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  • Writer's pictureAnne Hartley

Motorcycle Safety

Well here we are the first month of 2023 is over and we are faced with the shortest month of the year February with only 28 days. I’m sure everyone is looking forward to warmer days. 47 days till the first day of Spring. With Spring just around the corner it’s time to get our motorcycle in the shop for a checkup. Get your oil changed, check your tires etc…

Riding a motorcycle can be a dangerous activity - for both riders and people in other vehicles. As the days start to get warmer, it's important for motorcyclists to ensure they are doing all they can to protect themselves and others on the road. While some motorcycle accidents are unavoidable, there are many things you can do to reduce the risk of injury to yourself, your passenger, and other road users

Riding a motorcycle is adventurous and an exhilarating experience. However, the harsh reality is that motorcycle riding can be very dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. Take a safety course. A safety course will teach you the rules of the road for motorcycles. You will also learn the appropriate actions to take in unpredictable riding situations that can arise. Driving a motorcycle requires skill and good judgment and a safety course can help you practice these. Check the weather before heading out. Rain, ice and snow can compromise your ride. Driving in these elements is hazardous for bikers because you have less traction than a car and visibility is lower. Choose a different day if inclement weather is in the forecast. Wear motorcycle gear. Motorcycle gear protects you from the elements, debris and road rash. Appropriate gear includes a DOT-approved helmet, goggles, leather jacket, leather pants or chaps, over the ankle boots and non-slip gloves. Dress in layers to adjust to any changing weather throughout the day. Inspect your motorcycle before each ride. It’s a good idea to inspect your bike before you ride to ensure it is as safe as possible. Check your headlights, taillights, turn signals, brakes, fuel, oil, tire pressure, mirrors, handlebars and horn. Obey traffic rules, use your signals and drive the speed limit. This may sound remedial, but it’s important to follow traffic rules, use signals and drive the posted speed limit to avoid accidents. Be visible. You cannot assume you are visible to other drivers, 75% of accidents involving motorcycles are due to the fact that other drivers did not see the motorcycle. Here are some ways to remain visible: Avoid other drivers’ blind spots; Drive with your headlights on even during the day; Wear reflective or bright clothing, and; always use your turn signals and hand signals. Be observant and watch for road hazards. Driving defensively enables you to anticipate traffic problems and road hazards. Sand, oil and gravel can make you lose traction. Bumps and potholes are equally dangerous and should also be avoided. Cross railroad tracks at the appropriate angle. Stay at a safe distance. Tailgating is not safe. It is recommended to stay at least four seconds away from the vehicle in front of you. This will allow you to stop in an emergency situation. Also, it is good to have an escape route in mind such as moving to the shoulder should you not be able to stop in time. Carry a first-aid kit. Keeping a basic first-aid kit with your motorcycle is a good idea in case of injury. It should include: disinfecting wipes, bandages, hand sanitizer, gauze, adhesive tape and Band-Aids. Take an advanced riding course. Practice and increase your skills by taking an advanced riding course. You will learn collision avoidance maneuvers, advanced turning, control tips and braking techniques.

Facts about Motorcycles:

1. The first motorcycle was built in 1885. The first internal combustion engine motorcycle (motorised bicycle) was built in Germany in 1885. Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach created the Daimler Reitwagen, which they named Einspur. But, unfortunately, it was lost in a fire in 1903.

2. The word ‘motorcycle’ was first used in 1894. The question, ‘when were motorbikes invented’, also evokes curiosity about the origin of the word ‘motorcycle’. The first recorded usage of the word is seen in 1894 when Hildebrand & Wolfmüller launched the Motorrad (motorcycle).

3. Yamaha started as a piano manufacturer. Many associate the name Yamaha with motorcycles, but the company’s origins lie in musical instruments. In 1887, Yamaha started producing pianos and slowly expanded its operations to other areas. It first began making motorcycles in 1955 under the newly formed branch, Yamaha Motor Company.

4. Triumph Motorcycles began production in England in 1898. Motorcycle history in England began in 1898 when Triumph Motorcycles began making motorbikes. By 1903, they had produced 500 bikes, but production took off during World War I when troops needed motorbikes to maintain communication on the front.

5. Harley Davidson was established in 1903. Established in 1901, the first US motorcycle manufacturer, Indian Motorcycle, became the world’s largest manufacturer by World War I. Harley Davidson, however, began production only two years later in 1903 and, by 1920, managed to eclipse Indian to become the world’s largest manufacturer.

6. The Vespa was introduced in 1946. We know who invented the motorbike, but who created the ever-popular Vespa? In 1946, the Italian designer Piaggio introduced the Vespa to gain instant popularity. The Vespa, however, saw a surge of acclaim after it was featured in the film Roman Holiday—100,000 Vespas were sold in one year.

7. The first Honda motorcycle was produced in 1949. Honda is a well-known name in the motorbike industry. Its first complete motorcycle was produced in 1949, and 15 years later, Honda became the largest producer of motorcycles globally.

8. The first chopper was produced in 1969. The question, ‘when were motorcycles invented’, also heightens intrigue about the development of certain types of bikes, such as the first chopper, which came into the picture in 1969. The Raleigh Chopper was the first motorbike of its kind—a cultural icon of the 70s.

9. The first Harley Davidson motorbike could only reach 40 km/h. Motorbike facts reveal that the first Harley Davidson could reach a maximum speed of 40 km/h. This bike had a single-cylinder engine and sported a tomato can as a carburettor.

10. The world’s fastest motorcycle is the Dodge Tomahawk. The Dodge Tomahawk can reach a top speed of 420 mph (approx. 675 km/h), making it the fastest motorcycle on the market.

11. The Smalltoe is the smallest motorcycle ever produced. The smallest rideable motorcycle is called the Smalltoe, with a front-wheel diameter of only 16 mm and a rear-wheel diameter of 22 mm. So when was this motorcycle invented? The Smalltoe was created in 2003 by Tom Wiberg, who rode it about 10 m.

12. The longest motorcycle is 26.29 metres long. Bharat Sinh Parmar built the longest motorcycle ever built at 26.29 m. He first introduced it in Gujarat, India, in 2015.

13. The most expensive motorbike costs $360,000. The Feline One—created by Feline Motorcycles—is the most expensive motorcycle in history, costing $360,000 (£263,860). It’s made of carbon, titanium, and aerospace aluminum.

14. The most efficient motorcycle is the Verucci Nitro 50. Perhaps one of the most significant motorcycle facts for beginners is that motorbikes are more fuel-efficient than cars. Facts about cars confirm that they use significantly more fuel than bikes. One motorbike especially stands out for fuel efficiency: The Verucci Nitro 50—which can travel 172 km on a single gallon of gas.

15. The Honda NR750 is the most complex motorbike ever made. In 1992, Honda launched its NR750—the world’s most complex motorbike. Initially branded as a racing model, this model had eight valves per cylinder. Honda made 300 street-legal versions of this model.


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