A lot of riders love riding motorcycles in the dark. They might do it for different reasons – during the night there is less traffic, nights are more refreshing. But the night ride is the time when you can focus on yourself and your motorbike. But with the freedom of darkness comes risks, and while you ride a motorcycle, you have to think about motorcycle safety. With less light, visibility drops drastically, temperatures dip, fogs, and if it is autumn or winter season, even frost may start settling in.
That’s why we have prepared a few tips for venturing the night safely. Let’s jump straight into it.
The main reason behind crashes at night is a result of drivers not seeing you. So staying visible is the number 1 thing any rider should think about. And you should take visibility even more seriously when riding at night.
So let’s check what you can do to increase your visibility and avoid crashes.
Motorcycle riders love to wear black motorcycle jeans and a black men motorcycle jacket. But most of what other drivers see is the motorcycle rider. That’s why when you think about motorcycle safety, the first thing in your mind should be your visibility.
There is a common misconception that wearing Hi-Viz yellow or orange increases your visibility at night. Yes, it might draw the attention of other drivers. But the bright colors don’t reflect light, and at low light won’t do much to improve your visibility.
So get jackets or vests with retroreflective 3M panels. They are made from a silver cross weave that is designed to reflect light.
Obviously, when it comes to motorcycle safety, your own vision is equally as important. Let’s check out what you can do to prepare.
Just like how a dirty headlight will reduce light (about that a bit later), a dirty visor reduces the field of your vision. Whether it’s dirt caused by rain, bugs, or anything else, don’t forget to give it a good wipe down.
Consider putting away your dark-tinted visor for the evening. It is definitely not worth risking your safety. Darker visors might look cool, but while riding in the dark, you need all the possible light you can get.
What about other tinted visors? A Yellow-tend visor can help while riding in low-light. But the riders that don’t want to keep swapping their visors from day to night should consider a photochromic visor. They are super useful because they adjust to light levels throughout the day.
When riding in darkness, your headlights are your primary source of visibility. So making sure they don’t fail on you is a must.
Most headlight bulbs last between 400 – 600 hours on the maximum output. Also, there are other factors like weather, temperature, age, and bike vibrations, so if you ride regularly, ensure you change them before they start to dim and stop working.
Over time your headlight lenses become subjected to wear and tear. Sunlight, dirt, and everyday grime can fog your headlight lens and leave them cloudy, yellow, and scratched.
Even a thin layer of dust can reduce the amount of light your bike emits – a quick wipe of your lenses with a cloth and water can fix this.
The weather affects your physical and mental condition. So assessing the weather and the weather’s possible effects should be your main focus when planning your trip.
This should be a no-brainer to the riders, but we still want to mention it. Reducing your speed gives you more time to react to your surroundings, gives you plenty of time to stop, and makes you more easily seen by other drivers.
This advice is also pretty straightforward. Your road position is super important. Drivers tend to drive more dangerously at night, with less traffic and the more open road, leading to more frivolous riding. So if a driver can’t see you in their rear or side-view mirror, there is a high chance of an accident.
When riding in the dark, make it your priority to stay visible and see your surroundings. If you want to feel extra safe on the road – check out our protective motorcycle riding gear.