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How can I protect myself as a motorcycle rider this summer?

Motorcycle on an Indiana Road During the Summer MonthsIt’s finally time to roll the machine out of the garage and tune it up for summer riding. You’re looking forward to the freedom and thrill of riding your motorcycle in beautiful Indiana summer weather but are also, as always, worried that this year will be the year you become a highway statistic. Bikers are always at higher risk of serious injury or death than other motorists, but you can take some steps to improve the odds that you’ll make it through to fall unscathed.

First—Take the Time to Tune Your Ride

After sitting in the garage all winter, your bike is sure to need a few touch-ups to get it road ready. It’s important that you check the bike out completely before riding it to make sure everything works as it should. At the very least, do the following:

  • Top off fluids. Now is a good time to change the oil and oil filter and replace the fuel filter. You’ll also want to bleed the brakes, add brake fluid, and inspect the brake lines and pads.
  • Check the battery. Your bike’s battery could have been drained by exposure to cold over the winter. You will likely need to charge the battery and may need to replace it if you see white powder, or if it won’t hold the charge.
  • Get new spark plugs. Look for wear and tear on the spark plugs and replace any that are worn or damaged.
  • Adjust the chain. If the chain has loosened over the winter months, it’s time to adjust it and lube it.
  • Inspect tires for wear. Worn and cracked tires are dangerous. Check the air pressure and take a close look at your tires. If there are flat spots or cracks, it’s probably time to replace them.

Once your bike passes your inspection, you’re ready to hit the road, but don’t forget the importance of defensive riding.

Defensive Riding Reminders

As an experienced rider, you already know that your safety is often up to you. Being aware of the dangers around you and knowing that drivers have little regard for your presence, it’s important that you:

  • Make yourself as visible as possible by wearing bright clothing, but also by positioning yourself in the lane so that other cars can see you.
  • Most accidents occur at intersections, so approach junctions with extreme caution.
  • Overtaking slower vehicles is risky, particularly around blind curves, so always pass carefully.
  • Yes, your bike can go fast, but that doesn’t mean it’s always safe to speed. Keep your speed in check in residential, downtown, and congested areas.

Being cautious doesn’t mean you can’t have an enjoyable ride, but it could mean your chances of returning in one piece are greatly improved.

Call an Indiana Motorcycle Attorney If You Are Injured

If despite your commitment to being a safe rider, the driver of a car or truck causes a crash that leaves you seriously injured, you need an attorney who is sympathetic to motorcycle riders. Keller & Keller has represented bikers in accident claims for years. You can trust us to fight for the compensation you deserve from the negligent driver. Contact us for a free case evaluation today.

 

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller

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