Safety First

QUICK TIPS: General Guidelines For Riding A Motorcycle Safely

Be visible:

  • Remember that motorists often have trouble seeing motorcycles and reacting in time.


  • Make sure your headlight works and is on day and night.


  • Use reflective strips or decals on your clothing and on your motorcycle.


  • Be aware of the blind spots cars and trucks have.


  • Flash your brake light when you are slowing down and before stopping.


  • If a motorist doesn’t see you, don’t be afraid to use your horn.

Dress for safety:

  • Wear a quality helmet and eye protection.
  • Wear bright clothing and a light-colored helmet.
  • Wear leather or other thick, protective clothing.
  • Choose long sleeves and pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
  • Remember … the only thing between you and the road is your protective gear.

Apply effective mental strategies:

  • Constantly search the road for changing conditions. Use MSF’s Search, Evaluate, Execute strategy (SEESM) to increase time and space safety margins.


  • Give yourself space and time to respond to other motorists’ actions.


  • Give other motorists time and space to respond to you.


  • Use lane positioning to be seen; ride in the part of a lane where you are most visible.


  • Watch for turning vehicles.


  • Signal your next move in advance.


  • Avoid weaving between lanes.


  • Pretend you?re invisible, and ride extra defensively.


  • Don’t ride when you are tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.


  • Know and follow the rules of the road, and stick to the speed limit.


  • Know your bike and how to use it:


  • Get formal training and take refresher courses.


  • Call 800.446.9227 or visit to locate the Motorcycle Safety Foundation hands-on RiderCourseSM nearest you.


  • Practice. Develop your riding techniques before going into heavy traffic. Know how to handle your bike in conditions such as wet or sandy roads, high winds, and uneven surfaces.

Remember: Give yourself space. People driving cars often just don?t see motorcycles. Even when drivers do see you, chances are they?ve never been on a motorcycle and can?t properly judge your speed.