Urban Riding: How to Drive Safely on a Motorcycle in the City

Motorcycles make great alternatives for driving around the city. They are cheaper than cars, use less gas, are smaller and more agile, easier to park, and they generally help us get to places faster. Although the advantages are abundant, motorcycles also have plenty of cons. They have less security than cars and poor protection under bad weather. Below are a series of tips to keep in mind when riding a motorcycle around the city.


In both the hottest and coldest seasons, it is essential to wear a jacket. They should be especially designed for wind-heavy conditions, which includes protection on the shoulders, arms, and back. Pants should be made of sanity or even Kevlar, which can be worn on a day-to-day basis—without even getting on a bike. Gloves protect fingers and knuckles from bumps and abrasion. The pain in the event of a fall can be indescribable and the ground can feel like sandpaper without proper hand protection. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to wear light and reflective clothing (or brighter than black) so that others can see you, especially at night.

Motor Mindset

Motorcycles are relatively invisible to other road users. Drivers are often easily distracted and do not pay attention to the two wheelers around them. In response, bikers must use anticipatory driving. This is to control what’s ahead of them and give them sufficient time to react to the actions of other drivers. For example, do not always take a car’s turn signal for granted. Wait for the vehicle to turn before crossing or turning yourself. This also goes for bikers themselves when gesturing a turn or movement. Surprise tailgating and sudden high-speeds can cause car drivers to make fatal split-second decisions. 


A very practical trick is to circulate with two fingers placed continuously on the two brake levers. located on the handlebars of scooters. In the case of gear motorcycles, it’s possible to ride with your fingers on the front brake and with your right foot ready to activate the rear brake. This will reduce the braking distance. And before doing any kind of emergency braking, you have to balance the bike by first applying the rear brake – then the front, and the rest progressively. If done too hard from the beginning, the wheels will lock. 

The Conditions

The only contact surface bikers have with respect to the ground is a few centimeters off the tire. For this reason, the importance of grip is fundamental. It’s vital to avoid engagement on pedestrian crossings and slippery painted lines (which are especially dangerous after rainfall). Avoid making sudden changes of direction since the ground can be dirty and the wheels tend to skid. Potholes can also effectively destabilize a motorcycle.

If a passenger is involved, motorcycles become heavier and less agile. Braking and acceleration will be slower and the bike will not respond momentarily. Minor passengers can be carried as long as the driver is the legal guardian. In states like New York, there is no minimum age for motorcycle passengers. 

Follow the Law

Comply with traffic regulations. Do not go faster than you should as excessive speed is one of the main causes of motorcycle accidents. Don’t ride with your feet dangling. It is a fatal mistake that we see every day that can cause amputations if the foot or leg gets stuck. When driving, it is necessary to have 100% of your senses, so do not talk on the phone or use any type of hearing device that impairs your ability to drive safely.

In short, the most important tip is to get home alive and ride with common sense. It’s not easy to operate a two-wheeler in a concrete jungle, but it’s doable. So, drive calm, safe and with your head on your shoulders because you only have one life.

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