Motorcycle Survival

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Motorcycle Survival

motorcycle survival

Another riding season begins and the news reports of motorcyclists injured or killed in motorcycle accidents begin again. After close to 50 years riding experience, too many of my own accidents, and representing many motorcycle accident victims, I have a few thoughts about motorcycle survival to help fellow riders get through this riding season, and all the riding seasons to come. I’ll be happy to see you on the road, but hopefully not in my office.

Operation of any motor vehicle is inherently dangerous due to the speeds involved. The truth is that riding motorcycles is inherently more dangerous than driving a 4 wheeled vehicle for several reasons:

  • Motorcycles do not have the inherent stability of 4 wheeled vehicles: any loss of control or traction usually means an accident; kind of like airplanes and gravity;
  • Motorcycles are often “invisible” to car drivers, the cause of many motorcycle accidents;
  • Lack of impact protection for the rider tends to result in greater injuries;
  • Performance of even “beginner” motorcycles is far above that of most vehicles on the road; it is far too easy and tempting to go well beyond your safe riding capability.

For all these reasons, riding a motorcycle demands far more training, experience, skill, focus, practice and self-restraint than operating a car. If you want to survive riding a motorcycle you need to put in the effort to develop the attitude, skills and experience needed to operate a motorcycle safely and enjoyably.


The starting point is the right attitude, or in other words getting your priorities straight. Most of us in North America ride for enjoyment rather than basic transportation. But always remember: What is the most important part of every ride? Getting home safely. You have to prioritize safety in the moment. In the long run that means more enjoyment as you live to ride another day.