Street Riding Safety Page
We want to help you learn to ride a motorcycle! Coleman PowerSports is a huge supporter of local motorcycle training. The training schools in the area use nationally recognized curriculum from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). The MSFoundation is a non-profit organization committed to motorcycle safety training and education. Visit them on the web at www.msf-usa.org
Attention Rookie Riders:
Are you interested in learning some basics about motorcycles? Do you want a better understanding of the gear motorcyclists wear for protection and comfort? Do you wish you knew more about motorcycle minor maintenance?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, you might be interested in our FREE New Rider Night classes. Coleman PowerSports wants to help you get started off on the right foot, so we hold these seminars monthly - alternating between stores - to help you learn everything you need to get started riding on two or three wheels. These seminars give a quick overview of everything from different types of motorcycles, riding gear, basic maintenance, and local rider training programs to help you get hands on training and your motorcycles license. Check the events page for exact dates, times, and location.
Have Fun Riding to Work While You SAVE GAS!
Buy a New Motorcycle or Scooter and drive past the gas pumps GUILT FREE! Did you know that the typical motorcycle gets more than DOUBLE the MPG of the typical car/truck/SUV?! And you'll get to work in half the time by using the HOV lanes
How do you know it is time to buy a new helmet?
Do you find yourself buying more and more helmet stickers to cover up all those scratches and chipped paint? Maybe it's time to retire it and get a new one!
Industry standard states that a motorcycle helmet's normal service life is two to five years, depending on intensity and frequency of use. Below are some key points to help you see if it is time for a new lid.
- If the helmet was subjected to an impact. If you were involved in an accident with the helmet, you should replace the helmet. Just because there is NO VISUAL DAMAGE, internally the helmet's integrity has most likely been compromised and will no longer provide the same protection.
- If the strap or retention system (designed to hold the helmet to your head) needs constant attention to stay securely fastened, this is a sign of deterioration, and the helmet should be replaced.
- If the comfort foam inside has become non-resilient or brittle. This could be due to heavy use, heat damage and/or perspiration causing the helmet to feel loose even when securely fastened. To test the effectiveness of the padding, fasten the retention strap and gently shake your head. If the helmet moves separately from your head, then the padding has deteriorated. 100% foam integrity is needed to provide maximum protection.
- Lastly, if there are any visual cracks or spidering on the helmet surface, it's definitely time for a new helmet.
Some manufacturers offer testing to determine if a helmet has lost it's ability to protect you in the event of a crash. If you are not sure about your helmet, contact the manufacturer directly to see if they offer this service.
50 Ways to Save Your Life
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. --Aristotle
From a recent article by the Motorcyclist Magazine Staff.
The best bike in the world is scrap--or soon will be--unless you learn how to use it. The most powerful piece of high-performance hardware is between your ears. To help you program it with the right information, we've assembled 50 potentially lifesaving bits of street savvy. Some you'll know, some you won't. All are worth remembering, because when it comes to riding motorcycles on the street, the people over at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (www.msf-usa.org) have the right idea with their tagline: The more you know, the better it gets.
1. Assume You're Invisible
Because to a lot of drivers, you are. Never make a move based on the assumption that another driver sees you, even if you've just made eye contact. Bikes don't always register in the four-wheel mind.
2. Be Considerate
The consequences of competing with the jerk du jour or cutting him off start out bad and get worse. Pretend it was your grandma driving and think again.
3. Dress For The Crash, Not The Pool or The Prom
Sure, Moe's Southwest Grill is about a 5-minute trip, but nobody plans to eat pavement on the way to tacos. Modern mesh gear means that even 100-degree heat is no excuse for a T-shirt and shorts.
4. Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst
Assume that car across the intersection will turn across your bow when the light goes green, with or without a turn signal.
5. Leave Your Ego At Home
The only people who really notice or care if you were faster on the freeway will be the officer and the judge.
6. Pay Attention
Yes, there is a half-naked girl on the billboard. That shock does feels squishy. That might have been your cell phone ringing. Meanwhile, you could be drifting toward Big Trouble. Focus!
7. Mirrors only show you part of the picture
Never change direction without turning your head to check your blind spot (everyone has one - it is not personal!) - just to make sure the coast really is clear. Mirrors only show you part of the picture.
