A few motorcyclists have already appeared on eastern Pennsylvania roads but expect many more to hit the highway as warmer spring weather arrives. The beginning of the motorcycle season is here.
As you get your bike out of storage, make sure it is in solid operational order for your new adventures this spring. But also remember that you must prepare yourself in additional ways, too.
Bike check-up, review insurance
During the beginning of motorcycle season, you have a checklist of things to do:
- Bike check-up: Your motorcycle likely has been in storage for several months. It needs a thorough check-up. Look for leaks and check the battery, tires and wheels, brakes, fluids, chain alignment, belt driver and controls. Consider having an experienced mechanic look at it.
- Review insurance policy: Make sure your motorcycle insurance is up to date. You likely had a “lay-up” policy that covered you during the winter months. This suspends certain coverages such as collision, liability and towing, while you only pay comprehensive during non-riding months. Once riding season begins, reinstate full coverage.
- Consider enrolling in a motorcycle safety class: Even experienced riders may benefit. Understand that your skills may have eroded a bit, too. A class will reinforce things you may already know, and you could learn new things, too. Also, doing so may provide you with a discount on your insurance.
- Wear good protective gear: Wear leather or heavy denim clothing, sturdy shoes and boots that cover your ankles and good gloves. Although wearing a helmet is optional in Pennsylvania, it may protect you from a serious head injury. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 51% of the 176 motorcyclists killed in Pennsylvania in 2019 were not wearing a helmet.
- Be gentle on the first few rides: Take a ride in the neighborhood before heading to the highway. You want to get a good feel of your bike. Since you know it better than anyone else, you will recognize if something is not right. Do not forget that you, too, need to get back into riding shape.
- Be alert for road problems: The winter weather damages roads. Large cracks and potholes are more than noticeable. A motorcyclist can suffer a serious crash hitting a pothole. Also, the roads may still contain traces of sand and road salt, which can damage your bike. Quickly wash your bike when you get home.
Take these tips to heart. They just may help you avoid a serious injury.
Follow the laws and have fun
Springtime means a new beginning. And this mantra also applies to motorcycle season. Enjoy the open road, follow the traffic laws and have fun along the way.