Motorcycle safety is the complete responsibility of the rider. Unlike cars, motorcycles in general do not have things like airbags, ABS brakes, or all weather traction control. All of these "safety features" were primarily designed to help save people that were not paying attention while driving.

Motorcycles are highly unstable (when was the last time you saw a parked car just fall over?) and quite heavy. Most motorcycles weigh in around 400 pounds or more. This instability and weight takes some skill to overcome and a lot of experience to master, unlike an automobile which is about as easy to operate as a faucet. This is why you never hear about 4 year old boys driving their dad's Harley down to the supermarket at 1am to get Cheerios that they really wanted (yes, that actually happened, just with a car...)

Given the lack of safety features on motorcycles and the higher degree of skill needed to operate, the rider is responsible for their own safety. The first step of this safety is to take a motorcycle safety course. These 3 day courses can be taken almost every weekend almost anywhere in the USA (not sure about other countries). In the 3 days of class you will probably learn more than you would in 2 years of riding on your own. The things they teach you are primarily safety issues (how to handle quick stops, swirving, and various traffic situations). Even if you have been riding "for years", I would still highly recommend taking one of these courses. Chances are you would still learn something.

Other safety concerns include clothing, or armor as I like to refer to it. On a motorcyle, there is nothing between you and the pavement.

No matter where you live you have probably seen some guy flying down the highway on his crotch-rocket wearing a helmet, a t-shirt and shorts as protection. These people are called squids. This is due to their appearance after they have gotten in an accident and have left a 1/4 mile trail of their epidermis on the highway. You do not want to be a squid.

When you are riding a motorcycle you want adequate protection. Ideally, this would be a full faced helmet, leather gloves, nice boots with no laces that cover the ankle, and a full leather suit that has a snug fit.

The other issue with clothing/protection is its color. Many people like to have black leather suits with black helmets. Sure, this looks cool and makes you look like a Hell's Angel or Street Hawk (depending on your self image), but it makes you much less visible to other cage drivers.

I would recommend a suit and helmet that have brighter colors. If you are stuck on the idea of having black armor, at least get some reflective tape and put it down your back, arms, and legs. I will also tell you that it sucks ass to be wearing a solid black full leather suit on a sunny summer day, but its still better than a t-shirt. Choose your colors wisely.

Motorcycle safety comes down to thing, responsibility. If you take the classes, stay within your riding skill limits, and wear the appropriate protection, riding a motorcycle can be as safe as a car, or safer depending on your skill level.

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