Spring is in the air, and for motorcycle enthusiasts, it’s time to dust off the bike after a long winter in storage. Before you hit the road, take the time to perform the right maintenance tasks to make sure your motorcycle is in ship-shape, and review some important tips that might save your life. Even if you’re an experienced rider, it’s always a good idea to brush up your safety skills and to take a look at your Alberta motorcycle insurance when the season starts.
5 Things to Do before You Hit the Road
Safety experts stress the importance of performing these five routine maintenance tasks before your first ride of the spring:
- Change your oil and filter. This is especially important if your bike was stored outdoors over the winter, since temperature extremes can cause condensation to build up.
- Swap out your spark plugs. Keep your ignition running strong and smooth with a new, inexpensive and easy-to-install spark plug.
- Inspect your tires. In addition to tire pressure, check to make sure you have adequate treads for the kind of riding you’re doing. If your tires are old and show signs of cracking or warping, ditch them for new ones.
- Check out your riding gear. Are your helmet, visor, boots and riding vest or jacket up for the rigors of another riding season? If not, replace them at the beginning of the season instead of waiting until something goes seriously wrong.
- Top up your fluids. When was the last time you flushed and replaced your radiator and brake fluids? If it’s been a while, spring is a great time to top them up.
Spring Motorcycle Safety
One of the most acute seasonal hazards for springtime motorcyclists is gravel. Municipalities throughout Alberta use fine gravel to de-ice roads during the winter and make it easier for drivers to maintain traction. In spring, there’s usually a lot of gravel residue on the roads, and it can be very dangerous for motorcycles.
If you encounter gravel during a ride, be sure to:
- Maintain your speed
- Keep your eyes on your direction of travel
- Adopt a loose posture so you’re ready to respond to changes in your balance or traction
- Avoid making sudden movements or abrupt changes in your forward momentum
- Do not brake unless absolutely necessary
- If you must slow down, brake lightly
Potholes are another major spring safety problem for motorcycle riders, largely because most municipalities in Alberta wait until summer to patch them up. To avoid them, make sure to allow generous following distance to give yourself the clearest possible view of the road. If you can’t steer clear of a pothole, proceed over it straight on and get into a crouching position so your knees can absorb the impact.
Alberta Motorcycle Insurance: Tips for Safer Riding
There’s a common misconception that motorcycles are dangerous. The truth is that if you ride responsibly and obey traffic laws, you’re at no more risk of being in an accident than anyone else on the road.
Give yourself the best chance of staying accident-free by following these important riding pointers, and keep your Alberta motorcycle insurance costs low:
- Remain visible. Stay as close to the centre of the lane you’re riding in as you can.
- Be defensive. While you may not be at an increased risk of being in an accident, you are more vulnerable because you don’t have a vehicle frame to protect you from the impact of a vehicle-on-vehicle collision.
- Be especially careful at intersections. This is where the greatest percentage of accidents occur. Don’t run yellow or red lights, since this is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents.
- Wear high-visibility clothing and the proper protective gear at all times.
- Signal your turns and lane changes well in advance of making them.
- Keep trip distances manageable. Driver fatigue is a major problem when you’re in a car; on a motorcycle, it can be even more deadly.
Do You Have the Right Coverage?
When it comes to Alberta motorcycle insurance, you may have many questions. How does coverage break down during the months your motorcycle isn’t in use? Are there any ways to lower your premiums? Do you qualify for better rates from another provider?
The seasoned and competent professionals at Lane’s Insurance can help you answer these questions and many more. Visit Lane’s Insurance online today for a fast, free quote, or contact us to discuss your needs in detail