This week, the IAM’s head of riding standards, Peter Rodger, is offering advice to riders going on long journeys. If you’re a keen motorcyclist who plans to go on a long journey this summer get prepared with our help and stay safe.
- Give your bike a thorough clean before starting your journey. Check for any damage and if there are any repairs needed get them fixed before you start. Don’t forget to check the tyre pressures and tread depth too.
- Wear the correct protective gear, and don’t be tempted to ride off without it because it’s too hot. Look out for clothing that can keep you cool and protected at the same time.
- In the summer the air is laden with flying bugs. Make sure you have a way to clean your helmet visor and keep it smear-free. If you don’t have a proprietary visor cleaner, put a damp sponge in a re-sealable bag and use it when necessary. Make sure it won’t scratch your visor and don’t forget to dry it properly with a clean cloth afterwards. If your helmet visor is clean but the sun is too strong for you to see clearly slow down as there may be a hazard ahead.
- Plan your journey in advance and think about the route you are taking. If you are on the road for more than two hours we advise you to take a break.
- Be aware that the sun will also make it more difficult for other road users to see you clearly. Avoid filtering through traffic if roads are congested and the sun is too strong.
- Make sure you carry plenty of water with you as you will get dehydrated quickly if you’re travelling in the heat. As mentioned above, taking a break every two hours will allow you to rest and hydrate.
- Be aware of any pedestrians and other vulnerable road users if you are travelling through busy urban areas. The same applies for horse riders and animals on rural roads – be prepared to slow down, give them plenty of room and avoid revving.
Peter said: “Planning and reading the road ahead, as well as anticipating the behaviour of other road users will make sure your trip goes like a breeze. Expect to unexpected – don’t assume anyone will act a certain way or will see you coming. But enjoy what’s left of the summer and have a great ride”.