How to ride motorcycles at night safely is considered one of the most important riding skills and the most interesting experiences to most riders. However, without careful preparation and conscious awareness, it will possibly turn very dangerous due to lack of clear vision. For instance, the darkness limits your (also other road users’) full ability to see and avoid obstacles in the street timely. In this article, you will learn some useful safety tips for riding motorcycles at night.
Safety tips for riding a motorcycle at night
Wear high visibility gear
As said above, while other vehicle riders could be a hazard to you, you yourself are possibly a hazard to them if sensible precaution isn’t taken correctly. Just remember that not only your vision but also a vision of other riders should be taken into consideration. The best way is to make you and your motorbike clearly visible at night.
You’d better select the kind of bright and reflective jackets or pants that help to raise alert of your presence on the road. If you have only dark riding clothes, be creative by adding strips of fluorescent highlights. The same method can also be applied to your motorbike and helmet.
Choose right headlights
Good motorcycle lighting is one of the very important features affecting your riding safety. Several producers utilize lighting of the undersized brake with the purpose of creating the lower headlight covering better vision to most street surfaces. You have to test both front and rear lighting to assure their working conditions.
In addition, adjust your headlights properly. Most headlights are installed at a standard position made by manufacturers; however, those specifications might be unsuitable to your personal riding position as well as your height. The solution here is mastering how to adjust your headlights accordingly. It is most likely that the manual guide shows instructions on how to transition the headlights with some basic screwing and twisting.
Notice that headlight lens need to be dirt-free and clear off moisture. Those also have vital effects on the brightness and utility of headlights.
In addition, bulbs of headlights need to be in good working conditions which still have strong and clear light. Otherwise dim lights cannot help you much with riding in the dark. I will try to publish a post soon which goes into details of how to choose good headlights for riding motorcycles at night.
If possible, you should add more dual running headlights to your motorbike to maximize visibility.
Last but not least, remember to check the aiming angle of your headlights. You must check like this regularly to increase the beam to the maximum angles following rules of the authorities. In your garage, you just need up-right your motorcycle and cast headlight on the wall without any special units. Do not forget to measure from the accurate center of the headlight to ground for adjusting the projected beam on the wall. The most important rule is to drop 2 inches per 10 feet (5cm/ 3 meters) as long as it conforms to the state’s regulations.
Stay focus and alert. Ride defensively.
In the dark, there are so many unexpected hazards that can be hardly seen due to limited light. It could be a vehicle coming from a dark corner, a drunk driver or even a wild animal running suddenly to the middle of the street. As a consequence, it is very important for any riders to keep their level of focus and alertness higher (double or even triple) than usual.
Remember to allow yourself enough space in all directions and keep a good amount of distance from other moving objects in the street. It will give you enough time to respond intelligently when passing another vehicle or simply turn. When you need to pass, avoid hovering in blind spots of the other driver.
Keep your speed under control. First, you want to avoid a speeding ticket. Second, your speed shouldn’t outrun your headlight’s functionality by illuminating the street ahead, otherwise, your capability to see potential hazards becomes comparatively limited.
Besides following the above tips, you should map out your journey carefully in advance. You’d better have experiences of riding the routes earlier. Try to avoid riding at nights on routes you ride for the first time. It’s also advisable to check up weather forecast and road conditions to organize suitable gears.
Hopefully, these safety tips will turn your riding at night into an enjoyable and positive experience.