Brightly colored or reflective motorcycle gear can help you catch the eye of other motorists, but for those of us looking for something a little less flashy, finding the right combination of visibility, protection, and style can be a challenge.
Motorcycle riders and their passengers are at a much greater risk of being killed in a crash than other motorists. Every accident involves a wide range of factors, but there are many safety issues that are unique to those on two wheels.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently published a safety report highlighting the dangers motorcyclists face on the roads. NTSB analyzed data from the Federal Highway Administration’s 2016 Motorcycle Crash Causation Study, which is the most recent data available for studies on motorcycle crashes and risk factors.
Learn about the four motorcycle safety issues NTSB highlighted in the report:
1. Crash Warning & Prevention
Many of today’s passenger vehicles are equipped with crash warning and prevention systems, but they’re often not designed to fully detect and avoid motorcycles. As drivers become more reliant on these systems, manufacturers need to figure out how the technology can be used to protect riders.
2. Braking & Stability
Avoiding a crash on a motorcycle can be much more complicated than in a passenger vehicle. It’s common to experience loss of stability and control when you brake or swerve on two wheels. NTSB calls for more widespread availability of enhanced braking and stability control systems on motorcycles to reduce these risks.
3. Alcohol & Drug Use
The dangers of operating any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs are well known, but there are limitations in the most recent data about motorcyclist alcohol and drug use and crashes involving impaired riders. NTSB believes more focused data needs to be collected to help determine ways to reduce the risks.
4. Licensing Procedures
Rider licensing procedures vary across the country, and a significant number of unlicensed riders are involved in deadly crashes each year. NTSB feels there is a need to evaluate how well the current standards are preparing riders with the basic knowledge and skills needed to reduce crashes, injuries, and deaths.
Which of these risk factors do you think has the greatest impact on rider safety? Share your thoughts below.
Harley-Davidson recently issued a recall on more than 238,000 motorcycles. The company has provided limited details about the problem affecting the hydraulic clutch assembly. Corporations recall batches of products when a defect affects the efficiency of the product, the safety of the product, or both. In the last five years, Harley-Davidson has issued four recalls involving the hydraulic clutch assembly.
The recall affects the following motorcycles: 2017/2018 Touring, CVO Touring, and Trikes, and some 2017 Softail models.
Don’t panic! Here’s what you need to do if you have one of these models:
Record your VIN and Model number.
Contact your nearest Harley-Davidson dealership with the recorded information.
Speak to the dealership’s service department. Ask about the specific issue with the clutch and whether your motorcycle is affected by the recall. The service technician should know whether the defect affects the operator’s safety.
Understand that your motorcycle may not have a defective part in the clutch assembly even if it’s covered under the recall. The whole batch is not defective if a recall is issued. Most likely, the symptoms of the problem would have presented themselves prior to the date of the recall. To be safe, ask your service technician.
If you are an overprotective owner of your Harley-Davidson, you can bring the motorcycle in to be checked out. Depending on your riding skills, you can ride your motorcycle into the dealership or ask the dealer to pick up your bike. Your dealership will handle the rest.
While the news often portrays the negative side of a recall, remember recalls are made in the best interest of the owner. If you have any concerns, take advantage of the recall immediately.
About William J. Price
William J. Price is an attorney at Elk & Elk. He focuses his practice on personal injury litigation for people who have been seriously injured or killed as a result of auto, motorcycle, and trucking accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, defective products, and negligence in construction sites. He has been recognized by Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, AVVO, and is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Whether you don’t have room in your garage or don’t have a garage at all, finding a place to store your motorcycle can be a challenge. There are plenty of locks and alarms on the market to help keep thieves from taking off with your bike, but if it’s staying outside you’ll need protection from the elements too.
Keep your bike covered with these outdoor motorcycle storage options:
Car Capsule, “The Original Car Bubble System,” offers a motorcycle-sized version of their namesake vehicle storage solution. The 9-foot inflatable enclosure can be maintained 24/7-365 for about $3 per month in power usage and is covered by a one-year warranty. At $399, the Outdoor Bike Capsule is the priciest option on the list.
Quictent Motorcycle Shelter
This heavy-duty garage tent comes in two sizes, both available on Amazon for less than $250. The Quictent motorcycle shelter provides full-coverage protection from sun, rain, snow, dust, and other debris, and features a TSA code lock for added security.
The ShelterLogic Shed-in-a-Box offers 100 square feet of storage space. A triple-layer ripstop polyethylene cover shields your motorcycle and equipment from sun, rain, and other elements. The Shed-in-a-Box is priced under $300, with payment plans starting at just $12 per month, and is covered by a one-year limited warranty.
If the options above aren’t in your budget, you may need to get a little crafty. Online tutorials offer instructions on assembling a do-it-yourself shell garage out of PVC pipe and tarp, but you’ll probably need to make adjustments for added waterproofing and protection if you plan to use it in the winter.
What are your best outdoor motorcycle storage tips? Share your advice with the MotorEagles community in the comments below.
In recent years, several auto manufacturers and tech companies have started to explore the future of transportation. From electric vehicles to autonomous cars, the companies that are ahead of the curve developing these technologies stand to reap the benefits of their investments as these types of vehicles become mainstream – and motorcycle manufacturers are no exception. Continue reading “Harley-Davidson announces Silicon Valley research and development facility”