Test your biker brain
Whether you’re an experienced rider or a novice, you could learn something here that could save your ride—and maybe even your life. The quiz takes less than minutes. Ready? Go!
If your bike suddenly starts to wobble or shake, get on the brakes.
False! Sudden braking could exacerbate the wobble. It’s best to hold the handlebars firmly, throttle down, then safely pull to the side of the road to determine what caused the problem.
Motorcycle tires have less grip when the weather gets colder.
True! Less friction (heat) is generated between cold road surfaces and a cold tire, actually reducing traction.
Bad weather puts drivers and motorcyclists at equal risk.
False! Motorcyclists are more exposed to wind, rain and the elements, lowering body temperatures and visibility. Slippery conditions also make two tires more likely to slide than four tires.
Goggles offer you the same protection as a face shield.
False! A shield protects your entire face, not just your eyes.
Even one drink can affect your riding ability, decision-making and reaction time.
True! A single beer, shot, glass of wine or mixed drink contains sufficient alcohol to put your ride at risk.
A steady high beam draws motorists’ attention to you just as well as a flashing or pulsing headlamp.
False! A pulsing headlamp draws more attention. It is unusual-looking to motorists.
A passenger should just hold on while you do all the leaning and body positioning.
False! Your passenger should lean and move with you to ensure smooth turns and transitions.
Painted road surfaces offer the same traction as asphalt, whether wet or dry.
False! In wet weather, painted surfaces are more slippery, especially at lean angles.
A motorcycle is no more likely to be in a driver’s blind spot than a car is.
False! You’re smaller than a car and harder to see, especially among other vehicles traveling in the same direction.
In a panic stop, your front wheel is more likely to lock up than your back wheel.
False! The front brake provides up to 70% of a motorcycle’s stopping power and carries more of the bike’s mass. The back wheel is more likely to lock up. It’s best to use both brakes together.
Braking during a turn is just as effective as braking before the turn.
False! Brake before entering the turn, then carry safe constant speed or slightly accelerate through the turn.
More motorcycle crashes occur in turns than at intersections.
False! Though overshooting a turn can be fatal, more crashes occur at intersections when an oncoming car turns into the path of a motorcycle. Reduce your risk of injury in intersections.
- Slow down before entering an intersection; don’t ride aggressively.
- Don’t use the shoulder to pass or overtake another vehicle.
- Scan for hidden vehicles and danger in all directions; have an escape path.
- Position your hand and foot over the brake lever and pedal, ready to stop suddenly.
- Expect that drivers will not see you or will likely misjudge your speed.
Leathers or protective gear need only be worn on long-distance or higher-speed rides.
False! Protective gear should be worn every time out. An alarming number of accidents occur close to home and at deceivingly low speeds.
If a dog or deer comes at you, swerving around it is better than slowing down then accelerating.
False! Slow down first to determine the animal’s intended path, then accelerate safely away from it.
In a group ride, newbies are best protected by riding in the middle of the group.
False! They are safest when positioned behind the leader, who sets their pace—and sets a good example to follow.
Once you make eye contact with the driver of a car, you are safer.
False! Just because they see you, doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Motorcycles are smaller than cars and tend to blend in with their surroundings.
When riding in the rain, you should ride in the tracks of cars instead of near the shoulder.
True! Cars ahead of you temporarily displace surface water with their tires, leaving a less-wet contact area for your tires.
A flat rear tire is just as dangerous as a front flat.
False! Steering is more adversely affected by a front flat tire. In the event of sudden deflation, hold the handlebars firmly, throttle down (avoiding braking if possible) and pull to the side of the road.
When swerving, it’s OK to brake hard at the same time.
False! Braking an unbalanced motorcycle mid-swerve could cause a crash. Either brake then swerve, or swerve then brake.
Half-coverage helmets provide the same protection as open-face or full-face helmets.
False! A rider wearing a half-coverage helmet is twice as likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries than riders wearing open-face or full-face helmets.
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