2012-06-15 14:19:16+0000 - California, United States of America

Riding at night needs some special attention. Some say it's like riding in a clear fog. No matter where you ride, visibility levels are always reduced to some extent so it's trickier to judge speed too.

Photo credit: http://esr.cc/LapcOd

Choosing your route really helps - obviously. You don't want to be taking complicated turn by turn routes after sunset. Pick straight roads, the main ones are usually brighter. What you see, and how well you see during the daylight is very different when riding at night. Spotting things at dawn and dusk is even harder. Stuff you can view miles ahead in the day can stay hidden at night until you're right on top of it. Try riding a superbike fast down a dark, unlit, twisty road and you'll suddenly realize just how far ahead you need to see to stay safe, and at night you can't always be safe, so slow down.

Adjusting and cleaning your headlight will give you a better ride. The vast majority of bike lights are pretty poor. That's not helped by the fact the beam suddenly shoots off in a different direction when you brake, accelerate of throw the bike into a corner. Replacing your light is one of the first things to do when you get a bike. Holding onto the pass light to power both filaments together can help. Just be careful when you go back to a dipped beam and have to face the much darker view. And don't forget, at night your headlight blends in with all the others.

Photo via: http:// refinedguy.com

A clean visor is an absolute must! And don't forget to add reflectors to your helmet and bike. Wearing brighter or reflective gear and keeping a clean license plate helps being seen. Being in the right place on the road is a must, staying close to the lane is your best bet, as riding down the middle often becomes the slipperiest section because of its low usage. Many people are tired in the darker hours, a few of them may also be drunk, make sure you stay out of drivers blind spots as the most common excuse by car drivers is "I didn't see the motorcycle, it came out of nowhere". Give countryside riding special attention, where you'll need to be prepared for wildlife jumping out in front of you.

Photo via Motorcycle News

When you're in the dark, do everything you can to improve the view ahead. Whether it's any of the above tips or even going the extra mile to a well lit road, and even enrolling in some motorcycle safety lessons. When your safety is at hand, why argue? Enjoy the ride! Eat Sleep RIDE

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