Motorcycling is an exciting pastime, but along with the adrenaline rush there are certain dangers involved. Although there is little you can do to reduce the dangers from your fellow road users, it is vital you ensure that your motorbike is safe, legal and roadworthy.

Get into the routine of following a safety check before you take your motorbike out for a trip, even if you’re just riding down to the local shops.

Your tyres are your only contact between you and the road, so it’s vital that they are in good condition. Make sure you check the amount of tread left and look for unusual wear patterns. Check the tyre pressure as well, as this has an important bearing on road holding.

Take the time to check that all your lights are working correctly. Pay particular attention to your brake warning light, indicators and horn carefully as they are the major means of communicating your driving intentions to other road users. It’s a good idea to carry spare globes for your lights, too.

Your motorbike can only perform at maximum efficiency if you keep it in good condition. As well as simple checks on lights and horn, remember that the less visible components need attention as well. Check the engine and gearbox oil level and condition, replacing the oil at recommended intervals and make sure all the mechanical components of your motorbike function as they should.

Of course, it’s not just the mechanical roadworthiness of your motorbike that’s important; you need to make sure you are fully protected while out enjoying your motorbike. Obviously insurance is important, but make sure that you are equipped with good quality protective clothing, including a well-fitting and secured, approved helmet.

It may seem a bit over the top to put on your leathers to pop down to the local shops, but you can lose just as much skin falling off on a short shopping trip as on a longer trip, so always ride out prepared for the worst.

You’ll need to make sure that as well as wearing the right clothing and having your motorbike mechanically well maintained, you are legally entitled to ride on the public highways.

Make sure that your motorbike registration is up-to-date to avoid any embarrassment should you be stopped for any reason by a police patrol. Your registration number plate must be securely attached and visible; don’t forget to carry your motorbike rider’s licence with you as well.

Motorcycling is great fun; add to your enjoyment by properly maintaining your bike, wearing the right clothes and looking after the legal requirements and you’ll get the absolute maximum from this exhilarating experience.

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