As gas prices continue to increase above $4.00 per gallon, there has to be something we can do to ease the pressure on our wallets. The oil companies claim that supply and demand are forcing prices upwards, but where will the increases end? Maybe it’s time to look for more efficient transportation.
If you intend to buy a motorcycle or moped, there are 5 things to consider before making your purchase.
1) Decide when you will ride.
2) Decide to take a motorcycle safety course.
3) Plan out the safest routes to your most frequently traveled destinations.
4) Practice riding in low traffic areas before riding in traffic.
5) Create a backup plan in case of weather or other conditions that would create adverse riding conditions.
Deciding when you will ride will determine if you need to keep another vehicle for cold or rainy seasons. If you plan to use the motorcycle 12 months out of the year, then it is a good idea to invest in some riding gear for hot and cold weather. Consider purchasing a windshield or a visor on your helmet to help with rain or highway speed winds. A windshield isn’t a “cool” accessory, but it relieves a lot of pressure from your chest and shoulders while riding. If you will be riding a lot, then this is a must-have.
Most importantly, decide to take a motorcycle safety course. These courses are designed to help you identify and avoid dangerous circumstances, and teach you best practices for riding. Taking a safety course will also lower your insurance rates which will save you a lot of money in the long run, and help you be a more educated rider. Courses are offered over the weekend in most states, and you will probably need your own bike.
Another great idea is to plan out your favorite routes. If you plan to ride to work everyday, choose a route that best suits your riding experience. In the beginning, it is a great idea to take back roads or a route with the least amount of traffic. This will decrease your chances of an accident, and help you gain valuable time and experience before riding on highways. Its a best practice to have a plan and a route designated wherever you go until you feel completely comfortable riding.
The best thing you can do for your comfort level is to spend time on the motorcycle. Take the time to practice riding in neighborhoods, open parking lots, and lightly traveled backroads. The more time you have, the more comfortable and experienced you will be on the bike. Nothing is more valuable than the experience to know how to handle your bike no matter what comes your way. You will eventually gain confidence while riding, and be able to enjoy riding rather than learning.
One important thing to do that can often be overlooked is to have a backup plan for rain, extreme heat, or extreme cold. If you live in an area that has a lot of temperature extremes, then a second backup car is probably a good idea. You will be saving enough in gas that the motorcycle should pay for itself over time, so you may be able to afford to have a second car. If you don’t have that luxury, then make sure to plan each day according to the weather and have a ride whenever needed. This will save a lot of hassle in the end.