Six Misconceptions about Motorcycles
Many misconceptions float around regarding motorcyclists and their rides. Like much on the Internet, they sound accurate, but most of them just don’t stand up to a good fact check.
Here is a list of myths and misconceptions that you might come across:
#1. You're safer on city streets than on the interstate
Interstates and other divided highways or “freeways” are safer because the traffic is all going the same direction, with no side streets, alleys, or driveways where surprises can pop out. Also, there are fewer vehicles to run into if you happen to go off the roadway.
#2. Other drivers don't care about motorcyclists
Unfortunately, accidents happen, but this doesn't mean someone wants to hit you. Motorcycles are smaller and less visible than a car, and it’s easy to be hidden by glare or obscured by bigger vehicles. You can make it easier for other drivers to spot you by wearing a bright-colored jacket (or vest) and helmet with reflective decals or patches. Avoid riding in driver’s blind spots--especially large vehicles like trucks and buses.
#3. You should be a big man to ride a motorcycle
You need enough strength to turn and direct your bike, but you don’t need to be a bodybuilder. There are all kinds of motorcycles out there, and one will fit you regardless of body type. As the fastest-growing segment of new riders is women, most motorcycle brands offer products for smaller-statured customers, and you can customize seats and suspension to find a perfect--and manageable--fit.
#4. 18-25-year-olds are prone to accidents
Yes, novice riders are more at risk of injury due to lack of experience. But according to the NHTSA's report, most motorcycle fatalities occur with riders in the 40-55 age bracket.
Over 40% of all rider fatalities in the US, from traffic accidents, had an average age of 42.
#5. Conventional Brakes Are Better Than Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)
Many studies report bikes with ABS stop in a shorter distance, even on dry, clean, smooth pavement. Anti-lock brakes make riding safer, allow for shorter stopping distances, and produce fewer crashes. With ABS, you can ride without fear of locking up your tires. This is because ABS automatically reduces brake pressure when a lockup is about to occur and increases it again after traction is restored.
#6. Loud Pipes Make Riding Safer
The louder exhaust pipes on your bike grab more attention and awareness; thus, you will be safer. However, according to a statement made in Motorcycle Cruiser magazine, "Riders with loud pipes crash more frequently than with stock pipes." What? Why? Fundamental physics! Exhaust pipes exhaust to the rear, so the noise goes in the same direction. So if a motorcyclist is hoping his loud exhaust will warn cars ahead of their path, they’ll be disappointed to find that most car drivers, with windows uptight and music blasting from their stereo, won’t hear them until it’s too late.
Let us know if we've missed your favorite misconception about motorcycles! And if you want to upgrade any part of your bike, explore Motowheels for outstanding aftermarket products!