We have all seen the young riders out on the highways on their brightly colored street bikes, and how could we not? The motorcycles are bright, the rider’s gear is bright, and the new styles of headlights are bright. You may shake your head at these crazy young guys, but you always remember that when you first got your bike, you wanted everyone to see how cool you looked, too.
These riders may not be so crazy after all. One of the primary complaints that drivers have about motorcycles is that they are tough to see. Many riders take offense, thinking “Drivers should be looking out for us, too!” Before you react, however, let’s take a walk out to your garage to take a good look at your motorcycle. Is most of it a dark or a neutral color? Is your gear black? Do you have a single headlight? Chances are, most of you said yes to all of these questions.
Increasing Your Odds of Safety by Increasing Your Visibility
While it is the responsibility of other drivers to look out for all other traffic on the road, when your safety is at hand, why not make it easier for them to spot you?
One of the easiest ways to be seen during the day is to add a little color to your palette. Sound silly? Both you and your bike take up about the same amount of visual space, so by wearing bright gear or having a brightly colored bike, you greatly increase the odds of cars seeing you from all angles.
Another easy thing to do is invest in reflective tape or decals on your gear and bike. There is no bad place to add reflective tape, but one of the most effective is around your wheel rims. Motorcycles are very difficult to see from the side at night, and wheels offer a large, unobstructed surface that can catch the attention of other drivers.
One final quick tip addresses one of the biggest weaknesses in stock motorcycle visibility—the rear brake light. The size and placement of the light, in addition to being a solid light, makes it nearly impossible for other drivers to accurately gauge your distance and speed. Adding a brake light modulator, that will brightly flicker your brake light for about one second when you steadily apply your brakes, effectively gets the attention of any cars that are behind you.
Did this article give you some good ideas about making your ride more visible? Share it with your friends on social media to bring awareness to the importance of being visible bikers!