The feeling of finally getting out on the open road with your hands on the motorcycle’s handlebar is pure bliss. Although it is a dream for some and a need for others, it is a must-have skill for all. But the big question is – How old do you have to be to ride a motorcycle? As fun as it is, driving a motorcycle can be very dangerous if done prematurely.
Here are a few tips to be safe while driving a motorcycle.
How to Drive a Motorcycle Safely
It is important to know that although most of the controls of a motorcycle are named the same as those of a car, driving a motorcycle is very different from driving a car. It requires more agility, a greater sense of balance, and a lot more focus.
1. Wear Your Protective Gear
You must never forget to wear your protective gear, irrespective of being at the learning stage or not. Wearing a helmet will prevent serious head injuries at the time of accidents. You must invest in a helmet that fits your head perfectly and is made of good, sustainable material.
If you don’t already have the perfect helmet, check this perfect buyer guide for the best helmets.
Your eyes also need protection from the harsh winds or any potential accidents while driving a motorcycle. There are special sunglasses made to wear while driving a motorcycle. These sunglasses prevent your vision from blurring while driving at a high speed, and are made with variety. There are different Motorcycle sunglasses for summers and winters, for sports, and normal all-weather use as well.
This buyer guide for best motorcycle sunglasses will help you decide which eye-wear to invest in.
Wearing leather apparel like jackets, boots, and gloves will minimize the impact of injuries on you. A great tip is to add reflective tape to your apparel. It will make it easier for other drivers to see you from a distance.
2. Obey Traffic Rules
The faster your speed, the longer it will take for your vehicle to stop after applying brakes. Thus, always obey the speed limit.
Never ignore the traffic lights. Take note of your local traffic laws and never violate them to save both your life and others’ lives.
3. Watch the Other Drivers on the Road
Most of us, while driving, assume that the other drivers can see us and thus, become a little carefree about the same. Avoid doing this at all costs. While driving, no matter how attentive you are, there are a few blind spots where you cannot see. Believe that the other driver can make an unintended mistake and so, be alert at all times.
Send proper signals to the other drivers before changing your lane or making a turn.
4. Ride Sober and Fresh
Do not drink and drive. Alcohol and drugs slow down your ability to react. This can cause heavy destruction while you’re on the road.
Fatigue and drowsiness can blur your vision and cause you to be less alert. So be well-rested before getting on the road.
5. Get Yourself Licensed
Complete a verified course from a professional driving school. Pass the tests and get yourself licensed. Driving a motorcycle before getting licensed is both illegal and unsafe.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a License?
The laws differ from state to state. However, the basic age to get a license is the universally considered adult age of 18 years. Once you’re 14, you can get a learner’s license but that only allows you to drive under the supervision of a legitimate licensed driver, minimum 19 years old.
Prepare Before Getting on the Wheels
- After acquiring the skills and the license, you must make sure that the vehicle you’re driving is fit for use on the road.
- The first thing you should keep a check on is the motorcycle tires. Make sure the tires have accurate pressure. Low pressure can cause a blowout.
- There shouldn’t be any cracks or signs of any wearing on the tires, either.
- Check for any oil or gas leaks. It is very dangerous to drive a motorcycle with leaks under it.
- All the lights on your vehicle- headlights, taillights, and the signals- must be working properly.
- Frequent checks of the levels of the hydraulic and coolant fluids must be done.
- The Clutch and throttle must work smoothly so that they don’t disturb your driving.
- The most important thing to be taken care of is the functioning of the motorcycle’s front and rear brakes. Most accidents happen due to the failure of breaks while you’re driving. Both the brakes must be firm. The bike must be held still when both the brakes are fully applied.
- The horn must be loud and should work properly. You need it to alert the other drivers whenever in need. You shouldn’t honk unnecessarily.
A Few More Things to Keep in Mind
Overspeeding leads to losing control over the handlebar and the brakes. This is one of the major causes of road accidents. One should never exceed the speed limit and instead, should always obey all traffic rules.
Newly licensed motorcycle drivers should avoid riding with passengers since it is a lot more difficult to balance the motorcycle with a passenger, than it is alone. Practice balancing the motorcycle at a slow speed to master it.
Along with your helmet, your motorcycle should also be the right size. If you’re short, driving a huge motorcycle can be risky since it gets difficult to see and use all its controls.
Have a Great Ride
By now you must have understood the idea of how old do you have to be to ride a motorcycle. It is more about practice and experience than it is about your age. However, you must be legally licensed before finally getting on the road.
Keep check of all the traffic rules and laws of the city/state you are in. Follow them to avoid any problems and be on the safe side.
Have a great ride!