Watch For Motorcycles… And Riders Watch The Road

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Robert T. Lynch, PE, Sr. Collision Reconstruction Engineer ::::
This spring we have experienced some unseasonably warm weather, already breaking 80 degrees a couple days during the month of April here in the Philadelphia area. If you’re anything like me, owner of a motorcycle and a pulse, you’ve been itching for warmer weather for the past 4 months in order to reacquaint your bike to the curves of your favorite back roads.
But before you grab your gear, kick the tires, and saddle up, just take a moment to recall how different, and mentally taxing, it can be to ride a motorcycle, specifically how to handle turns on a motorcycle as opposed to a vehicle. A motorcycle is leaned left or right to turn and not steered, which reduces traction potentially creating a slippery situation. Traveling around a curve with loose gravel in the roadway is one of the biggest hazards that a rider will face over the next month or so as the remnants of salt, sand and loose gravel deposited on the roadway during the winter season still remain.
Take it from me, don’t take an ‘S’ curve at 40mph, when the speed advisory says 25mph, or else you’ll either end up low side with some wicked rash or in a Tango with a utility pole in a cornfield.
Please remember to constantly scan the roadway ahead for potential hazards, not only for those hazards deposited on the roadway, but also for other vehicles that may pull out in front of you. We all know that motorcycles are more difficult to see than automobiles, but also drivers haven’t had to share the road with motorcycles for several months and may not be specifically looking for them in the first place.
Be safe out there! -Bob Lynch
2007 Kawasaki KLR650 1997 H-D Sportster 1200
Robert T. Lynch, PE, is a Sr. Collision Reconstruction Engineer with DJS Associates and can be reached via email at experts@forensicDJS.com or via phone at 215-659-2010.

 

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