8 Common Mistakes Motorcycle Owners Should Avoid

8 Common Mistakes Motorcycle Owners Should Avoid

Owning a motorcycle offers numerous advantages, such as maneuverability in heavy traffic and lower fuel consumption. However, it is essential for motorcycle owners to be aware of and avoid common mistakes that can compromise their safety, legal compliance, and overall ownership experience.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • What are the common mistakes motorcycle owners should avoid?

    The common mistakes motorcycle owners should avoid are neglecting proper maintenance, not wearing safety gear, disregarding traffic laws, failing to secure the motorcycle, neglecting insurance coverage, neglecting proper riding techniques, overlooking the importance of regular training, and ignoring the importance of proper documentation for modifications.
  • We highlight some of the most prevalent mistakes made by motorcycle owners and provide insights on how to avoid them. By understanding and addressing these common pitfalls, motorcycle owners can enhance their riding experience and ensure a safer journey on the roads.

    Neglecting proper maintenance and inspection

    One common mistake motorcycle owners make is skipping routine maintenance. Just like any other machine, motorcycles need regular care to keep running smoothly. So, do not wait until your bike starts making strange noises or leaves you stranded on the side of the road. Keep up with the regular maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer. It will save you from costly repairs and keep your motorcycle in top shape for those epic rides.

    Honda PH Service

    It is also important to note that motorcycles do not run on mere gasoline alone. They rely on various fluids to keep everything running smoothly. From engine oil to brake fluid, neglecting to check and change these fluids is a recipe for disaster. So, make sure to also check your fluids regularly and follow the manufacturer's guidelines for when to change them. It may sound like a hassle, but it is better to be safe than sorry.

    You must also give attention to your motorcycle’s tires. Ignoring tire maintenance is not only dangerous but also a surefire way to decrease the lifespan of your tires. Check the tire pressure regularly and make sure it is within the recommended range. Keep an eye out for any unusual wear patterns or damage and do not forget to rotate your tires regularly to ensure even wear and prolong their life. Remember, a little TLC for your tires goes a long way in keeping you safe and saving you money in the long run.

    Not wearing safety gear and riding equipment

    Not wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle is a huge mistake. Your brain is kind of a big deal, and protecting it should be your number one priority. Invest in a good quality helmet that fits properly and meets safety standards. Strap it on every time you hop on your motorcycle, and you will be thanking yourself if the unexpected happens.

    Suzuki V Strom 250SX

    It is also recommended to wear protective clothing when riding a motorcycle. Neglecting protective clothing is like playing a high-stakes game of dare with road rash, fractures, and abrasions. Invest in proper riding gear like jackets, pants, gloves, and boots made of durable, abrasion-resistant materials. Not only will you look like a cool biker, but you will also be protected from the literal bumps and scrapes that might come your way.

    Proper footwear must also be worn when riding a motorcycle. Your feet are responsible for shifting gears, braking, and maintaining stability, so they need appropriate protection. Invest in a pair of sturdy, close-toed shoes or boots with good grip to keep your feet safe and secure.

    Disregarding traffic laws and regulations

    One of the most common traffic violations committed by motorcycle riders is riding without a license. This will not only get you in trouble with the law, but you are also putting yourself and others at risk. So, do the right thing and get yourself a valid motorcycle license. It shows that you have the knowledge and skills to operate your bike safely and responsibly.

    Photo from Philippine News Agency

    It is also important to familiarize yourself with the various traffic signs and signals and follow them diligently. They exist for everyone's safety.

    Another common traffic offense is riding under the influence. Your judgment, reaction time, and coordination are all impaired when you are intoxicated. Save the drinks for the celebration after you've parked your motorcycle for the day.

    Also read: How to check your LTO violations online

    Failing to secure and protect the motorcycle

    Leaving your motorcycle unsecured is like leaving your front door wide open for any thief to stroll right in. Failing to invest in adequate locking mechanisms is a mistake that can cost you your beloved bike. Make sure to use a sturdy, quality lock whenever you park your motorcycle. Consider using additional security measures like a disc lock or chain to deter potential thieves.

