Date added: 2013/06/17

You decide on what risks you are willing to take, the physics decides whether you live or die.

Andrew Chau Full Throttle

Summary

Motorcycling is a hobby more than anything to me. The agility and sensation you get from riding is truly incredible but at the same time there are many hazards to be encountered. This article is to raise awareness, increase knowledge, and promote safer riding.


The Dangers

Obvious but important, let us first take a look at why riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a car:


stopping distances

Figure #1 (stopping distances)


Cheaper, More Convenient, Cooler?

The average motorcycle is indeed cheaper than a car and much more fuel efficient. However you should answer these three questions honestly:


Buying a Motorcycle

Don't ask for advice if you don't want to hear the real answer. Be realistic about your size, weight and strength - these are important considerations, as you will need to be able to manoeuvre quickly, efficiently and confidently.

Especially when getting your first bike, start off with something around the level of a 4 stroke 250cc bike. Imagine someone saying "I want to learn to juggle, but I'm going to start by learning with chainsaws. But don't worry, I intend to go slow, be careful, stay level-headed, and respect the power of the chainsaws while I'm learning". Plain and simple, it's just better to learn juggling with tennis balls than it is with chainsaws. Unfortunately safety concerns with a first motorcycle aren't as apparent as they are in that example.


Andrew's Tips

  1. Leave enough space
  2. Ride within your skills
  3. Ride to conditions
  4. All the gear, all the time
  5. Concentrate and clear everything else from your mind
  6. Stay out of blind spots
  7. Go into the corners slow and finish fast
  8. Always have your headlights on
  9. Remember there is no reason to take a risk
  10. Observe far ahead
  11. Ride only as fast as you can see
  12. Never assume a car has seen you

Full Gear v Fool's Gear

Figure #2 (Full Gear v Fool's Gear)


Reducing Risk

There is nothing you can do which can guarantee your safety on a motorcycle. It's up to you to reduce the risks and minimize the likelihood of accidents. The following things increase risk:



Number 1 Crash Reason

About 2/3 of all motorcycle accidents involve another vehicle, most likely a passenger car. Of these accidents the most likely cause is the automobile making a right hand turn (left lane drive) in front of the oncoming motorcycle. This type of accident is also the most dangerous for the motorcyclist because it results in a head on or near head on collision. Intersections are the most likely scene of a motorcycle accident. You need to make sure the car has seen you (won't pull out in front of you) and speeding won't help.


Useful Statistics

The following statistics are based on NSW Australia from 2006 - 2010:

The following statistics are based on NSW Australia for 2013:

The following statistics are based from USA for 2012:

Accidents based on actions

Figure #3 (Accidents based on actions)

Motorcycle injuries

Figure #4 (Motorcycle injuries)


Everyone Is Valentino

With the incredible agility and maneuverability you have on a bike, it's tempting to feel like Valentino Rossi at some point. But if he faced the same obstacles on the race track that we do on the road, he'd probably be dead by now.

Valentino Rossi

Figure #3 (Valentino Rossi)


Wouldn't It Be Pefect?

To all the fellow riders out there, I wish you a clear head at all times on the road.