Summer Driving Tips for Motorcyclists

Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by John Robinson

There are few things quite as enjoyable as a summertime ride on your motorcycle. Going for a ride can be a refreshing way to cool off and take in the season. However, it’s important to practice safe riding techniques during the summertime. Summer is one of the deadliest seasons for bikers. Not only is there more traffic on the roadways, there are also a number of seasonal hazards to prepare for. In this article, we discuss some ways in which you can stay safe on the roads this summer. 

Inspect Your Bike

Every time you go for a ride on your motorcycle, you should carefully check your bike to make sure everything is in good shape. Inspect your mirrors, horn, brakes, lights, tires, and motor before leaving your residence. If you haven’t been on your bike in awhile, it may be a good idea to have it thoroughly inspected by a skilled mechanic. An unexpected mechanical problem caused by aging or defective parts can leave you stranded or cause a serious crash. Detecting and correcting any issues protects you and the other drivers sharing the road. 

Wear Proper Riding Gear

In some cases, even the most cautious and careful of motorcyclists will be unable to avoid a crash. When a collision occurs, gear can mean the difference between life and death. Every time you get on your bike, you should make sure you’re appropriately kitted out. Proper riding equipment includes boots, long pants, a jacket, and gloves. Most importantly, of course, you should always wear a helmet. Many of the motorcyclists killed or severely injured in collisions were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.

While biking in more comfortable clothing and without a helmet may be tempting (and possibly even legal in your state), we strongly recommend wearing proper safety gear anytime you get on your bike. Getting into a crash in shorts and a t-shirt can lead to serious road rash injuries and forgoing a helmet increases the risk of brain injuries and death.

Review Road Conditions

You should always be aware of road conditions, both before you leave your house and while you’re out and about. Road conditions are dynamic, and you should always stay alert for any potential hazards. If you are aware of construction or other obstacles along your route, you may be better off finding an alternate way to your destination. Likewise, if you notice a large amount of debris in the roadway, such as tree branches left after a summer storm, it may be a good idea to take a detour. It’s ideal to avoid roads with debris or other hazards, since they make it much more challenging to safely ride your motorcycle. 

Prepare for the Weather

We typically think of sunny skies and warm temperatures when summer comes to mind — perfect weather for enjoying a swim or going for a relaxing ride in the countryside. However, some areas of the U.S. are prone to summer storms, which can arise unexpectedly. Keeping an eye on the weather forecast is always a good idea. Wet roads can be particularly dangerous for newer motorcyclists and low visibility is never ideal.

Increase Visibility

Collisions frequently occur when other drivers on the road don’t see a motorcycle that’s near them. To reduce the chances of a collision occurring, bikers should make sure that they are as visible to other motorists as possible. This can be accomplished with the use of reflective clothing or decals. Bikers should try to spend as little time in the blind spots of other vehicles as possible, taking care not to pass too close to cars when filtering through traffic or lane splitting.

Bikers may also find it beneficial to:

  • Have their headlight on, even during daytime
  • Firmly engage the brakes when slowing so other drivers are aware of the resulting change in speed
  • Use turn signals 
  • Use their horn when needed

Practice Defensive Driving

Particularly when you don’t have the protections offered by a traditional motor vehicle, it’s essential to drive cautiously and stay alert to your surroundings. By anticipating potential hazards and proactively responding to them, you protect yourself and the people sharing the road with you. Defensive driving encompasses a range of techniques that reduce a motorist’s risk of a collision by allowing them to exert control over road conditions to protect themself from harm. 

Some of the fundamental elements of defensive driving on a motorcycle include:

  • Navigating bends and corners with correct throttle application, body positioning, and steering techniques
  • Actively scanning the road
  • Recognizing blindspots of other drivers and avoiding them
  • Calculating stopping distances correctly
  • Changing lanes safely
  • Dealing with unexpected emergencies in a safe manner
  • Driving alongside other motorcycles safely
  • Watching for and reacting to environmental hazards

Staying Safe While Riding in the Summertime

We hope that this article helps you enjoy a safe, fun summer of riding. Remember to always wear protective gear, check your bike before hitting the road, and practice defensive driving whenever possible. 

John Robinson
John Robinson

Howdy! I’m John Robinson from Levittown, New York. I am a mechanical engineer for 15 years and already had an established car repair company. I developed a personal relationship with cars since I was a kid. I always love the sounds and smell emitted by a car or truck and even at construction machinery. Since then I have been married but my love for cars only grew.