It certainly goes without saying that motorcycles are a lot more dangerous than cars. Naturally, being exposed to the elements, as well as being more susceptible to injury in the event of a minor accident, poses a threat to the safety of motorcycle riders. Now, people ride motorcycles for a variety of reasons. Some folks rely on their two wheeled steeds to shuttle them from point A to point B on a daily basis. Meanwhile, other folks simply enjoy the thrill and enjoyment brought about by motorbikes.
Whatever your motivations are for riding a motorcycle, it’s always the best idea to put safety first. Apart from donning complete riding gear, as well as practicing safe riding, it certainly pays dividends to get a motorcycle that is equipped with at least the bare essentials when it comes to safety features. Today, let’s look at a few of the essential motorcycle safety features that we believe you should take into consideration especially if you are new to the two wheeled lifestyle.
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
The first safety feature on our list is definitely something that could come in handy in the event that things go sideways when coming to a stop. An anti-lock braking system, or ABS, prevents your wheels from locking up under heavy braking. The way this works is rather simple, in fact, we have written several articles on just how important ABS is for a motorcycle— regardless of whether it’s big or small. It goes without saying that ABS provides a much-needed safety net, especially when the road is slippery due to rain or debris, or when coming to a stop in an emergency situation. This safety feature can certainly spell the difference between riding away from a close call and ending up in the hospital with hefty repair and medical bills.
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 most commonly found as standard equipment on premium, expensive big bikes. However, smaller bikes such as scooters and underbones can also benefit from such a feature. Hazard lights, when used correctly, are meant to serve as an early warning device for when you need to come to an emergency stop, or are stopped at the side of the road due to an emergency situation. Do note, however, that having hazard lights does not automatically grant you a park anywhere pass. That being said, make sure to use your hazard lights responsibly, and switch them off when it is not absolutely necessary to use them.
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.