A motorcycle is efficient, powerful, fast, fun—and potentially dangerous. Taking one on the highway may be inevitable, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy or safe. We here at Seacoast Harley-Davidson want to help you get where you need to be quickly and in one piece, so we’ve put together some tips for your first highway ride on your motorcycle. To learn more, or to see the motorcycles we have for sale, contact our store in North Hampton, New Hampshire, today!
The Common Hazards
The first step to highway safety on your bike is to understand and be vigilant for the most common hazards you’ll face.
- Distracted, drowsy, or inebriated drivers who might swerve in and out of your lane, brake suddenly and for no apparent reason, or otherwise change their direction or speed in a dangerous manner.
- The frequently changing flow of traffic, with density and speed in constant flux.
- In less developed areas, wildlife suddenly running into the road.
- Debris caused by previous crashes or by something falling off a vehicle.
Face Protection First
It can feel nice and exciting to cruise around with the wind in your face, but taking your motorcycle on the highway is simply too dangerous. Airborne debris can include:
You don’t want any of this in your face, so we recommend a full-face helmet for optimal protection. It’s also the safest helmet in the event of an accident!
Other Motorists’ Blind Spots
Your motorcycle is likely to be one of the smallest vehicles in the area, making it harder for everyone else to see you. Minimize the danger that poses by avoiding other motorists’ blind spots whenever possible, or else risk having them merge into your lane and onto you! If you find yourself in a blind spot, speed up, slow down, or change lanes to maximize your visibility.
Long Follow Distance
Your motorcycle can slow down and stop faster than most other vehicles, so it can be tempting to get close to the vehicle ahead of you. But given your lack of protection, you don’t want to test your reaction time and brakes, so keep your follow distance long to ensure you can stop well before hitting a vehicle.
When possible, you also want plenty of space behind you. Like we mentioned, your motorcycle is able to come to a stop more quickly than most other vehicles on the road, largely thanks to its low mass. If you end up tailgated, it’s best to move over and let the aggressive vehicle get past you.
We hope these tips help you on your first highway ride and after! For more information, or to see the motorcycles we have for sale, contact us at Seacoast Harley-Davidson. We proudly serve the people of Manchester and Portsmouth, New Hampshire—let us serve you today!