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Advantages of Motorcycle Mirrors and How to Make Full Use of Them

Advantages of Motorcycle Mirrors and How to Make Full Use of Them

Motorcycles of the modern era have become safe, offering riders the peace of mind they need to enjoy their rides. Motorcycle riding has been associated with freedom, recreation, and customization. Based on their riding styles and needs, a large number of riders are modifying their bikes into tourers, choppers, bobbers, etc, by adding different custom parts, such as fairing , luggage racks , sissy bars , backrests , and luggage bags . On the other hand, some riders are only focused on enhancing safety by equipping their bikes with crash bars and lever guards that offer protection in the event of a crash, LED lighting for greater visibility, and custom mirrors that offer a more rider-friendly position.

Mirrors already come standard on all production motorcycles, but sometimes riders consider them a nuisance, opting to ignore their existence and choosing to navigate traffic by looking over their shoulders. Some riders loathe mirrors because they find them unattractive and believe that their motorcycle loses its sheer beauty because of them. While custom mirrors are an option for riders, considering they are more high-end and sophisticated in terms of design, fit, and finish, and also help you maintain your natural riding position and keep an eye on the traffic without any difficulty, the important thing is how well you use the mirrors on your motorcycle to ensure safety. Riders who are in the habit of looking over their shoulders before taking a turn or changing lanes will not benefit even if they install stunning motorcycle mirrors.

Your motorcycle mirrors are a highly useful accessory on your bike, offering you a greater degree of hazard awareness, making it possible to read the traffic behind you, and also prevent accidents. Motorcycle mirrors dramatically increase a rider’s presence on the road, provided you keep your mirrors clean and scratch-free. This article will delve deeper into the many benefits motorcycle mirrors offer and aims to convince riders to make full use of motorcycle mirrors for their safety and well-being. 

1. Different Types of Motorcycle Mirrors

Different Types of Motorcycle Mirrors

Motorcycle mirrors are one area of a motorcycle that can be easily improved in terms of function and aesthetics. On production motorcycles, mirrors are usually mounted on the fairing, hand controls, or handlebar ends depending on your motorcycle type. Regardless of their position, most motorcycles feature traditional mirrors that are black and round in shape. These motorcycle mirrors offer a broad rear view to riders making them a highly safe choice for motorcycles. However, the position of these mirrors may be a problem for many riders. Some riders may find them too tall or too short for their stature.

Also, some motorcycle mirrors do not offer a board rear view despite having the classic round shape. They can easily mount an aftermarket mirror on their bikes. When buying motorcycle mirrors, it is important to be aware of the motorcycle mirror laws in your state. In some states, motorcycles are required to have a single mirror while in other states, it is mandatory to have two side mirrors. While in Nebraska, motorcyclists do not need to have mirrors to ride legally on the streets. Listed below are some of the best motorcycle mirrors to help you make full use of this accessory. 

1.1 Handlebar End Motorcycle Mirrors

Handlebar End Motorcycle Mirrors

Motorcycle mirrors mounted on the handlebar ends are another common but popular choice among custom enthusiasts. These mirrors offer a clean and minimalist look to the bike adding to the charm of its sleek silhouette and stripped-down look. Hence, it is a great choice for riders owning a chopper, cafe racer, or a bobber-style motorcycle. When it comes to functionality, handlebar end-mounted mirrors offer a broad unimpeded rearview to the riders and also ensure proper adjustability for an effortless riding experience.

Depending on their height and other proportions, riders can easily position these motorcycle mirrors in a way to get a clear view without straining their back or neck to do so. It is worth mentioning that many high-end bar mirrors boast an aerodynamic design and a multi-positioning mounting system that enhances your motorcycle’s efficiency and also offers a better view of the road. The option to adjust these mirrors based on your personal preferences is another highly encouraging feature of these mirrors that will compel you to use and benefit from them. 

