To some getting out there riding their motorcycle can be dangerous, you hear stories every day on how dangerous motorcycle are… In reality the danger is in the hands of the rider. If the rider is someone who is way too comfortable switching lanes, directly in-front of other vehicles at high rates of speed, the cyclist is the dangerous one, not the motorcycle.

The only difference between a car and motorcycle is the cage the surrounds you, if you’re not a danger to yourself and others like I explained earlier, then most likely you won’t need a cage around you.

Yes accidents happen, many are avoidable, and it’s all a matter of perspective. The major concern I have while riding is my awareness goes way up. The more aware of your surrounding the better off you will be, sound, smell, and sight, specifically your peripheral vision, distance vision and attention to detail.

The most important thing I can tell you, no matter what beyond me telling you not to drink, or use drugs and ride is; DO NOT RIDE ANGRY!!! and DROP YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR. Driving angry or upset in anyway takes your mind off of the main objective, which is riding safely. Angry you will be an excessive speed and every little thing will just make your angrier… Upset, your mind is just elsewhere instead of on the road… Ego… well you have a high horsepower/torque machine between your legs, can’t let that ass pass me, will just end up in a game of chicken dangerous to you or others, or stunting to show off, I’m sure you’re an excellent rider but doing a wheelie at 80mph in traffic is just not smart. Just ride and enjoy the ability to feel the world around you.

Always look up and ahead, your vision, and eye-wear should be good enough and clean enough so you can see down the road ahead of you. You should be looking as far ahead as possible, like I was told “what down there is ancient history man” (pointing in front of my front wheel). Scanning the road for objects, cars, and surface problems well ahead of you, so before you get to it you would have adjusted enough to safely pass it.

Whenever there are other cars around, I tend to look into the vehicle mainly at the driver; I’m looking for where their eyes are, if they’re looking in their mirror, in front of them, at their radio, or the newspaper in their lap… I will be on high alert this way when I am on crowded streets, and in parking lots.

In no way do I encourage speeding, but on the highway I may do 5-8 mph faster than the speed limit, do not pass vehicles unless it is clear enough in-front of me to get passed which I will get passed the vehicle as fast as possible not to stay in any blind spots, otherwise I will stay 3 feet from the bumper in the other lane. One thing I will never do is stay behind or on the side of a tractor trailer, have you ever seen a tire blow on a tractor trailer? I have thankfully I was two lanes over and far enough from the explosion… yes explosion. The main point here is to be safe don’t be typical, someone tailgating you let them pass you they are most likely in a rush to get nowhere, and your to fragile to let them hit you.

Always expect the unexpected… You see a car approaching a red light, left on green or stop sign, pay attention to the driver and their wheels. If you’re looking at the driver and they aren’t even looking ahead they probably have no clue your coming, even if they are looking directly at you, make sure their wheels stop, otherwise you may end up T boning them, or them hitting you in the side.

I have been riding over a year, in that time; I have ridden from Oswego, NY to Daytona, FL, put over 13,400 miles and still learning every day. I rode in winter and have had other riders tell me I was nuts, be extra careful because cars don’t even think you would be out there etc. etc… Fact is, I have had some close calls, first one was on 104 going east from Rochester a girl who I guess was texting, moved into my lane coming straight at me, I simply got by riding the fog line, the second was turning onto a one way street, I took it a little wider than I normally take a turn because it’s a one way street, well a pickup truck was facing me… WOOF!!!!! The third was coming home from Daytona going through South Carolina, while I was in the left lane; a truck in the right lane popped its right rear tire. The sound was loud, I looked over and there was debris 20 feet above the truck coming my direction, didn’t think it would hit me but just in case I twisted that throttle and ran.

Always wear your gear; it’s never if, it’s when something happens. If you heard of Indian Larry, he died in a parking lot doing what he did for many years.

Nick R