Every motorcycle owner has probably thought to themselves “I sure hope I don’t crash right now” at one point or another. Lots of people like to push that to the back of their mind, equip themselves with the appropriate safety gear, and then just hope for the best. The fact is, professional motorcyclists are able to travel at high speeds and perform stunts confidently only because they know how to maintain and regain control of the bike in seemingly disastrous situations. Although your primary goal while riding should be to avoid crashing by any means necessary, if something does go wrong, here are 3 tips that could help you:
1. Safety Starts with Gear
Have you ever seen one of those videos where a professional motorcyclist crashed at an extremely high speed and survived with minor injuries? What do you notice as the common denominator in those videos? The answer is, all of the riders were wearing a full body safety suit and a helmet. Without those suits their skin probably would have been ripped off resulting in sever road rash that would leave damage the equivalent of the worst kind of 3rd degree burns.
2. Learn The Most Common Crash Causes and How to Respond
Motorcycle crashes tend to follow similar paths every time. One of the most common causes is what is known as “highside,” which is a term used to describe the back tire griping the pavement on a turn. Most people try to slow down when they feel the back tire grip, but doing this will usually cause it to grip again. When the tire grips the pavement it causes the bike to straighten up so rapidly that the rider can be ejected over the handle bars. Another cause might be stopping too quickly, or not being able to make a turn. Watching videos of motorcycle crashes online will give you a good idea of how riders respond to different crash scenarios.
3. Don’t Overcorrect, Stay Focused During the Bail
Once a motorcycle is wobbling back and forth at high speeds it is very unlikely that you will be able to turn the bike in the direction you’re aiming for; this is assuming that you’ve lost all reasonable control of the bike. At that point anything you do to try and regain control will probably be an overcorrection. When you overcorrect by trying to straighten the bike out while it is rapidly moving back and forth you run the risk of being tossed sideways off of the bike, or directly over the handlebars. The worst injuries occur when the rider attempts to stand up too rapidly after being thrown off of a bike, as you’re likely to be forced into the pavement in a roll.
If you’re going to roll do so voluntarily in a motion that will keep your body from doing anything but sliding. If you are wearing the right suit and you slide along the pavement you get away with few minor injuries. For these reason, most people recommend just laying the bike down and sliding, rather than being forced into a roll or being ejected off of the bike.
Even though you may now feel confident enough to crash your motorcycle without causing serious injury, just because you’ve read the tips above, please do not attempt to crash your bike on purpose, and only resort to survival methods when you are actually trying to survive!
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