Safe Riding

Safe Riding

Gear and Skills for Improved Safety

May 13, 2016
While most of us think of May fondly as the month that gave us Cinco de Mayo, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reminds us that it is also the national Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. As part of its motorcycle safety awareness campaign, NHTSA implores drivers to be mindful of motorcyclists, and for motorcyclists to use DOT-approved helmets and not to ride while intoxicated. NHTSA’s mission with this campaign is to help reduce the number of motorcyclist fatalities, and I think all of us would agree that this is a worthy cause, all year around. Given the spotlight on safety,…

Carrying Concealed While Riding

December 22, 2015
 I have a few passions in life; three of which are motorcycling, travel, and guns. I’ve been riding motorcycles and hunting since the age of seven, so riding and shooting has always been a part of my life.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month (May 2015)

April 30, 2015
May is, as we all should know, “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.” In my mind, every month should be “motorcycle safety awareness month,” but one official month is better than none.

Safe Winter Riding

January 1, 2015
For those of us here in the Midwest and other northern climates, it looks like Old Man Winter has exhaled a breath of cold air and knocked the last few leaves to the ground. It’s 14 degrees out as I sit here writing this, which means for some, it's time to roll your bike into the corner of your garage, hook up your battery tender and hope for an early spring. For others, who are a bit more adventurous, there’s no real end to the riding season; just a change in riding gear.

Motorcycle Fatalities Down in 2013

May 29, 2014
According to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, 2013 was only the second year since 1997 that motorcycle fatalities saw a decline in numbers. Comparing year-to-year numbers for the first nine months of 2012 with 2013, the GHSA said fatalities decreased in the District of Columbia and 35 states, increased in 13 states and remained the same in two.

Proper Body Positioning

February 1, 2014
I’m sure you’ve seen extreme racing either on TV or at the track. You know the ones I’m talking about, with the riders hanging off their machines like monkeys and dragging their knees in the corners. Although this may help riders corner on the racetrack, it's not necessarily the best body position for street riding.

Riding Safe on Red

January 1, 2014
Does the state you ride in allow “safe on red”? Only twelve do and the list of them is below, along with the stipulations and the year the law was passed in each state.

Louise's October Safe Riding Tips

October 1, 2013
Turning RightlyWhen I was learning to ride, I found I could not make the bike turn right. Left turns were no problem, but right turns? I couldn’t do it. Some theories suggest that it’s instinctive to want to protect your “dominant” side, but I’m a lefty, so that doesn’t hold. Recently I witnessed a very frightening event with a young man and his passenger on a sport bike. Coming out of a corner gas station, he could not master a right turn, ending up in the center lane of a five-lane highway from turning so wide. He stopped, corrected himself…

My Accident - A Survivor's Story

August 1, 2013
It was a very nice late spring day. The temperature was around 80 and a reasonable breeze. I had been riding most of the day. First went to my grandson’s birthday party then traveled about 40 miles to Lawrence KS for my niece’s graduation party. Left the party around 5:30 and headed back home. Before I got the area of I-435 highway construction that I knew would be stop-and-go I decided to alter my route. You never consider how one decision can change your life in a major way until after the events unfold. I went farther south on I-35…

Road Rage - Don't Let Your Anger Put You at Risk

April 1, 2013
If you frequently or even occasionally ride in traffic, it is a safe bet that there has been a time when another motorist has done something that made you angry. Maybe you were being followed too closely. Perhaps you were forced into another lane or even onto the shoulder of the highway. The natural reaction in such situations is to instantly become very angry at the person who seems to have so little regard for your well-being. The way you deal with your anger could become a matter of life or death.Several years ago, I was riding with a small…

Safety Thoughts

August 1, 2012
Why are left turns so dangerous? The obvious answer would be they are dangerous because the driver is crossing oncoming traffic as she is completing the maneuver. One would think the knowledge of this information would make one look to her left at least twice before proceeding. But time after time I read articles in my Google alerts about people being injured or killed on their bikes because of a left turn. Most times it is a driver in a car making a left and either cutting off a bike or a bike crashing into the car as it crosses…

