DEKRA experts offer tips as the motorcycling season gets under way
Be well prepared – technically and mentally
When the sun comes out again in spring, riders can’t wait to get their motorbikes out of the garage. Now that the season is here, it's time to think about road safety. Here are some key tips from the experts at DEKRA Accident Research.
- Warm up in familiar surroundings
- Many car drivers don’t expect motorcyclists yet
- Train your mind to react properly in dangerous situations
- Tires: Although laws in some countries stipulate a minimum tread depth of just 1.6 millimeters, a much deeper one is advisable. Of course, the right tire pressure is also important. “Inadequate tire pressure causes significant changes in handling, especially on corners,” says DEKRA accident researcher Luigi Ancona. If the tires have visible defects, such as damage or cracks, punctures, or dents, or if they are more than six years old, consult an expert.
- Brakes: For a safe ride, the brakes must also be in perfect condition. As well as checking the brake system, take a look at the brake fluid, too. It is well worth changing the brake fluid at least every two years. Some manufacturers even stipulate an annual change. On a test drive in safe surroundings with sharp, yet controlled braking maneuvers, you can tell whether the system is working reliably or not. Also remember to look in your rearview mirror before braking, not only on a test drive but always.
- Lighting: Prior to the start, check headlights and taillights as well as turn signals and license plate light.
- Fluid levels: Before going out for the first time, it is also essential to check the engine oil and coolant levels.
- Electronics: If the battery is reinstalled after the winter, when starting up the on-board diagnostics, you must make sure that important safety systems such as traction control and ABS are working properly. Contact your specialist garage if the vehicle electronics show any error messages.