Hope everyone is doing well and getting some riding in. Here is the latest and greatest safety tip. Enjoy!
Even as we are in the middle of winter, there are many days of mild temperatures that allow you to get out on the bike. The only big difference is that sunset and darkness comes much earlier. So here are some tips to make your night-time riding safer and more enjoyable:
1. Is to see! Having quality clear eye protection is a must. Whether you wear a full face helmet or none at all, whatever you use for eye protection needs to be in great condition and free of scratches. This is much more important for clear lenses at night versus sunglasses during the day. The reason is scratches will cause oncoming light to distort your vision.
Invest in quality headlights. With the development of LED headlights and auxiliary lights (Clearwater, my preferred), it literally turns the night into day. The difference between the two is night and day, literally. Yes, they are expensive, but if you are going to any amount of night riding, they are definitely worth the money.
2. To be seen! Having reflective gear on at night can increase the distance at which other motorists see you. Just some simple quality reflective tape on the back of your helmet can do wonders at night.
3. Slow down! It is much easier to out ride your headlights on a motorcycle that it is in a car. Your ability to recognize hazards on or along the roadway are significantly diminished, so take your time.
4. Scan! In the darkness it is imperative the rider stays “dialed-in”. Scanning the surface ahead will allow you to pick up on any movement in or around the roadway, as well as road conditions. Keep in mind your depth perception is not going to be as accurate at night as it is in the day. Especially if you do not routinely practice riding at night. If you have the time, spend a few minutes in a parking lot and get use to the available ambient lighting. This will make it much easier to see and reduce your stress level once you enter the roadway with traffic.
Until next time. Ride Safe!