10 Rules
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Since I started riding, everybody has seen fit to tell me about every motorcycle related accident and how much risk I put myself in.
From the outset I will redily admint that one is almost always safer in an automobile than on a bike, but if you follow these 10 rules, you will lessen the risks to the point where I feel they are justifyable.

1. Take and pass the MSF Safety course.
2. Don't ride impaired by alcohol, drugs or fatigue.
3. Wear protection in the form of a full face helmet, gloves, armoured jacket, thick long pants and boots that cover your ankles.
4. Wear a bright or even fluorescent jacket or at least a fluorescent safety vest.
5. Assume drivers have not seen you.
6. Try and follow cars through busy intersections.
7. Don't buy a more powerful bike than you can handle. A Ninja 250 is plenty fast for anybody still learning.
8. Take unfamiliar corners slowly.
9. Check your tire pressure and tread regularly.
10. Avoid riding at night on poorly lit roads or in low visibility if possible.

Ride as mutch and as often as possible, there's no substitute for experience.

These may seem painfully obvious, but virtually every motorcycle accident I have heard of could have been prevented if these rules were followed.