1) LOST FOCUS — You are not in a car. You cannot afford to go ten miles daydreaming about your sweetie or your job or anything else but the task at hand. Stay focused on riding. I cannot say enough about this. It can be a life and death mistake!
2) NO ALCOHOL, NO DRUGS, NEVER — 50% of all motorcycle fatalities are alcohol or drug related. You need all of your senses to be in full working condition when you ride. No exceptions.
3) WEAR A HELMET — When your head meets an unmovable object like a tree or a curb at 35 mph, something must give. If you are wearing a helmet, your helmet will give and you are out $100. If it is your head, well, end of story. (check out my matrix).
4) ALWAYS CHECK YOUR BIKE BEFORE YOU RIDE — Check your tire pressure. Make a visual check. Do you have gas? Are your bungee tie downs secured? Stuff happens, things change and it is too tempting to just hop on and fire it up. Two minutes spent checking can save you hours with a tow truck or an ambulance ride.
5) OUTRIDING YOUR SKILL LEVEL — New riders aren’t even sure what their skill level actually is let alone when they are out riding it. Statistically, out riding your skill level is a leading cause of solo motorcycle crashes. If you don’t know your skill level, find out and don’t find out the hard way by out riding it.
6) UNDERSTAND “GO WHERE YOU LOOK” — Is this a phenomenon or a law of physics? I don’t know and I don’t care. I just know that it is 100% absolutely the truth, your motorcycle will go where you are looking. Look ahead at the apex of a curve and you will track right there. Look at that tree on the side of the road and oh well, “Hello” tree.
7) IGNORED THE BUFFER ZONE — They can’t hit you if your not there! Stay away from cars. Don’t be ridiculous about it, but even in heavy traffic, you can always maintain some buffer zone around you. Anticipate the soccer mom in the SUV, on a cell phone, changing lanes right into you. You know she is going to do it so keep your buffer zone and stay alive.