There are many myths or misconceptions floating around about motorcycles and everything related to them, which unfortunately are even believed by some motorcyclists. Here are several which still exist but which ought to be forgotten.
Helmets can harm you
For some reason there is a belief that wearing a motorcycle helmet can actually do damage to your neck in the event of an accident, due to the opinion that the extra weight on your head will create a “pendulum force” (pulling your head down due to gravity), thus increasing the chances of head or neck contact with the road or other obstacles. The World Health Organisation has done extensive research on this issue, finding that head injuries are one of the major causes of death and disability for motorcyclists during accidents, and that a quality motorcycle helmet can reduce the risk and severity of injuries by 72% and of death by 39%, which seem like good enough reasons to wear one.
Motorcycles are cheaper to run than cars
In some respects, yes, motorcycles can be cheaper to run than cars, partly due to the power-to-weight ratio generally giving better fuel economy for motorcycles. However, while car tyres can last for around 40,000km of use, motorcycle tyres might last only around 6,000km for the front and about 3,000km for the rear, depending on how often and the conditions on which you ride. You also have to factor in the must-haves such as riding gear and helmet, although these should last for many years if treated well. The actual cost of running a motorcycle vs a car will not always be an easy question to answer, as it will depend on many factors, so it’s best to have a clear idea of the differences if you’re thinking of completely ditching the car in favour of the bike.
Only use the back brake
The belief here is that by using the front brakes, you’ll flip over the handlebars if you have to stop suddenly, due to momentum working on the back of the bike. As most bikes are heavy enough at the front to reduce the chances of tipping over, there should be no risk in using the front brake; in fact, riders will often have more control from using the front brake than they will from the back brake, due to the wonders of modern tech.
Only wear a jacket in cold weather
Riding a motorcycle definitely brings you closer to nature, in both good and bad ways. Motorcycle gear such as leathers can certainly make you overheat in warmer weather, although its main purpose is obviously to protect your body in case of an accident. If you’re prone to overheating, you can invest in certain types of gear which will help you stay cool without sacrificing safety, such as cooling vests.
Don’t ride in the rain
While being out on the road in the rain can be more dangerous for motorcyclists than it is for automobile drivers, you can still ride safely if you’re careful. As cars have four wheels and therefore a greater amount of surface area in contact with the road, driving in the rain can be easier for them, although their increased weight can make them more likely to skid if the tyres aren’t in great condition. Motorcyclists can ride more safely in the rain by finding a “dry line” (riding where there is less water on the road, or in the tracks of a vehicle in front), by avoiding slippery surfaces like manhole covers, and riding smoothly and being extra mindful of intersections, other road users and their own speed.
While there is myths such as those above circling around motorcycles, one thing is for certain, and that is that you need motorcycle insurance. Swann has a range of motorcyle insurance available, including comprehensive, third party, as well as dirt bike cover. Take a look at our range today and get a quick quote in under a minute!