The five best tips for a good start to the motorcycle season

The five best tips for a good start to the motorcycle season

Riding motorbikes is definitely a passion, but sadly not a risk-free one. So be prepared for anything and get yourself effective protection against accidents.

Train your third eye

Simulate tricky situations, like taking bends or performing an emergency stop, by visualizing them in your mind before heading out onto the road. This mental preparation technique is frequently used by people who enjoy speed sports such as skiing and bobsleigh: before you start out, ride the entire route in your head, turn for turn. This helps you internalize both the procedures and the timing.

Motorcycle clothing: stay smart, stay protected

A helmet isn't the only thing you need; every piece of clothing should protect you in some way: motorcycle clothing should include protectors for your back, shoulders, buttocks, hips and elbows. This significantly reduces the risk of broken bones. Knees, ankles and shins also need protection in the form of padding, since your legs are always heavily exposed. That's why it's highly recommended to wear motorcycle boots with a tall shaft that extends above the ankle. Also important: never ride without abrasion-resistant gloves, not even in summer.

Get flexible

You don't need to be a power lifter to ride a motorcycle. But it is important to have a good basic level of fitness and the necessary flexibility. Riding a motorcycle puts significant strain on the neck, wrists and fingers. So experts recommend a program of exercises to strengthen the neck and supporting muscles as well as the fingers, e.g. training with a ball (stress, squash or tennis).

It's good to stand out

Make yourself as visible as possible: wear eye-catching clothing in contrasting colors that includes reflective protectors. Clothing should also be clean so that no residual dirt stops the protectors reflecting the light. Car drivers often fail to notice the narrow silhouette of a motorcyclist, especially at the start of the season. This is another reason why the risk of having an accident on a motorcycle is so much higher than in a car. Everyone who rides a motorcycle needs to always be aware of that. It's also important to always ride with your dipped headlights turned on. This ensures that you can be seen. Plus, it is just as important to see as it is to be seen. Make sure to regularly clean and maintain your helmet, clean the visor and make sure it opens and closes easily so that you can ride safely.

Look after yourself: get the best protection so that you can really enjoy the coming season.

Trips to Europe

If you're planning a longer ride or crossing the border out of Switzerland, you should also have coverage for breakdown assistance abroad. This pays the costs of a replacement car or train ticket if your motorcycle cannot be repaired locally.

Maintenance

Every bike needs whipping back into shape at the start of motorcycle season. Make sure you take enough time to thoroughly remove every speck of dust accumulated over winter, and carefully inspect your motorcycle for faults. Key areas to cover:

 

  • Battery: Replace defective batteries immediately and have the batteries checked every four years by your preferred mechanic.
  • Tires: Check the tire condition, air pressure and profile depth (at least 1.6 mm) before your first ride and then at regular intervals.
  • Fluids: Before your first trip it is essential that you check the levels of oil, coolant and brake fluid.
  • Lights: Are all the indicators and lights still working (dipped beams, high beams, parking lights, brake lights)? Does the horn work? Replace any defective lights and glass immediately.
  • Brakes: Make sure the hand and foot brakes grip well and release easily. Otherwise head over to your nearest repair shop. You should also check the brake cables for tears, damage and leaks.
  • Chain: Put fresh lubricant on the chain and check the tension against the rear wheel.
  • Highway tax sticker: Don't ride on the highways without a tax sticker, unless you like paying fines.