a moving motorcycle.
Watch Out For Roadwork
Spring is a busy time for construction crews, who work hard to repair the damage done to our roadways after a harsh winter. As they are removing potholes or repaving, motorcyclists should be on high alert for the dangers that can come with roadwork:
- Ride with caution when nearing work zones. Loose gravel can cause a bike to spin out.
- Slow down at corners – you never know when a hazardous patch may be in the road.
- Be prepared to stop. Some drivers fail to see motorcyclists, which can result in a fatality.
Check the Weather Forecast
Spring can bring slippery road conditions, in the form of rain and hail. You may be enjoying a beautiful spring day when suddenly, a passing shower hits. So you are prepared for changing weather patterns, make sure you check the day’s forecast before heading out. Wet roads can be dangerous for motorcyclists approaching corners and intersections, who may be missed by other drivers. Wear brightly colored clothing and use your headlamp to be seen!
We all love to feel free while riding our motorcycles on open New England roads, but it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings. For safety’s sake, we hope you follow these tips to have a more enjoyable riding season.