If you are planning to get your motorcycle license in Nebraska, you must prioritize safety. Motorcyclists are approximately 24 times more likely to die and 4 times more likely to be injured in accidents than passenger vehicle occupants, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. You can reduce your risk of getting into an accident as a new rider with a few training tips for beginners.
Take a Motorcycle Safety Course
The best way to get more comfortable on your motorcycle is by taking a motorcycle safety course. In Nebraska, the completion of a safety course is not required to obtain a motorcycle license. If the applicant has held a learner’s permit for at least 90 days, he or she does not even have to go through a rider training course. However, completing a motorcycle safety course can decrease your risk of getting into an accident.
Motorcycle safety training classes provide instructions to riders to teach them how to properly operate two-wheeled or three-wheeled motorcycles. These courses teach the basics to beginners, such as how to properly operate a motorcycle, the basic controls, straight-line riding, shifting, turning and stopping. They emphasize how to stay safe on the back of a motorcycle by providing tools riders can use.
Familiarize Yourself With Your Bike
A rookie mistake that many beginner motorcyclists make is choosing the wrong bike. Not all motorcycles are the same. In fact, they have drastic differences that can make certain types and styles of motorcycles difficult for beginners to manage. Determine which motorcycle is right for you based on where you plan on riding, how often you want to ride and your level of experience behind the handlebars. After you purchase a motorcycle, take the time to familiarize yourself with its controls and how it feels before taking it on public roads. You should inspect your motorcycle before every ride.
Know the Basics
It is a good idea to take a basic motorcycle training course, even if one is not required to obtain your motorcycle license. This can teach you the essentials of how to safely and properly ride a motorcycle, such as:
- Get onto your motorcycle from the left side if it has a kickstand, then push the kickstand up with your foot when you straighten the bike. Both of your feet should be able to touch the ground.
- Start the engine. While the process differs depending on the model, it typically involves turning on the ignition switch, shifting your transmission to neutral, squeezing the clutch and pressing the starter.
- Before you start your ride, make sure you know where your motorcycle’s clutch, brakes, throttle and controls are located. You will need to pull the clutch every time you switch gears.
- When turning, do so slowly and carefully. Do not yank the handlebars, as you could enter another lane or drive off the road. Lean with the vehicle while you turn.
- When you’re ready to brake, apply both the front brake and rear brake evenly to come to a stop. Once stopped, put your left foot on the ground to keep the bike propped up.
If you do not feel confident and comfortable while operating your motorcycle, enroll in a safety training course for in-person instruction with a trained professional. This can give you the practice, information and guidance you need to successfully go out on the road.
Protect Yourself With the Right Gear
Last but not least, protect yourself by investing in the right gear before you ride. In Nebraska, the law requires all motorcycle riders and their passengers to wear helmets. Your helmet should comply with safety standards and bear a DOT seal. You will also need eye protection if your helmet does not have a visor. To better protect yourself from injury in the event of an Omaha motorcycle accident, wear a riding outfit. You should at least wear a long sleeve shirt or jacket, long pants, riding gloves, and over-the-ankle footwear.