How to React to the Unexpected When Riding Your Motorcycle

Even the most experienced riders don’t know all the answers. When ridiing your motorcycle; strong winds, rain, gravel, riding over something and flat tires are a few things that can happen, but as motorcyclists, we aren’t always sure what we should do.  Should you come across these conditions, here are some suggestions for you.

Riding Your Motorcycle in Strong Winds

 When riding in strong or severe winds, you should steer into the wind.  Grip your handlebars firmly and keep your arms and shoulders flexible.  At the same time, plant your feet firmly on the pegs.  Keeping your arms and shoulders flexible will help you keep your ability to adjust to the wind, while the firm grip on the handlebars and foot pegs will give you control.

Riding Your Motorcycle in the Rain or on Wet Roads

 Whenever you find yourself driving on wet roads or in the rain, you should use both brakes smoothly and carefully, while slowing down progressively.  You should always reduce your speed in this situation to avoid having to stop abruptly on slick roads.  Driving rain is also washing away all the dirt on the road, it will take about a half hour for the road to be completely clean after the rain starts, so keep in mind when the rain stops the road will still be slick.

Riding Your Motorcycle on Gravel

 Gravel can also wreak havoc for motorcyclists.  When driving on gravel, you should once again decrease your speed while applying both brakes. Once you’ve reached a gravel surface, make sure to keep looking ahead for unexpected bumps and to be aware of more changing road conditions.  As you are looking ahead, an unexpected pothole may appear in the distance.  If you can, try to steer around the pothole, if not then your best bet is to hit it as squarely as you can.  If you stand up and pull back lightly on the handlebars, you will lighten the front end, hopefully making the impact less severe.

What If You Hit Something

 If you hit something, no matter how small, make sure to pull over immediately.  Check your tires and underneath the bike for any leaks or damage.  Even small obstacles can dent rims, puncture tires or fly up underneath you and penetrate your motorcycle causing a variety of problems. Stopping the bike immediately is not only for your safety but should there be any damage, the sooner the bike stops running, the better the chances are that the damage doesn’t cause further problems that can become quite costly.

 Here is one last bit of information you may or may not know; when you get a flat tire in the front of your motorcycle it is much more dangerous than getting one in the rear.  The reason for this is the fact that a front flat will greatly affect the steering of your motorcycle, so keep that in mind should that situation occur.

 I hope this information provides some riders with some insight in to what to do when encountering unexpected riding conditions, if you have any more suggestions, we’d love to hear them.