Speeding and Motorcycle Riding
Motorcycles are known for rapid acceleration, making them very attractive to riders. Speed, though, as many safety campaigns over the years have emphatically announced, kills. Riding your bike at high rates of speed decreases your perception-reaction time significantly. If your brakes lock up, you risk loss of control. Being ejected from your bike at highway speeds or greater will cause you serious injuries at best.
Motorcycles only makeup 3% of registered vehicles in the US but account for 15% of all motor vehicle fatalities. Speeding is a factor in 34% of motorcycle fatalities, more than for alcohol-related deaths.
There are a number of models on the market where speed is the main focus of the bike. Though this should not be your main reason for purchasing a motorcycle, it remains the primary selling point for at least younger riders. Accelerating and riding at high speeds is a feature, however, that cannot be ignored since many riders customize their bikes or seek to purchase high-performance bikes.
There are a number of things that you can do to minimize the possibility of being in an accident if you are riding at a high rate of speed:
- Purchase a bike that you can handle. Many bikes are high-performance vehicles and much more powerful than in recent years. If you are a novice biker, do not get a heavy bike but consider an entry level one. Find one where you can easily reach the handlebars and controls, can get on and off with ease, but is powerful enough to keep up with traffic if you plan on highway riding.
- Spend a little extra for anti-lock brakes. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, you are 37% less likely to be in a fatal crash with ABS brakes. These brakes retain steering control in panicked stopping.
- Routinely check the treads on your bike as worn treads will cause poor handling
- Lubricate the chain, control pivots, and cables and replace worn cables–this will make the controls more responsive. Every millisecond counts in a panic situation.
- If you want to speed, do so on a flat surface with no bends or curves and little traffic. Remember that you will be breaking the speed laws.
- Always wear a helmet, gloves, and high-quality boots and never ride if intoxicated or otherwise impaired.
There are times when you have to accelerate to extricate yourself from a hazardous situation. There are also moments when you can test your bike’s capability on the open road. Before you do decide to speed, consider the cost of a speeding ticket and points on your driving record as well as the risk of being unable to avoid sudden hazards.