If you're thinking about getting a motorcycle, there are many things to consider. One of the main points to think about is the risk involved in riding one on a daily basis.
According to consumer data company Statista, there were over 7 million motorcycles in the Philippines in 2020. This statistic shows that many Filipinos continue to consider motorcycles as a viable transportation option.
Despite this, motorcycles are often seen as less safe compared to cars. Is this a fair assessment? Perhaps. As with everything, though, road safety still depends on the person operating the vehicle. Car drivers can be reckless, and motorcycle riders can be meticulous with their bikes. The opposite is also true. Some riders don't care about safety, while other car drivers follow road rules to a tee. When you're on the road, whether you're on a motorcycle or a car, your fate is in your own hands.
Safety is key
So what can you do to mitigate the risk of riding a motorcycle? The most obvious solution is to wear safety gear at all times. Helmets indeed save lives. So do motorcycle gloves, body armor, elbow and knee pads, and proper shoes. All this gear can help you survive in the event of an accident. It can also help put your mind at ease when you're out riding your motorcycle. Of course, being fully equipped with safety gear is still no substitute for good riding etiquette.
Defensive riding is important
Defensive riding is a strategy for decreasing risk while riding a motorcycle. It involves staying alert and observant while on your bike, always looking out for road cues and other vehicles. It also involves being aware of your surroundings while anticipating the movements of other riders. Having complete control of your bike is also important, as it will allow you to change directions quickly or avoid obstacles in a pinch.
Don't be afraid to start small
Riding motorcycles can be intimidating, and that's understandable. However, you don't have to start out riding big bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja 400. If the goal is to get a feel for the rhythm of riding, you can always start with an automatic scooter such as the Vespa Primavera. With an automatic scooter, there's no clutch pedal or gear shifter. Automatics are also usually less powerful. So much of what you’d have to worry about is maintaining balance and keeping your eyes on the road. Riding like this can be a great way for you to gain experience and help lessen mistakes and accidents down the line. Then, if you outgrow automatics, you can slowly dip your toes in the vast playground of manual bikes.
So is riding a motorcycle worth the risk? Only you can make that decision. When done properly, riding can be an incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable experience. You can meet new friends and go places you never thought you would. The risk will always be there, to be sure. It's unavoidable, but if you're passionate about riding, then you'll do your best to be safe while doing it. You'll respect other motorists as well because you understand the struggle and complexity of toughing it out on the road. If this sounds good to you, by all means, get yourself a motorcycle and start riding.