It certainly goes without saying that motorcycles are a lot more dangerous than cars. Riding motorcycles comes with inherent risks due to exposure to the elements and increased vulnerability in minor accidents, which can jeopardize rider safety. People choose to ride motorcycles for diverse reasons. Some use them for daily transportation from A to B, while others find pure thrill and enjoyment in the world of motorbikes.
No matter why you ride a motorcycle, prioritizing safety is paramount. Alongside wearing proper riding gear and adopting safe riding practices, choosing a motorcycle with essential safety features is a wise move. Let's explore some key safety features that are crucial, especially if you're new to the world of two-wheelers.
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
At the top of our safety feature list is something incredibly useful when you need to make a sudden stop. Enter the anti-lock braking system, commonly known as ABS. ABS ensures your wheels won't lock up during hard braking. We've covered the significance of ABS in numerous articles; it's a game-changer for motorcycle safety, regardless of the bike's size. ABS acts as a crucial safety net, especially on slippery roads caused by rain or debris, or in emergency stops. Having ABS can be the deciding factor between a close call and a costly hospital visit with repair bills to match.
Immobilizer or Alarm
The second feature is something that’s standard on nearly all premium modern day motorcycles. An immobilizer is a safety feature that keeps your motorcycle secure when it is parked. It prevents thieves from tampering with your motorcycle's ignition. Most immobilizer systems make use of a microchip embedded in your key. Once the key is inserted into the ignition, it sends a signal to a sensor in your ignition barrel indicating that the key is indeed authentic and is paired with the motorcycle’s security system. If a key that does not contain a matching microchip is inserted into the ignition, it will not allow the bike to start. In short, an immobilizer system serves as a redundancy when it comes to your bike security and safety features.
Hazard lights are typically a standard feature on high-end, larger motorcycles, but they can be valuable on smaller bikes like scooters and underbones too. These lights serve as an early warning system, especially when you need to make an emergency stop or are pulled over due to a critical situation. It's important to remember that hazard lights don't give you a free pass to park anywhere. Be responsible with their use, and only activate them when absolutely necessary. Don't forget to turn them off when they're no longer needed.
This next feature is something that could certainly come in handy in the event of a malfunction or an emergency stop. A kill switch, as the name suggests, is meant to cut all power to the engine. This is especially useful in the event of a sudden crash or drop, as it immediately kills the power and stops the wheel from turning. Intern, this prevents any subsequent injuries or damages caused by an out of control motorcycle that’s continuing to receive power from the engine. Accompanying a kill switch is usually a more sophisticated feature called a tip over sensor. The tip over sensor is capable of determining whether a motorcycle has been in a crash, and automatically switches off the engine if it senses that the bike has fallen. Just like the kill switch, this prevents any further injury or damage caused by the rear wheel still spinning when the bike has fallen.