1.2 Folding Motorcycle Mirrors

Folding Motorcycle Mirrors

Folding motorcycle mirrors are highly convenient and practical options for riders who want to reduce the width of their bike’s fronts. Oftentimes, motorcycle mirrors increase the front width of the motorcycle and this design glitch creates problems while parking or trying to ride between two vehicles or through narrow streets. Therefore, riders who use their bikes for urban riding and commuting need something compact but equally effective in terms of visibility, folding mirrors are just what they need. They reduce the bike’s overall width so the riders can easily maneuver their bikes through tight spaces. Additionally, these motorcycle mirrors are readily available and highly affordable without compromising safety and rear visibility. 

1.3 Directional Indicator Motorcycle Mirrors

Directional Indicator Motorcycle Mirrors
Photo Credit: Harley Davidson 

Some motorcycle mirrors come with integrated directional indicators, an innovative design that offers a minimalist look, functionality, and rear visibility. Much like turn signals, these integrated mirrors boast LED indicators that help in communicating with other riders, giving them a clear signal that you are about to change lanes or turn, making the traffic-dense road safer not just for the rider using them but also for others sharing the road with him. The advanced signaling capabilities offered by the directional indicators integrated motorcycle mirrors make them the most stylish and practical option on the list. 

1.4 Convex Motorcycle Mirrors

Convex Motorcycle Mirrors

Convex motorcycle mirrors have a curved shape that provides an even better rear view of the road conditions. These motorcycle mirrors are adjustable, allowing riders to remove all blind spots for enhanced safety and visibility during lane changes and other maneuvers that often lead to accidents. These mirrors come in handy, especially during highway travels where situational awareness is crucial to make it unscathed to your destination.

2. Advantages of Motorcycle Mirrors

Advantages of Motorcycle Mirrors

The importance of motorcycle mirrors cannot be emphasized enough, considering they are small but crucial for a rider’s well-being and safety on the roads. Oftentimes, people get involved in accidents because they fail to see the other vehicle coming up behind them and make unaware maneuvers that lead to major collisions that can be fatal. Motorcycle mirrors, if positioned strategically, are the only feature on your motorcycle that can provide reliable rear view assessment and prevent accidents due to lack of visibility. Therefore, they play a crucial role in making riding more efficient and smooth.

Additionally, motorcycle mirrors provide an opportunity for customization. If you cannot install expensive aftermarket parts on your motorcycle to give it a more personalized appearance, motorcycle mirrors are just what you need to make a style statement on a budget. They will provide better position, greater adjustability, and a dependable rear view for a relaxed and stress-free riding experience.

2.1 Safety

Motorcycle mirrors are a safety feature and they help improve riding conditions in terms of safety, awareness, visibility, and hazard anticipation. Motorcycle mirrors prevent distraction among riders, allowing them to monitor the traffic behind them without moving an inch from their usual riding position. Facilitating safe lane changes and mitigating risks for rear-end collisions, these mirrors help make motorcycles and road conditions safe and risk-free. 

2.2 Awareness

Motorcycle mirrors increase a rider’s field of vision and reduce blind spots, helping him keep an eye on the vehicles approaching from adjacent lanes and behind. This increased awareness of the surroundings allows for quick reflexes and less reaction time to navigate any hazards on the road.

2.3 Confidence

Motorcycle mirrors help boost a rider’s confidence, especially during lane changes and other strategic maneuvers. For beginners, being able to handle complex riding conditions can be quite empowering, making them trust their capabilities and encouraging them to use motorcycles as their main mode of transportation. Once a rider becomes apt at handling challenging situations, it becomes easier for him to take the plunge and travel interstates on their two-wheeler. 

2.4 Group Riding

Whether you are riding on a guided tour, traveling with friends, or riding in a rally with a group of other motorcyclists near you, communication is crucial for safe and well-coordinated riding experiences. Motorcycle mirrors facilitate signaling and communication among motorcyclists, helping them to ensure the safety of others. This concern for others on the road is key to the camaraderie most motorcyclists cherish. 

