Whether you like it or not, you can never avoid overhearing or reading information which changes your whole perception. Unfortunately, the motorcycle world is not spared with false information which misleads riders onto a dangerous path. Of course like any other automobile, accidents do happen but you have probably heard or even been the victim of a parent persuading a child not to buy a motorcycle. Reason; motorcycles are dangerous and you will likely end up in a coma or even worse. Even though the injury/fatality rate of a motorcycle is higher than a car due to obvious reasons, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration blames majority of the cause on negligence. Hence, the next time your mum, friend or partner tells you not to ride a motorcycle because it is too dangerous, just tell them to trust and respect your judgment. In light of common utterance, it is important for the rider to differentiate between fact and misconception.
Myth 1; Helmets can do more harm than good- This is definitely the most astonishing nonsense some people have been deceived to believe. Those supporting the myth argue that since the helmet adds weight to your neck, your neck or spinal cord is likely to be damaged by the helmet when an accident occurs. The last thing you want is to find yourself in an accident without a helmet. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a helmet reduces a crash injury significantly by up to 37 percent. In fact, severe neck injuries are more common on riders without helmets compared to those wearing a helmet.
Myth 2; Slide down in case of an accident- A split second decision when you are faced with the possibility of crash could be the difference between life and death. Unfortunately, laying down when you are about to crash could only make the accident more severe. No motorcyclists should ever do such an act in the 21st century. The laying down a motorcycle stint was common when motorcycles were a new concept to the world and the emergency brakes were not efficient enough. However, modern bikes are fitted with most advanced technology and you have a better chance enforcing both brakes while upright than sliding down.
Myth 3; Race tires will increase the speed momentum; To contrary belief, race tires are designed to optimize their efficiency on the race tracks rather than on the highway. The reason is because they are designed to work better when hot. Unlike a race track, the highway is full of distractions which slows down the rider and perturbs the race tires. In fact, race tires are likely to make you fall off on the highway intersections. Just adjust the tires depending on the occasion.
Myth 4; A couple of beers will do no harm- Most people might not admit it but riding a motorcycle requires more concentration than driving a car. That means even the slightest error in judgment could prove to be fatal. Don’t forget, the older you are, the slower the alcohol wears off in the body. Additionally, people tend to blame those who had a few drinks when an accident happens even though they are not at fault.
Myth 5; When buying your first motorcycle, buy your dream superbike- Don’t listen to the salespeople at the motor shop. They are just trying to make a commission by selling you the most expensive and most probably, the fastest motorcycle in the dealer shop. If you are a rookie and never rode a superbike before, then a 1000cc superbike is not your ideal type. The standard motorcycle for beginners in the United States is usually 250cc or 500cc with a capacity of 25bhp. Once you have mastered the novice type motorcycle, you can then graduate to more powerful superbikes.
Myth 6; A speeding motorcycle won’t be noticed on police radar- Ask any rider who went out to test this assumption and he/she probably regrets it. The logic is that most motorcycles are smaller than average vehicles and if you speed at a far distance, the police radar will miss you. There is rumor going round that the today’s radar technology is so advanced that if Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, runs a 100 meters on the road, he will be appear on the radar. But that sounds like an urban legend. Regardless, you can’t evade a speeding ticket nowadays.
Myth 7; You must ride new tires almost deflated for a few miles to remove the coating- Unless you want to end up injured or dead, reducing the air pressure of your tires beyond the standard level should never be attempted. Tires do not come packaged like candy in such a way that you have to remove the coating for the motorcycle to ride smoothly. In fact, there is no coating present on a new tire. It is just how brand new tires look after they are processed in the factory. A less inflated tire is likely to blow out while riding causing serious repercussions.