Riding Safely in Kuala Lumpur
So you’ve just got yourself a brand new bike, and you want to take it out for a ride all around Kuala Lumpur. You’d like to be one of those people who looks cool on their bike, like the same people who probably inspired you to get a motorcycle in the first place.
As with anything new, there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve while you pick up new skills and experiences, and get your body used to operating and maneuvering that motorcycle of yours. Here’s some good news for you: you don’t have to learn everything the hard way. Instead of learning from scratch, here are a few starter tips to help you avoid making rookie mistakes and build up your motorcycle-riding abilities.
“Dress for the slide, not the ride”
First and foremost, remember the saying: “Dress for the slide, not the ride”. This is one of the core wisdoms of motorcycle owners everywhere who understand that the ‘dress code’ for riding a motorcycle is one of the most important things keeping you safe. Have you ever wondered why motorcycle riders wear leather and other types of protective materials? It’s because they’re dressing for one of the riskiest parts of motorcycle riding: falling off their bike and sliding across the road.
While it might look and feel good to dress down in a t-shirt and shorts, none of those clothes will protect you if you fall and slide, and your helmet only protects your head!
Avoid bad weather
Lucky for us Malaysian riders, we only have two types of weather to worry about: hot weather and heavy rain. Once your skills have improved, it may be safe for you to ride in light rain conditions (wearing appropriate gear to keep you dry, of course!). However, heavy rains must always be avoided at all times.
Heavy rains don’t just cause roads to become slippery for you on your motorcycle, they also affect visibility. With a helmet visor separating your eyes from the environment around you, rainy weather and low-visibility conditions can make it even more difficult for you to spot dangers on the road. Worse yet, it makes it difficult for other riders and drivers to see and avoid you!
Keep your eyes on the road
Keeping one’s eyes on the road is a universal rule for riders and drivers in any type of vehicle. However, for a motorcycle rider it is even more imperative to pay attention to what’s on the road. Unlike car drivers, riders have to also worry about smaller dangers on the road like rocks, debris, rubbish, and potholes. In a car, these items might cause an uncomfortable bump in the ride, but for a motorcycle rider this could cause you to lose your balance and fall over, putting you directly in the path of danger.
Follow the law
Rules exist for a good reason. They ensure that riders and drivers both adhere to best practices on the road, but they also create an element of predictability. When the behaviours of cars and motorcycles on the road are predictable and everyone is behaving according to the same rules, everyone else can safely anticipate each other’s movements and act accordingly.
It’s incredibly rewarding becoming a motorcycle owner and rider. Keep yourself safe, and as always, enjoy all the new experiences you’ll go through!