Your first motorcycle?
Choosing a first motorcycle should also depend on your individual needs, preferences, and level of riding experience. Be sure to take into account factors such as your riding goals, physical size and comfort, budget, and the availability of training courses in your area before making a decision. Additionally, always wear appropriate safety gear and consider enrolling in a motorcycle safety course to learn essential riding skills.
- User-Friendly Power: The Hornet typically has a manageable and user-friendly power delivery. Its engine, usually around 600cc, offers enough performance for beginners to grow into without being overly powerful or intimidating.
- Neutral Riding Position: The Hornet usually features an upright and neutral riding position, which is comfortable and provides good visibility. This position is less aggressive than that of some sportier motorcycles, making it suitable for new riders.
- Reliability: Honda has a reputation for building reliable motorcycles. This can be particularly reassuring for new riders who want a bike that won’t break down frequently or require extensive maintenance.
- Lightweight and Maneuverable: The Hornet is typically lightweight and easy to maneuver, which can be beneficial for novice riders who are still developing their riding skills. It’s easier to handle in city traffic and at low speeds.
- Versatile: The Hornet’s design is versatile, making it suitable for a variety of riding styles, from commuting to weekend leisure rides. This versatility allows beginners to explore different aspects of motorcycling.
- Good Resale Value: Honda motorcycles, including the Hornet, often have good resale value. This can be advantageous for first-time riders who might want to upgrade to a different bike after gaining more experience.
- Available Safety Features: Depending on the model year and trim, some Hornet models may come equipped with safety features like ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), which can enhance braking performance and safety for new riders.
- Aftermarket Support: The Hornet has been a popular model, which means there is a substantial aftermarket for parts and accessories. This can be useful if you want to customize or maintain your bike.
- Cost-Efficient: While the exact price can vary depending on the model year and location, the Hornet is often competitively priced, making it accessible to many first-time buyers.
- Low Seat Height: Some versions of the Hornet have a relatively low seat height, which can be more accommodating for shorter riders or those who are less confident in balancing a tall motorcycle.
The quality and fit of your protective gear are crucial. Invest in gear that is designed for motorcycling and meets safety standards. Properly fitting gear ensures that it can provide the intended protection in case of an accident. Here’s a list of recommended protections for motorcycle riders:
- Helmet: A DOT-approved full-face or modular helmet is the most important piece of protective gear. It protects your head and face from impact and debris, reducing the risk of traumatic brain injuries. Make sure the helmet fits snugly and is in good condition.
- Eye Protection: Motorcycle helmets often come with built-in face shields or visors to protect your eyes from wind, bugs, and debris. Alternatively, you can wear goggles or shatterproof glasses with UV protection.
- Jacket: A motorcycle-specific jacket made from abrasion-resistant materials like leather or textile is essential. It should provide protection for your arms, shoulders, and back. Look for jackets with built-in armor at impact-prone areas.
- Gloves: Riding gloves protect your hands from abrasions, weather, and impact injuries. They should cover your wrists and have reinforced padding in the palm and knuckle areas.
- Pants: Motorcycle pants or riding pants are designed to provide abrasion resistance and impact protection for your hips, knees, and thighs. Look for pants with armor at critical areas and consider options with built-in abrasion-resistant materials.
- Boots: Sturdy, over-the-ankle motorcycle boots with non-slip soles are essential. They protect your feet and ankles from impact and provide stability and support.
- Body Armor: If your jacket and pants do not have built-in armor, consider wearing separate body armor inserts, such as back protectors, chest protectors, and knee/shin guards.
- Rain Gear: Invest in waterproof rain gear to stay dry during inclement weather. Wet riding conditions can be hazardous.
- Reflective Gear: Use reflective vests, jackets, or strips to enhance your visibility to other road users, especially when riding in low-light conditions.
- Ear Protection: Repeated exposure to wind noise at high speeds can lead to hearing damage. Consider wearing earplugs designed for motorcyclists to reduce noise while still allowing you to hear essential sounds.
- Neck Protection: Some riders opt for neck braces or collars to protect against neck injuries in the event of a crash.
- Heat-Resistant Gear: In hot weather, wear gear designed for airflow and cooling. Mesh jackets and pants, as well as vented helmets, can help keep you comfortable while still providing protection.
What are the most common cause of accidents when riding a motorcycle?
Motorcycle accidents can result from various factors, but some of the most common causes include:
- Speeding: Riding at excessive speeds reduces reaction time and makes it harder to control the motorcycle. It’s a significant factor in many accidents.
- Driver Inexperience: Inexperienced riders may lack the skills and knowledge needed to handle a motorcycle safely, especially in challenging situations.
- Impaired Riding: Riding under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications can impair judgment and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Reckless Riding: Aggressive or reckless riding behaviors, such as weaving in and out of traffic, tailgating, or performing stunts, can lead to accidents.
- Distracted Riding: Using a phone, adjusting the radio, or engaging in other distractions while riding can divert attention from the road and lead to crashes.
- Poor Weather Conditions: Rain, snow, fog, and other adverse weather conditions reduce visibility and traction, making it more challenging to control a motorcycle.
- Road Hazards: Potholes, debris, gravel, and uneven road surfaces can be particularly hazardous to motorcyclists, who are more vulnerable to losing control.
- Vehicle Interactions: Many accidents occur when other vehicles fail to see or yield the right of way to motorcycles, often during left-hand turns or at intersections.
- Mechanical Failures: Motorcycle accidents can also result from mechanical issues, such as brake or tire failures, if regular maintenance is neglected.
- Running Red Lights and Stop Signs: Disobeying traffic signals and signs can lead to collisions with other vehicles.
- Lane Splitting: In areas where lane splitting (riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic) is not legal or safe, it can increase the risk of accidents.
- Lack of Protective Gear: Failing to wear appropriate protective gear, such as helmets, gloves, jackets, and pants, can lead to more severe injuries in the event of a crash.
- Fatigue: Riding while tired or drowsy can impair judgment and reaction times, making it more challenging to respond to changing road conditions.
To reduce the risk of accidents, motorcycle riders should prioritize safety, undergo proper training, follow traffic laws, wear protective gear, and exercise caution in various riding conditions. Additionally, other road users should be aware of motorcyclists and share the road responsibly to prevent accidents