If you were to ask 100 people “When are you most likely to be involved in a motorcycle crash?” you would get quite a few different answers. Dusk or Dawn riding? Heavy traffic? Extremely curvy roads such as The Dragon? You may find it surprising to know most motorcycle accidents happen within the first 60 minutes of riding, and about half of those occur in the first 6 minutes or less than 5 miles from home. Two of the leading factors behind these close to home mishaps are attention and concentration. For the most part humans don’t make the transition from one activity to another very well. What I am saying is we don’t have clear breaks from one task to the next that allow us to “get in the zone” for our next endeavor. Often this leads to lack of focus and oversight of the hazards placed in front of us while riding along with distractions like problems at work or still waking up. Fortunately people in the motorcycle world a handful of acronyms to assist in pre-ride preparation for both the mental and physical requirements of a good ride.
*T — Tires & Wheels
*C — Controls
*L — Lights
*O — Oil
*C — Chassis
*K — Kickstand
This has been developed to assist you in doing a comprehensive pre-ride inspection of your motorcycle. It is easily memorized and very useful when looking to focus your attention on your ride and clear your head of distractions. The key to this inspection is to allow you time to shift gears and get ready for your ride.
Another helpful mnemonic is ATGATT or All The Gear All The Time. Taking time to gear up not only gives you added protection, it also allows time to get your head in the game so you can be ready to ride and ride safely. Everyone at K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) wants you to enjoy motorcycling for years to come and that begins with pre-ride preparation every time. Just like athletes have pregame rituals, you need to develop your own routine to get you in the game.
A few tips to help you enjoy your ride:
*Position your motorcycle so you are seen and identified in the traffic stream.
*Wear bright colors whenever possible.
*Consider a brightly colored bike. Although it’s cool, Black blends in way too much.
*Practice Emergency Maneuvers. You can never be too good at them.