    BMW R18

    Also, parking in shady, secluded areas increases the risk of theft and makes it harder for you to spot any potential threats. Instead, opt for well-lit, public parking areas where your bike is more likely to be safe and sound.

    In a world where thieves are constantly evolving, it is important to stay one step ahead. It is recommended to invest in a good-quality alarm system, GPS tracker, or immobilizer to ensure that your motorcycle is secured.

    Neglecting insurance coverage and documentation

    When you encounter an accident, theft, or damage to your bike, without comprehensive insurance, you are left to deal with the financial burden on your own. Do not make the mistake of neglecting this essential coverage.

    Make sure to renew your insurance as well. It is easy to forget about renewing your insurance, especially when life gets busy but letting your policy lapse can leave you vulnerable. You do not want to be caught in a sticky situation where you thought you were covered, only to find out you are not.

    Motorcycle accident (Photo by Joey Razon for Philippine News Agency)

    It is also important to go through proper documentation and registration. Neglecting this aspect can result in fines, penalties, and even the possibility of your bike being impounded. So, take the time to ensure your motorcycle is properly registered and that you have all the necessary documents in order. It may not be the most exciting part of being a motorcycle owner, but it is definitely an important one.

    Also read: Need quality moto insurance? Standard Insurance has you covered

    Neglecting proper riding techniques and skills

    The thrill of the open road is enticing, and it is tempting to rev that engine and push the speedometer to its limits but riding at excessive speeds is not only dangerous but also illegal in many cases. It increases the likelihood of accidents and reduces your ability to react to unexpected situations. So, save the need for speed for controlled environments like racetracks and prioritize safety on the roads.

    Suzuki GSX-S1000GT

    Using your mirrors and signals is also important as it is not only a legal requirement but also a way to communicate with other drivers on the road. Neglecting to check your blind spots or signal your intentions can lead to disastrous consequences. Remember, it is better to be seen and understood by other drivers than to end up in a preventable accident.

    Also, always maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. It gives you enough time to react to sudden stops or maneuvers and helps prevent rear-end collisions. So, resist the urge to ride someone's bumper and give yourself and others the space they need to stay safe.

    Overlooking the importance of regular training and education

    You may have mastered the art of motorcycle riding on your own, but that does not mean you can't benefit from additional training. Enrolling in riding courses can help you improve your skills, learn advanced techniques, and stay updated on the latest safety practices. Plus, it is a great way to meet fellow riders and share the road with confidence.

    Honda Safety Driving Center

    It is also important to be updated on traffic laws and regulations. Ignoring updates or being unaware of changes can lead to unnecessary fines, penalties, or worse, accidents. Stay informed and ensure you are up to date with any new laws or regulations that may affect you as a motorcycle owner.

    Also read: 8 tips on buying your first motorcycle

    Ignoring the importance of proper documentation for modifications

    If you are planning to modify or upgrade your motorcycle, do not skip the paperwork. Failure to obtain necessary permits can land you in hot water with the authorities. Plus, modifications that do not comply with regulations can compromise your safety and the safety of others on the road. So, before you start revamping your ride, do your due diligence and make sure you have the proper permits in place.

    Harley-Davidson Road Glide ST

    Neglecting to keep records of your modifications and upgrades can also make it difficult to prove that your motorcycle complies with regulations and can even affect its resale value. So, start a folder, take pictures, and keep a record of every modification you make.

    Final thoughts

    By being mindful of these common mistakes and taking proactive measures to avoid them, motorcycle owners can enjoy a safe and fulfilling riding experience. Remember to prioritize regular maintenance, adhere to traffic laws, invest in proper safety gear, and stay informed about regulations and updates. A responsible and well-prepared motorcycle owner not only protects themselves but also contributes to safer roads for everyone. So let's make a conscious effort to avoid these mistakes and promote a culture of responsible motorcycle ownership.

    Photos from Honda Philippines Inc., Suzuki Philippines Inc., Philippine News Agency, BMW Motorrad, and Harley-Davidson Philippines

    Hazel Nicole Carreon

    Hazel Nicole Carreon

    Hazel is a news and feature writer for ZigWheels Philippines. She studied communication at De La Salle Lipa, where she was exposed to writing about various topics, which later has become her passion and now her career.

    Read Full Bio

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