One of the main keys to managing risks is to take a motorcycle rider course, and to keep the mental and physical skills we learn sharp. Many skills are lost in six months if they arenít practiced. Knowing good cornering and curve-riding techniques doesnít do us any good if we donít practice them.
Knowing our limits, the limits of our machines, and the limits of our environment and riding within those limits is also critical. We must remember that those limits change constantly and adapt our riding style to conform to them.
Superior riders never get themselves into situations requiring superior skills. Taking dumb risks is asking for trouble. If we keep pushing our limits, we will eventually exceed them, and the consequences can be devastating or even fatal. Riding faster and faster though a familiar curve can spell disaster when weíve pushed our traction to the limits and thereís something unexpected in the road halfway through the curve. Riding fast in the rain just because weíre in a hurry makes no sense when we know we canít stop quickly. Slowing down and putting distance between us and a hazard is sensible risk management. Replacing worn tires helps keep us safely stuck to the road.
Part of the challenge of motorcycling is risk management, and the sport wouldnít be very enjoyable if we wrapped ourselves in cotton and surrounded ourselves with a cocoon of safety devices. However, the sport is more fun if we donít have to worry about dangers we create for ourselves.
by Jackie Vaughan.