How to ride a motorbike in the dark: Shark Leather's safety guide
Safety first: How to ride a motorbike in the dark
Riding at night can be fun and a totally different experience than during daylight. But before you take to the roads to ride your motorcycle in the dark, there are a few things you need to be aware of to ensure your safety.
Be aware bright lights can leave you dazzled
Oncoming vehicles that forget to dip their headlights or poorly adjusted headlights can leave you feeling dazzled by the bright lights. Sometimes, if you're carrying a passenger on your bike, the weight in the rear will tilt the front a little making you more susceptible to being caught out by low beam headlights.
The glare can leave you temporarily blinded, it can make you feel a bit like a possum caught in headlights. It may even be momentarily causing you to squint or close your eyes, It's been likened to the type of pain you get if you were to strain a joint. It may take several seconds to recover your night vision, but when you're on the road, those seconds are putting you and other road users at risk.
Dazzling by headlights is becoming more prominent as car manufacturers discover new ways to make more powerful headlights for increased visibility. The use of blue light makes headlights much brighter. As you age you become more susceptible to night glare.
Riding glasses with yellow night lens are a good way to reduce the glare. However, we highly recommend helmets with clear visors or photochromic face shields.
In the event of an oncoming car, direct your focus on the white line, this will help you navigate the corner
Be safe. Be Seen.
The brighter you dress, the more visible you will be at night. Opt for motorcycle gear with reflective detailing or invest in a high-vis safety vest you can wear over the top of your gear. It's better to look like a walking Christmas tree than to look cool. After all, it's night, no one is going to be looking at your riding leathers. If you wear a backpack, add a strip of reflective tape or reflective decals to your bike.
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Upgrade your old halogen headlight
If you're riding a vintage motorcycle with retro headlights that don't illuminate the road, for safety's sake, spend the money and get it upgraded to LEDs or HID lighting. New technology headlights give you better visibility when riding, helping you see unexpected debris or potholes. It will also help you be more visible to oncoming traffic.
Having your wits about when you're riding is important any time of the day or night, but night riding is a completely different world. At night you're more prone to encounter drivers who are under the influence of alcohol, so be extra careful at traffic lights, stop lights and sign-governed intersections. Be prepared to dodge Australia's native wildlife as well. It's not unusual for roos or possums dart across the road. A head-on collision with a kangaroo could do serious damage to you and your bike.
Slow it down
Reduce your speeds, especially on corners. Watch your following distances and give yourself extra reaction time should a vehicle. Even if you know the roads like the back of your hand, it's better to get there safely than not at all.
For all your night riding motorcycle gear visit the Shark Leathers website and shop our range.