8. Be Patient
Always take another second (or three) before you pull out to pass, ride away from a curb or into freeway traffic from an on-ramp. It's what you don't see that gets you. That extra look could save your butt.
9. Watch Your Closing Speed
Passing cars at twice their speed or changing lanes to shoot past a row of stopped cars is just asking for trouble. When they say "He came out of nowhere!" - it is true when you are going much faster than the traffic! You weren't there a second ago.
10. Beware The Verge And The Merge
A lot of nasty surprises end up on the sides of the road: empty McDonald's bags, nails, TV antennas, ladders, you name it. Watch for potentially troublesome debris on both sides of the road.
11. Beware of Left-Turning Traffic
Left-turning cars remain a leading killer of motorcyclists! Don't assume someone will wait for you to dart through the intersection. They're trying to beat the light, too.
12. Beware of Cars Running Traffic Lights
The first few seconds after a signal light changes are the most perilous. Look both ways before barging into an intersection.
13. Check Your Mirrors
Do it every time you change lanes, slow down or stop. Be ready to move if another vehicle is about to occupy the space you'd planned to use. Scan 12 seconds ahead for potential trouble.
14. Mind The Gap
Remember Driver's Ed? One second's worth of distance per 10 mph is the old rule of thumb. Better still, scan the next 12 seconds ahead for potential trouble.
15. Beware of Tuner Cars
They're quick and their drivers tend to be aggressive. Don't assume you've beaten one away from a light or outpaced it in traffic and change lanes without looking. You could end up as a Nissan hood ornament.
16. Excessive Entrance Speed Hurts
It's the leading cause of single-bike accidents on twisty roads and racetracks. "In Slow, Out Fast" is the old adage, and it still works. Dialing up corner speed is safer adn more effective than trying to scrub it off.
17. Don't Trust That Deer Whistle
Ungulates and other feral beasts prowl at dawn and dusk, so heed those big yellow signs. If you're riding in a target-rich environment, slow down and watch the shoulders.
18. Learn To Use Both Brakes
The front does most of your stopping, but a little rear brake on corner entry can calm a nervous chassis & settle the suspension.
19. Keep the Front Brake Covered--Always!
Save a single second of reaction time at 60 mph and you can stop 88 feet shorter. Think about that.
20. Look Where You Want To Go
Use the miracle of target fixation to your advantage. The motorcycle goes where you look, so focus on the solution instead of the problem. Check your mirrors every time you change lanes.
21. Keep Your Eyes Moving
Traffic is always shifting, so keep scanning for potential trouble. Don't lock your eyes on any one thing for too long unless you're actually dealing with trouble.
22. Think Before You Act
Be careful whipping around that Camry going 7 mph in a 25-mph zone or you could end up with your head in the driver's side door when he turns into the driveway right in front of you.
23. Raise Your Gaze
It's too late to do anything about the 20 feet immediately in front of your fender, so scan the road far enough ahead to see trouble and change trajectory.
24. Get Your Mind Right - While You're Still In The Driveway
Most accidents happen during the first 15 minutes of a ride, below 40 mph, near an intersection or driveway. Yes, that could be your driveway.
25. Come To A Full Stop At That Next Stop Sign
Put a foot down. Look again. Anything less forces a snap decision with no time to spot potential trouble.
26. Never Dive Into A Gap In Stalled Traffic
Cars may have stopped for a reason, and you may not be able to see why until it's too late to do anything about it.
27. Don't Saddle Up More Than You Can Handle
If you weigh 95 pounds, avoid that 795-pound cruiser. If you're 5-foot-5, forget those towering adventure-tourers.
28. Watch Out For Car Doors.
Stopped traffic, neighborhoods and parking lots are high alert areas. There is no warning for an opening door - or a car avoiding one!
29. Don't Get In An Intersection Rut
Watch for a two-way stop after a string of four-way intersections. If you expect cross-traffic to stop, there could be a painful surprise when it doesn't.
30. Stay In Your Comfort Zone When You're With a Group
Riding over your head is a good way to end up in the ditch or over the bars. Any bunch worth riding with will have a rendezvous point where you'll be able to link up again.
31. Give Your Eyes Some Time To Adjust
A minute or two of low light heading from a well-lighted garage onto dark streets is a good thing. Otherwise, you're essentially flying blind for the first mile or so.
