While motorcycles are traditionally associated with younger people, retirees can also operate them, so long as they adhere to the following four motorcycle riding safety guidelines.
Select the Right Model
Motorcycles come in many types, and not all of them are suitable for those over the age of fifty. You want to purchase one which is appropriate for your riding skills and body set. For instance, those that are suffering from joint issues or arthritis will want a bike which is light in weight, simple to handle, and easy on the knees. Taller people might also get an adventure bike, which are designed with extra ground clearance.
Select the Right Equipment
The next important thing after the motorcycle itself is the equipment. Aging retirees need even more protection than younger riders due to their greater fragility. If you get into a collision, having the right gear can mean the difference between avoiding serious injury or death, and when moving it will also alleviate wind resistance. The most essential gear includes:
- Boots: You want motorcycle boots that feature reinforced soles, heels and toes. It should also offer slip resistance on slick surfaces while offering protection for the shin and ankle.
- Gloves: Select gloves which feature wrist style retention straps along with knuckle armor. However, they should still offer enough flexibility to enable you to hold the handlebars with ease.
- Full faced helmet: Did you know that over forty percent of motorcycle injuries are sustained to the face and head area? To prevent this, you want an extremely durable, full faced helmet that will protect most of your head and neck.
- Riding pants: Selecting a pair of riding pants will offer greater protection than standard jeans or slacks.
- Textile jacket: These jackets cover the ribs, chest, arms and upper body region.
Inspect Your Motorcycle before Every Trip
It is highly recommended to perform a quick inspection of your motorcycle before every trip. Things you’ll want to evaluate include tire pressure and suspension, and you’ll also want to look for leaks, review the belt or chain, and test your throttle. If you notice problems in any of these areas, you’ll want to take the bike to a mechanic.
Always Drive Defensively
When operating a motorcycle, everyone should drive defensively, irrespective of their age. Remember, if you get into a collision with a car or truck you’ll be at a severe disadvantage and much more likely to sustain life threatening injuries.
During motorcycle rides, always assume that other drivers cannot see you, even if they can. Some drivers are known to merge without looking and might not bother to signal when they switch lanes. Driving defensively will make you proactive when it comes to safety. Examples of such behaviors include:
- Exercising caution while overtaking other vehicles
- Riding within a group
- Always checking before switching lanes
- Continually watching the vehicles in front and behind
- Paying close attention during turns
By following the tips above, and maximizing your general visibility, you can safely operate a motorcycle at almost any age.