Think When You Drink

April 30, 2012
Do you drink and ride? If your answer is no, good for you! If your answer is anything other than no, we’ll assume you are at least a social drinker and can use some of the following information to help ensure you and your riding buddies always get home safe and sound. According to the Fatal Accident Reporting System, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, a number of well-controlled studies of fatal motorcycle crashes have shown that between 40 and 45 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes involve the use of alcohol. In about one-third of the…

Memorial Day Weekend and Beyond: Motorcycle Accident Prevention is Key

March 31, 2012
Summertime is quickly approaching, which means bikers are already taking to the road to kick off the 2012 riding season. Since May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, there’s no better time to review the importance of motorcycle safety, state riding laws, insurance coverage, and being prepared for an accident. 10 Tips to Protect Your Legal Rights and Your SafetyReview Your Motorcycle Insurance Policy – Choosing insurance coverage can be tricky, because the laws are different for every state, and not all coverage options are available in all situations. However, you want to be sure you have liability coverage, including Bodily…

Safe Group Riding

February 29, 2012
Few things are more impressive than seeing a large group of motorcycles cruising down the road in formation. On the flipside, few things are as horrid as seeing a group of motorcycles heading down the road with no clue what the hell they’re doing. You know the ones I’m talking about; the leader is often in the right-hand side of the lane, everyone is riding side-by-side, or there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for their formation. One of my biggest pet peeves when riding in a large group is seeing the lead rider riding in the right-hand…

Safe Winter Riding

December 31, 2011
For those of us here in the Midwest and other northern climates, it looks like Old Man Winter has exhaled a breath of cold air and knocked the last few leaves to the ground. Mother Nature has also jumped in by dumping several inches of snow and ice on us in an attempt to keep everyone inside. For some, that means it's time to roll your bike into the corner of your garage, hook up your battery tender and hope for an early spring. For others, who are a bit more adventurous, there is no real end to the riding…

Motorcycles, Deer and Rehab

April 30, 2010
We've all heard the old saying 'It's not if you're going down; it's when you're going down.' When you ride motorcycles as often as many of us do, this thought is always in the back of our minds; however, I never really took much time to think it until now. As I'm writing this article, one of my best friends is laid up in a rehab facility recovering from two shattered ankles after hitting a deer on his motorcycle. He's going to be out of commission for several months; however, after seeing his bike, and especially his helmet, I realized…

Dead Red: A Solution to Stubborn Stoplights

November 30, 2009
It’s been a nice ride home from work, but now I’m dreading that left turn off Missouri Highway 291 into my neighborhood. The intersection has a left turn lane and a traffic signal, so it should be a safe, easy, protected left turn. Only one problem—the stoplight sensors NEVER detect motorcycles. A biker could sit there staring at a red light indefinitely unless he’s lucky enough to get help from a car also turning left.The intersection is up ahead, and there’s a car in the left turn lane, but can I get there in time to tag along? I twist…

The Parking Lot Slalom

September 30, 2009
EDITORS NOTE: I received the following e-mail and YouTube link from Ryan Grassley, who is one of our readers. I really liked his suggestion for working on low speed maneuvers, which you can do in any vacant parking lot. I also thought it was a great idea to video tape your run and post it as a video response to his video so you can share your experience. Enjoy!-------- Original Message -------- Subject: Slow riding competitionFrom: Ryan Grassley Date: Wed, September 30, 2009 6:09 pmTo: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Hi I thought your readers might be interested in something like this. I came…

Kansas City Kansas Community College MSF Rider Training Program – Kansas City, Kansas

August 31, 2009
Nichole and I recently had the opportunity to visit with Carla Pestock and five of the female rider coaches (Liz, Karen, Kathy, Wendy & Jenny) at Kansas City Kansas Community College to find out more about their Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Rider Training Programs. Carla is the Community Education Coordinator at the college, and during our meeting, it was obvious she was extremely proud of the rider training they have offered the community since 1998 as well as their team of female rider coaches. With more and more women choosing to ride their own motorcycles, she credits a great deal…
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