How to Make Your Motorcycle More Visible
Riding a motorcycle in traffic is inherently dangerous. The good news is there are ways you can increase your visibility and enhance your safety on the road.
Drivers often fail to look out for motorcyclists when on the road, and sometimes change lanes before checking their mirrors for those around them. It's one thing to feel safe driving a car with a large aluminum shell providing you plenty of visibility on the road, and it's another to feel vulnerable with just a helmet, jacket and gloves on a bike.
When it's time to ride your motorcycle, remember that standing out is a good thing. After all, nobody wants to become a statistic, but unfortunately many motorcycle casualties are preventable, and visibility often plays a big part in the outcome. Here are a few tips to increase visibility and safety to your bike.
Apply Reflective Graphics and Decals
You don't have to spend a ton of money to make yourself a more visible rider. Placing reflective graphics and decals on your bike, helmet and riding gear is a cost effective method for increasing visibility in traffic. Reflective tape kits for wheels and eye-catching graphics packages for bodywork can both play a role in keeping you visible to the drivers around you.
Since reflective tape is most effective in the evening and at night, your main goal should be to make your bike look as large as possible. This means enhancing the edges and corners of your motorcycle with tape. Get as creative as you want, and follow these tips to increase your motorcycle's visibility:
Choose a Brightly Colored Bike
Motorcycles are generally faster than cars, and have the ability to zip through traffic with ease. Isn't that part of the reason we ride them? Unfortunately, this benefit can also be looked at as a large safety disadvantage. While not necessarily safer, zipping through traffic with bright colors on your bike could work to your advantage.
Dark colors on a bike may look stealthy or aggressive, but they do little to increase your visibility on the road. Bright colors, on the other hand, draw more attention on the road than darker variations, and that's exactly what you want while riding through traffic, especially at night.
Don't Rely on Noise to Increase Your Visibility
Being visible while riding goes well beyond the color of your gear, and asserting your physical presence within traffic makes you more noticeable to drivers. Loud pipes and racing exhaust can be valuable accessories, but do they really make you more noticeable on the road? The honest answer is no.
Just because your bike is loud, it doesn't mean that drivers can gauge how fast you're traveling or how far away you are. Additionally, loud pipes can be highly distracting and easily mistaken for a larger machine. Try and remember that danger usually lies ahead on the road, and small accessories like a horn can help assert your presence.
Learning to become more visible while riding your motorcycle may seem obvious, yet we often see riders ignoring simple safety measures and becoming casualties. Before you jump on the bike, take a step back and ask yourself, "Have I done everything in my power to make myself more visible to the drivers around me?" If the answer is "no," read this article again and do whatever it takes to make your ride safer!