2012-06-15 14:24:10+0000 - Winchester, Virginia, United States of America

Here are the Top 10 tips for riding a motorcycle, compiled from leading experts around the world.

1. Maintain Your Baby - Routine maintenance and washing your bike regularly will help you spot wear and tear easily.

2. Attitude Check - Always sort out your attitude before you start, riding angry or compromised is dangerous. Be sympathetic and patient with others, everyone makes mistakes, they are not out to get you. When riding with a pillion make sure they have an attitude check, and make sure they understand your rules.

3. Anticipate the Road - Try to anticipate what might happen in addition to what actually is happening, looking well ahead of the road is safer than focusing only on your immediate surroundings. Take note of roads signs and markings to see the way ahead.

4. Urban Safety - Towns are the riskiest places to ride in, don't speed in urban areas. Distractions in town are aplenty, keep your eyes on the road. Use lower gears in town to keep rpm higher and help you appreciate your speed more.

5. Planning and Suspicion - Don't make a move before you've planned it, when you do move don't have second thoughts, jerky movements cause all sorts of problems for you and the people around you. Learn to spot risky drivers by their habits and types of vehicles they drive, be suspicious of everyone.

6. Gesticulate - Using hand signals as well as indicators helps drivers around you know your intentions. Using your mirrors lets you check for other's movements, using your indicators lets them know yours. Be assertive with oncoming traffic, don't let them push you around.

7. Ride Awake - Fatigue is one of the biggest causes of rider error, try to ride only when you are alert. Don't feel pressured to perform for others, go at you own pace. In the morning be aware of sleepy drivers peering through their misted or frosted windows.

8. Hazards - When approaching an intersection, look at a driver's eyes and wheels as a clue to his acknowledgement about when it's safe to proceed. If you see what you think is diesel on the road, inhale sharply to confirm it by smell. Use your brake lights to warn others of hazards ahead. Don't be scared to accelerate around hazards to safety.

9. Viewpoints - If you can't see over the crest of a hill, stand up on your footrests for a better view. Low level sun can make it harder for you to see and even more difficult for others to see you. Try to wear the brightest and most protective gear you can every time you ride.

10. Keep Learning - There's no substitute for experience, ridding as often as you can or even taking skills courses has many benefits. Training and safety aren't boring, they are definitely better than a hospital visit.

No one needs to tell you that riding is a lot of fun. We all know there are many risks to being a biker but riding can be so enjoyable that it can easily overshadow the risks. Using some or all of these safety tips may just make you a better rider.

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