32. Master the slow U-turn
Practice, practice, practice. Park your butt on the outside edge of the seat and lean the bike into the turn, using your body as a counterweight as you pivot around the rear wheel.
33. Who Put A Stop Sign At The Top Of This Hill?
Don't panic. Use the rear brake to keep from rolling back down. Use Mr. Throttle and Mr. Clutch normally--and smoothly--to pull away.
34. If It Looks Slippery, Assume It Is
A patch of suspicious (shiney or dark) pavement could be just about anything.... Butter Flavor Crisco? Gravel or sand? Mobil 1? Or maybe it's nothing. Better to slow down for nothing than to go sideways.
35. Bang! A Blowout! Now What?
No sudden moves. The motorcycle isn't happy, so be prepared to apply a little calming muscle to maintain course. Ease back the throttle, brake gingerly with the good wheel and pull over very smoothly to the shoulder. Big sigh. Hedge your bets at intersections.
36. Drops On The Faceshield?
It's raining. Lightly misted pavement can be slipperier than when it's been rinsed by a downpour, and you never know how much grip there is. Apply maximum-level concentration, caution and smoothness.
37. Emotions In Check?
To paraphrase Mr. Ice Cube, chickity-check yoself before you wreck yoself. Emotions are as powerful as any drug, so take inventory every time you saddle up. If you're mad, sad, exhausted or anxious, stay put.
38. Wear Good Gear
Wear stuff that fits you and the weather. If you're too hot or too cold or fighting with a jacket that binds across the shoulders, you're dangerous. It's that simple.
39. Leave The iPod At Home
You won't hear that cement truck in time with Spinal Tap cranked up, but they might like your headphones in intensive care.
40. Learn To Swerve
Be able to do two tight turns in quick succession. Flick left around the bag of briquettes, then right back to your original trajectory. The bike will follow your eyes, so look at the way around, not at the briquettes. Now practice till it's a reflex.
41. Be Smooth At Low Speeds
Take some angst out, especially of slow-speed maneuvers, with a bit of rear brake. It adds a welcome bit of stability by minimizing unwelcome weight transfer and potentially bothersome driveline lash.
42. Flashing is good for you
Turn signals get your attention by flashing, right? So a few easy taps on the pedal or lever before stopping makes your brake light more eye-catching to trailing traffic.
43. Intersections Are Scary, So Hedge Your Bets
Put another vehicle between your bike and the possibility of someone running the stop sign/red light on your right and you cut your chances of getting nailed in half.
44. Tune Your Peripheral Vision
Pick a point near the center of that wall over there. Now scan as far as you can by moving your attention, not your gaze. The more you can see without turning your head, the sooner you can react to trouble.
45. All Alone At A Light That Won't Turn Green?
Put as much motorcycle as possible directly above the sensor wire--usually buried in the pavement beneath you and located by a round or square pattern behind the limit line. If the light still won't change, try putting your kickstand down, right on the wire. You should be on your way in seconds.
46. Every-thing Is Harder To See After Dark
Adjust your headlights, carry a clear faceshield, wear a reflective vest and have your game all the way on after dark, especially during commuter hours.
47. Don't Hang Out Close To - Or Right Behind - Mr. Peterbilt
If one of those 18 retreads blows up - which they do with some regularity - it de-treads, and that can make for a bad day. Also trucks have blind spots all around them. They are the size of a old Caddy and you ain't no pimp.
48. Take The Panic Out Of Panic Stops
Develop an intimate relationship with your front brake. Seek out some safe, open pavement. Starting slowly, find that fine line between maximum braking and a locked wheel, and then do it again, and again.
49. Your Tires Are Your Best Friend And Your Worst Enemy
They make you look good when they're right but if neglected, they will drop you on your butt. None of this stuff above matters unless your skins are right. Don't take 'em for granted. Make sure pressure is spot-on every time you ride. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on the bike or in the owners manual. Also, check for cuts, nails and other junk they might have picked up, as well as general wear or cupping (uneven wear).
50. Take A Deep Breath
Count to 10. Visualize whirled peas (say it 3 times and you'll get it - maybe). Forgetting some clown's 80-mph indiscretion beats running the risk of ruining your life, or ending it. You'll never win or "teach him/her a lesson".