SmartMotorcycling.info
Motorist Awareness
Educate and Elevate
Get Licensed and Insured




You're sitting at a stoplight, You
hear a siren, You look around
for the emergency vehicle and
finally see a large fire truck. Why
didn't you immediately spot the
truck as soon as you heard the
siren? Sound usually follows its
own path of travel. Identifying
the direction and location of a
moving vehicle depending on
sound can be quite tricky.
Riders with the philosophy that
"Loud Pipes Save Lives" should
be careful not to develop a false
sense of security when it
comes to being seen. Due
diligence should be paid to
developing riding skills and
employing more effective
visibility tactics.
Lane choice and lane
positioning should be the first
consideration in being noticed
be other drivers. Wearing lightly
colored, brightly colored, or
reflective gear greatly increases
your chances of being seen.
Light modulators, extra lights,
reflectors and other visual
stimulating accessories attract
the attention of would be right-
of-way violators.
Loud pipes are effective at
attracting attention, but they also
infringe upon the rights of
others in the form of a noise
annoyance. Do we really want to
provoke the wrath of irate
neighbors and State
Lawmakers
Loud Pipes




Attention seeking bikers in
Tennessee are receiving more
attention than they bargained
for. Riders pulling
 WHEELIES
on Tennessee Streets and
highways have caught the
attention of state lawmakers
and they are not impressed,
they're pissed. On May 29, 2007,
the Tennessee House passed
a bill that adds driving a
motorcycle while the front tire is
off the ground to the offense of
reckless driving; violation is a
class B misdemeanor. The
state Senate has adopted the
same bill. Similar legislation
has been introduced in other
states as well
"Sooner or later, you're gonna go down", I'm sure many bikers have heard this
ridiculous statement uttered in full belief by fellow bikers. I am certainly glad that
airplane pilots don't believe in a similar philosophy. It's probably due to the confidence
that airplane pilots have in their abilities. The training required to become a pilot
assures that their knowledge and skill levels allow them to manage risk and make
prudent decisions even in the worst situations. A motorcyclist with the belief that
crashing is a part of riding a motorcycle obviously lacks confidence in his/her
knowledge and abilities.


Debunking The Bull
  • "You're not a real biker unless you walk with a limp"
  • "It's not you, you have to worry about; It,s the other drivers"
  • "Motorcycle riders are nothing but organ donors"
  • "I been riding 20 years, I don't need no stinking class"
  • "Don't use the front brakes, they'll throw you over the handlebars"
I could go on for pages with foolish saying and beliefs related to motorcycle riding, but
this is our safety page and we want to talk about motorcycle riding truths. ( Go to the
Contact Us page and send us ridiculous saying you have heard.)

Riding a motorcycle in an inherently risking activity, as is the case with most  physical
activities. The risks involved in operating a motorcycle can be minimized and effectively
managed with planning, knowledge and skill development.
An excellent first step for a novice rider or an experienced rider seeking improvement is
taking a motorcycle riding class. Riding classes provide valuable information on risk
management issues and operational skills as well as encourage development of
attitudes and behavior conducive to safe vehicle operation.
A riding class equips the rider with information for making sound decision affecting safe
riding. Though it seems quite physical, the ability to make good decisions constitute 90
percent of riding ability.
Besides being the law, license and insurance are an indication of maturity and personal
responsibility. A responsible rider is more likely to be a safe rider.  
A safe ride starts out with a full, clear head. A head full of valuable information and
clear of distractions. The ability to concentrate on the task at hand is one of a rider's
most valuable assets. A good rider needs to be free of fatigue, stress and annoyances.
Alcohol and drugs (legal or illegal) can cause serious problems for even the most
experienced riders. If the label warns against operating heavy equipment, take note,
your motorcycle is Heavy Equipment.
With a clear head and good information, a rider can make sensible choices concerning
Riding Gear.
  • Helmets - Although the full helmet offers the most protection, helmets come in
    many styles to include the shorty, the half helmet and the three-quarter helmet.
    When choosing a helmet consideration should be made to the certification of
    safety testing. Helmet with a D.O.T. or Snell sticker affixed has met minimum
    safety standards.
  • Eye and Face Protection - You don't have to be hit in the face by a stone or a
    bug at highway speeds to know that the results are less than desirable. A full
    face shield offers the most protection. At least a half shield or goggles should be
    worn to protect the eyes and asset in maintaining good visibility.  
  • Jackets and Pants - Motorcycle specific apparel offers the best fit and function
    for riding. These garment are designed for comfort and protection, and are
    usually have thoughtful rider-friendly features.
  • Gloves - Fingerless gloves are cute, but are far less effective as a smart riding
    tool than full- fingered gloves. Full-fingered gloves protect the hands in the event
    of an unexpected dismount and from flying debris and the ravages of nature. Full-
    fingered gloves assist in maintaining a sure grip on handlebars and reduce hand
    fatigue
  • Boots - A "Best Choice" boot would be made of leather, have a non-slip sole,
    possess waterproof qualities and provide over the ankle protection

The condition of a motorcycle is paramount to safe motorcycle operation. Routine
maintenance is the key to keeping a motorcycle in good condition and keeping repair
costs down. Maintenance schedules can usually be found in the motorcycle owner's
manual. Inspections before and after each ride can identify problems that may cause
inconvenient breakdowns or immediate danger. The following items should be checked
before and after each ride to assure optimum safety.
  • Tires - Check Tread and Air Pressure, Check for embedded objects
  • Drive Train - Check chain tension and lubrication, Check belts for cracks and
    fraying, Check shaft for fluid leakage
  • Lights and other electronics - Make sure Headlight, brake light, tail light, signal
    lights and other electronics work properly
  • Fluids - Check levels on gas, oil, coolant and brake fluid
  • Cables - Check for smooth movement and visible damage (fraying)
  • Controls - Working properly

Technology has allowed manufacturers to produce motorcycles that are lighter, faster
and more responsive to rider input compared to bikes of the past. Today's motorcycles
also have better braking and turning capabilities. Technical improvements have actually
made motorcycles safer and easier to operate. Conversely, lighter weight and
increased horsepower are an added temptation for riders with a "need for speed".

The safety of any motorcycle depends on the judgement, training, skill and experience
of the rider. A good rider uses every available resource and does everything within his
control to reduce risk involved in operating a motorcycle. Safe motorcycle operation
and sharing the road with other vehicle operator requires considerable premeditated
effort. A safe rider must employ a system of control when riding that allows the rider to
see and be seen, as well as recognise and effectively respond to hazards.

A well trained and well prepared motorcyclist is definitely on the right road to reducing
and managing risks.


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Wheelies Outlawed