2.5 Stability

Properly adjusted motorcycle mirrors alleviate the need to turn around and shift your focus from the road ahead of you to the road behind you. Moving around frequently can make you lose some stability and control of your bike. By providing a full field of vision to riders, motorcycle mirrors facilitate handling and allow the riders to focus solely on keeping the bike stable while simultaneously evaluating the traffic.

3. Different Ways to Make Full Use of Motorcycle Mirrors

Different Ways to Make Full Use of Motorcycle Mirrors

3.1 Adjustment

Motorcycle mirrors are adjustable to help you find the right position offering maximum visibility and rearview. If you are straining to check the traffic flow in your mirrors, it is time to adjust them for a more comfortable experience. Motorcycle mirrors must be positioned properly to reduce blind spots and get a clear view of the lanes. Additionally, mirrors must also be adjusted according to the rider’s posture and height to maximize their effectiveness and reduce effort on the part of the rider because if you struggle to look in the mirror, you will instinctively look over your shoulder to get an idea of the distance between you and the adjacent motorcycle or vehicles behind you. 

3.2 Communication

When riding in groups or even solo, motorcyclists can communicate with other motorcyclists through their mirrors. They can look into the mirror to get the attention of the vehicle owner adjacent to them or coming up behind them and convey their intentions for lane changing, emergency stops, and turns. When traveling with a group of motorcyclists, riders can use mirrors to communicate where they need to stop for a break, route changes, and road hazards that you can see first due to your forward position. Hence, motorcycle mirrors can greatly enhance clarity not just for the rider using them but also for others sharing the road with him. 

3.3 Cleaning

Dust and road grime accumulated on the motorcycle mirrors make them foggy and obstruct a rider’s view. Sometimes, poorly maintained mirrors create an illusion that makes riders think they can easily switch lanes, and this miscalculation due to dirty motorcycle mirrors leads to accidents. In addition, riders should include mirror alignment and damage inspections in their routine safety checks. Small cracks on motorcycle mirrors can reduce their effectiveness and functionality on the road, making them a safety hazard. To ensure that the motorcycle mirrors do not impede your view, it is important to inspect them before and after every ride, and clean, align, or replace them as required. 

3.4 Anticipate Dangers

The ability to anticipate dangers arising due to adverse road and weather conditions, or a rider’s mistake is known as defensive riding and is considered a great skill that all riders should master eventually. For defensive riding, motorcycle mirrors are the key tool that riders can use to ensure safety. When riding in a heavy traffic flow or on a bad road, using mirrors to find escape routes is crucial to one's safety, and motorcycle mirrors help riders with defensive riding skills spot the safe spots to navigate potential road dangers. By knowing the position, speed, and movements of different vehicles on the road using mirrors, riders can react timely to avoid any adversity.

3.5 Use Mirrors for Traffic Assessment

Just like you learned how to ride a motorcycle, using motorcycle mirrors to assess the traffic flow behind is also a skill that you need to practice. If you have been in the habit of turning around to see if it is safe to change lanes, you will never use mirrors and the only way to break this habit is to develop a new one - look into the mirror to read and assess road conditions. In the beginning, try using mirrors while executing u-turns, overtakes, and lane changes on a deserted street to prevent any mishaps. Eventually, it will come naturally to you and you will be able to gauge the road hazards and navigate them more easily using mirrors. 

4. Last Words

Motorcycle mirrors are a highly useful safety accessory on your two-wheeler that enhances awareness of surroundings, makes it easier to judge the road conditions and movements of other vehicles close to you, and also allows you to make timely decisions to avoid road dangers. If you are not satisfied with the stock motorcycle mirrors, it is advisable to look for custom motorcycle mirrors for greater convenience and comfort instead of foregoing their use completely. With the booming aftermarket motorcycle industry, you can easily find motorcycle mirrors that offer optimal visibility and also look quite stylish on your bike. From stability to protection and coordinated group riding, the benefits of using motorcycle mirrors are evident and undeniable.

Additionally, make sure that you adjust and clean the motorcycle mirrors to avoid any inconvenience on the road. Furthermore, if you find any signs of damage on your motorcycle mirrors, replace them immediately to ensure not just your safety but that of others as well. 

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