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How Often Do Motorcycle Riders Eat Bugs While Riding?

How Often Do Motorcycle Riders Eat Bugs While Riding?

This is a scene that most motorcyclists who have ever embarked on a motorcycle tour will be familiar with. If you are a true motorcycling enthusiast, you know what it is like to go on a road trip, ride on the highway, the wind blowing through your hair, and the desire to explore further. However, suddenly a bug hits on your helmet’s visor. It can be the tiny gnat flying around, or perhaps a June bug. Either way, it reminds motorcycle riders about the special bond they share with the entire insect kingdom.

How Often Do Motorcycle Riders Eat Bugs While Riding?
Photo Credit: Planet Natural ; Britannica

Bugs are small insects that are about the size of a flea. If you are riding a motorcycle, there are cases where you will have to deal with bugs. Well, how often do these encounters result in bugs being involuntarily swallowed? It depends on the number of flying insects in the air, your speed, the ride location, and whether you are using a full-face helmet that covers your mouth. Continue reading this article to learn about how often motorcycle riders eat bugs while riding. This article will also discuss useful tips that can help you handle bugs during the ride.

1. How Often Do Motorcycle Riders Eat Bugs While Riding

Depending on numerous factors such as your speed and the riding gear you are wearing, the frequency with which a rider consumes bugs varies. Even though it is difficult to completely avoid encountering small insects during the ride, using proper equipment can significantly reduce the likelihood of a rider ending up consuming bugs.

If you go fast, you become more of a bug magnet and the likelihood of ingesting bugs becomes higher. You are likely to encounter less harmful stray flies while leisurely cruising on weekend rides. However, your experience can get worse if you love high-speed cruising on highways and countryside roads. Gnats are tiny insects and no matter how much you wave or whack the air around you, they will always find their way; especially if you open your mouth to take a breath of fresh air.

2. Are Bugs a Safety Hazard?

It is not life-threatening if you unwillingly swallow a gnat or a fly while riding a motorcycle. But there are times that you will encounter larger airborne insects while riding and this is more or less dangerous. Here's why:

2.1 Stinging Surprise

Stinging Insects like bees, wasps, and the rest are always a threat because they do sting. A sting on the neck or the face can be quite painful and distracting. Some of the stinging impacts may be severe enough to make you cringe or pull on the handlebars which would affect the bike’s stability.

2.2 Causing Blindness

Sometimes even a small bug in the eye can pose a great danger. The first impact of this may leave you stunned and angry and the next thing you know, you lose sight momentarily which is not a very pleasant thing especially when riding a motorcycle. Attempting to swerve to avoid encountering bugs or even trying to shoo them away can be dangerous while riding.

2.3 The Slippery Stuff

Several different species of large insects form a slippery film on your visor when they get smashed badly in front of your face while riding. The layer developed on your visor looks gross, and thick, and is quite slippery, making it challenging to see through the windscreen. It is also nearly impossible to wipe the layer down from the visor without washing it properly with a cleaner.

While the consumption of bugs can be a cause of irritation and pain, ingesting larger insects can sometimes prove to be fatal. By following the necessary safety measures and ensuring that you are wearing the right protective gear, you can reduce the chances of anything going wrong.

3. How to Handle Bugs While Riding a Motorcycle

The sense of freedom and feeling of joy while riding a motorcycle can disappear very quickly when a bug hits your face unexpectedly. Fortunately, there are approaches to prevent such situations from arising and to stay focused on the ride. Here's how to handle bugs and avoid consuming them while riding your motorcycle:

3.1 Blocking Bugs While Riding



First and foremost, your vehicle should be equipped with a windshield. It is essential equipment to block most bugs, ensuring you don’t get bugs close to your face or any part of your body that is highly sensitive. Taller windshields make even more sense because they provide additional protection.


With full-face helmets having a visor, you can protect yourself from bugs to their maximum extent. It covers the entire face part of the wearer and effectively shields the face and the eyes against blows. Wearing a long-collar jacket with a full-face helmet can also protect your neck region from bugs’ attacks.

Face Masks

Face Masks
Photo Credit: ILM Motor 

If a full-face helmet feels overly suffocating to you when wearing it, you can opt for a half-face helmet or use a mesh face shield. However, it is advised to never ride without a helmet for extreme protection from bugs and other head injuries resulting from a motorcycle crash. This helps form a barrier that only a very few tiny insects can penetrate to reach your face.

3.2 Gearing Up for Bug Defense

Protective Clothing

Wearing a leather jacket and pants provides extra protection when riding. It helps cover your whole body. Leather or textile jackets and pants provide abrasion protection and will also keep insects away from your skin.

Motorcycle Boots

People often overlook motorcycle boots but never let your feet be forgotten. Motorcycle boots shield your ankles and feet from severe abrasions in the event of a motorcycle accident. They also protect your feet from stinging insects.

3.3 Riding Smart

Speed Awareness

As we have already established, the faster you ride, the more likely you are to encounter and consume bugs. Slowing down at places where insects are likely to be present in swarms can greatly decrease the chances of getting attacked.

Be Alert

Staying alert with open eyes can help you anticipate the zones full of bug swarms so you prevent them from attacking you and entering your eyes and mouth. These small insects are most likely found in areas where there is stagnant water, flowers, and especially when it is dusk time.

4. Takeaway

Encountering bugs during the ride is one of the most common experiences almost every motorcyclist has to go through. However, how often riders get to consume and encounter bugs depends on their speed and gear. However, swallowing a bug is a rare occurrence that happens once in a while. The risk can be minimized through the use of appropriate protective gear such as full-face helmets or face masks. However, some of the large flying insects such as bees or wasps pose a greater risk because, in case of an attack, they can cause stinging and even affect vision. The above-mentioned useful tips to avoid encountering bugs during the ride can make your riding experience more comfortable and safe.

While attaching a fairing to your motorcycle can keep the bugs away from hitting you, there are other add-ons that are quite beneficial in terms of improving the comfort and long-distance capabilities of your bike. You can easily find this equipment on Viking Bags ’ online store which includes sissy bars , backrests , crash bars , saddlebags , tank bags , and much more.

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